Back injuries are a common occurrence – but it doesn't have to be something you’re susceptible to. Whether you've experienced injuries in the past, or have recently begun feeling back discomfort, learning what you can do today to maintain a healthy and happy back for the long-term will make your body happy and your life more enjoyable.
Check out these injury prevention strategies, and try to incorporate each of them into your routine in order to help yourself avoid future back pain and injuries.
Practice Proper Posture
Do you slouch when standing or sitting? Unfortunately, poor posture plays a major role in back pain and the gradual weakening of the back. This is especially important for those who have an office job and are sitting down majority of the day. Today, most millennials spend their day in front of a screen - and are probably the group most in need of injury prevention strategies.
To fix your posture, remember to sit up straight and place both feet flat on the ground. If you have trouble practicing good posture throughout the entire day, purchasing a pillow or other form of lumbar support which can be placed in between your back and the back of the chair is a great tool to keep your straight back in check. There are several products on the market designed for ergonomic support - and they should not be thought of as frivolous, but as an investment in spinal health.
Work Your Core
You do not have to jump into high-intensity exercises in order to improve the health of your back. In fact, low-impact cardiovascular exercise, (such as speed walking, or bicycling), will increase blood flow to the spine and provide the lower back with healing nutrients and hydration. This is especially important for those who are glued to a computer all day.
Whether exercising starts with taking the stairs up to your office, attending a dance class, or walking around the park, these small steps can have a large impact in the long-term. It all starts with changing your mindset and making minor changes like these. Just make sure to be mindful of your core!
Take a Break
Have yard work to do this weekend? Make sure you don't attempt it all in one go. Taking frequent breaks during physically demanding activity can help decrease your risk of back injury. This is particularly important if you work in a role that requires some physical labor. As a rule of thumb, train yourself to take a break every thirty minutes to an hour, just to stretch and relax your back muscles for a minute or two.
Place Emphasis on Overall Health
While it is important to take care of yourself physically, it is equally important to place emphasis on your dietary health and overall wellness. The spine’s health reflects the overall health of the body due to the nervous system connection, so making improvements to your back health will benefit your overall health, and vice versa.
I’m sure if I asked you “what could you change about your diet and habits today to improve your overall health,” a few specific things would come to mind. Could you be drinking more water? Maybe you could lower your weekly alcohol intake? Making these changes and sticking to them, even in baby steps, will improve your back health in the long run.
Book Regular Chiropractic Appointments
Scheduling an appointment with your chiropractor should not be reserved for when you are already experiencing pain or injury. By booking regular visits to the chiropractor, you will be improving your spinal alignment and reducing the risk of future complications with your back. On top of this, spinal manipulation can aid in headache prevention, improve your mental clarity, reduce neck pain, help to regulate blood pressure, and improve bowel regularity, among many other incredible benefits.
Remember that back injury prevention has no hard, fast regimen. However, by practicing the tips mentioned above, you can help reduce your chances of injury while improving your overall health. And who doesn't want that?