Back pain is an ailment common to many Americans and one of the main reasons people miss work or go to the doctor. There are many causes of back pain, including muscle spasms, disc degeneration and injury to the sacroiliac joints. However, back pain can usually be lessened or prevented by taking some simple precautions. Here are some of the things you can do to avoid back issues at home.
A large percentage of time at home is spent sleeping, so it is important to do it properly. If you are waking up with a sore back, your mattress might be responsible and it may need to be changed. Mattresses take a lot of pressure and eventually deform. Check your mattress, and if it has spots that are not as springy as they used to be, you probably need to replace it. Though soft mattresses may seem desirable, firmer ones are better for your back. People differ in the levels of support they need, so shop around until you find the ideal mattress for you. Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position for the back, as it puts more pressure on the joints. Instead, sleep on your back or side, supporting yourself with pillows. When you get up, take a minute or two to stretch before plunging into the day.
Bending and Lifting
Housework involves a lot of bending and lifting, so doing these activities properly will save your back a lot of stress. Practicing proper lifting technique is always important, as you can hurt your back lifting light objects as well as heavy ones. First of all, get help instead of trying to lift anything uncomfortably heavy. For heavy objects, get close to the object with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down, grasp the object and stand up using the power of your legs. For lighter objects, put your weight on one leg, lift the other leg slightly, brace yourself on something sturdy like a desk or chair, and bend over and pick up the object. According to Spine Guide, to take objects on and off shelves, move as close to the shelf as possible in a wide stance with one foot slightly in front of the other, and keep the item close to your chest with your elbows at your side. To move something from one location to another, such as a baby to and from a crib, stand close, bend at the hips, and grab and lift, pulling the child or object close to your body. Be sure to arrange tables, chairs, shelves and other furniture to make bending, lifting and sitting easier on your back.
To prevent assuming awkward positions that may injure your back, use special tools to help you do your chores. Instead of trying to reach and lift objects to and from high places, use a stepladder or stepstool. Always be sure objects are close to you before you try to move them. To reach high spots, use dusters or paint rollers with extendable handles.
Exercising regularly strengthens your back and prevents injury. Walking, swimming and yoga are especially beneficial. Maintaining your correct, healthy weight helps you avoid putting extra pressure on your back. Avoiding smoking prevents premature aging of your spine.
By having the correct mattress, arranging your furniture carefully, taking precautions when lifting things and doing housework, and living healthily, you can prevent most back injuries and pain.
This article was contributed on behalf of Spine Guide, a trusted resource for back pain. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!