People who perform tasks that involve repeated motions, heavy lifting, prolonged sitting or twisting motions may be more prone to experiencing back pain. Taking preventative measures, rather than waiting until an injury occurs, can help reduce incidents of back pain, allowing us to stay active and healthy.
Here are 5 tips for a healthy back:
1. Sitting with Good Posture:
The aim is to maintain the natural ‘S’ curve of the spine, so think about:
- Growing tall
- Lift your breast bone up slightly
- Tuck your chin (like a nod 'yes').
- Gently draw your shoulder blades down and back.
- Ensure you do not over correct, this should feel easy
Taking a second to ensure the path is clear, thinking about where you are moving the object to and getting it close to your body can go a long way in reducing injury with lifting.
Make sure to bend at your hips and knees to lift, squatting down to the object rather than bending over. The muscles in your legs are much bigger and stronger than the muscles in your back.
3. Core and Leg Strength:
Doing strength exercises helps to maintain muscle mass, increase strength, improves bone health, helps maintain a healthy body weight, and decreases risk of injury.
Strength takes time to build, and consistency is key. Making sure that major muscles of the core and hips/thighs are strong can have a protective effect on a person's back.
Aim to complete about 8-10 repetitions, and 3 sets of each exercise
This can be done all at once or broken up throughout the day.
Hip Hinge >> Target: Spine/Glutes
Sitting for long periods causes tightness in muscles of the back and around the hips. This can cause pain, or change how we move.
Stretching can help to:
- Improve your ability to perform daily tasks
- Decrease risk of injuries.
- Allow you to move through more range of motion in your body
- Increase blood flow to the area to help relieve stiffness
Keys to Stretching: Hold the stretch for 30-60 sec., Do not push into pain.
No single posture is bad for our bodies, but sustained positions can be.
Changing our position often is helpful in combating posture related back pain. This can be as simple as
- standing up,
- stretching your arms over your head,
- twisting in the opposite direction or
- folding forward in your seat.
Ideally we would perform some type of position change every half hour.
Unfortunately injuries are a part of life, but do not let an injury slow you down!
These tips should help reduce the chances of experiencing back pain.
However if an injury occurs, Donald Physiotherapy is here to help.
Contact us for all your Physiotherapy needs!