Our modern, sedentary lifestyle, our working practices, and a multitude of factors can cause or worsen back pain. As back pain can have a negative impact on your well-being in everyday life, it’s important to manage it and reduce its effects. In the following, you’ll find relevant tips to help you prevent or relieve your back and lumbar pain!
Statistics speak volumes
Back pain is unfortunately quite common among the population. According to data published by Statistics Canada, 4 in 5 Canadians will experience at least one episode of back pain in their lifetime. In Quebec, 700,000 people suffer from it on a daily basis, and 17% of Quebecers consider back pain to be their main health problem. Although this type of pain is common, its causes are difficult to define in most individuals, and up to 90% of people who report back pain are unable to clearly identify its cause. In most cases it is multifactorial and directly related to lifestyle habits.
Tips to prevent back pain
As always when it comes to health, better be safe than sorry. Prevention is key, but the following tips will also help you relieve back pain. Remember, however, that if your pain persists for more than a few days, a medical consultation may be necessary to better identify the causes.
Maintain good muscle fitness
Good musculoskeletal health is essential to prevent muscle and joint pain. Back pain can be directly related to a lack of mobility in the thoracic spine (upper back) or lumbar (lower back) regions. In addition, poor muscle tone, especially in the abdominal area, can also be detrimental to back health and cause pain. For these reasons, good musculoskeletal health is proving fundamental in preventing many aches and pains, including back pain.
To keep your muscles and joints healthy, avoid sedentary lifestyles and make regular physical activity a part of your daily routine. No need to become an Olympic-level athlete, on the contrary! There are a multitude of sports, and some of them can easily be integrated into your everyday activities. Walking can be done by almost everyone and helps maintain muscle tone and joint health. Yoga, in turn, contributes to muscular strength and endurance, as well as good posture.
Adopt an ergonomic posture
Unfortunately, too many people do not pay attention to their posture, especially at work. When we work long hours at a desk in a seated position, we put different parts of our body under considerable pressure. The muscles in the neck, shoulders and back are contracted for an extended period to maintain the body’s position. Thus, when you don’t adopt an ergonomically optimal working position, you risk in the long-term to suffer discomfort, which can develop into real chronic pain when left untreated. It is therefore advisable to learn how to adopt an ergonomic posture, especially when working at a desk.
Pay special attention to sleep patterns
Poor sleep habits are often an aggravating factor in back pain. To prevent back pain, it is generally recommended that you sleep on your back with two pillows under your knees, or on your side with one pillow between your knees. It’s also a good idea to seek professional advice when shopping for a mattress and pillows in order to choose the best match for your sleeping habits and health condition. Adding these simple tips to your routine will help you to prevent back pain!