Valentine’s Day is a special day to show our loved ones just how much we care about them. It’s also a great time to give a little of that love “back” to ourselves. Millions of Americans suffer from back pain, day in and day out. However, the good news is that this pain can often be prevented through simple lifestyle changes and exercises.
According to The National Chiropractic Association, more than 80 percent of the American population will suffer with some type of back pain during their lifetime. So let’s start showing our backs some tender loving care (TLC) right now to keep our lower back happy and healthy for a lifetime.
Here are seven back pain tips that the National Chiropractic Association offers back pain sufferers:
- Maintain a Healthy Weight and Diet – Extra weight can be a burden on your back, especially belly fat because it puts added stress on muscles, tendons and ligaments in your lower back, a common area of pain. Eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water is key in the reduction of back inflammation, a major cause of back pain. Staying hydrated helps maintain soft tissue elasticity and healthy joints.
- Stretch Your Back Muscles – Stretching is an important part of maintaining a healthy back. Stretching helps maintain a good range of motion, which reduces your risk of injuring your back. The prevailing school of thought in the chiropractic field is that back problems are often caused by tight hamstrings. That’s why some chiropractors recommend starting our day with leg stretches, as it promotes good spinal health.
- Stay Active – Staying active in all stages of your life shows your back how much you care. Whether you walk, bike, hike, do yoga or even dance, keeping your body moving is the key to a healthy back. The best exercise routine is one that combines stretching, strengthening, and aerobic activity. Consult a chiropractor for a routine that is best for you.
- Get Enough Sleep – Our body needs a good night sleep for so many things, one of them being back health. Invest in a good mattress to minimize any curve in your spine and select pillows to support your neck. If possible sleep on your side, because sleeping on your stomach can put too much stress on your spine.
- Create a Healthy Work Environment – Make your workspace comfortable and back friendly. The key is to maintain a proper posture. Make sure your work area is set up for your height. Wear comfortable, supportive shoes. Select a chair that offers lumbar back support (your knees should be at 90 degrees and your feet should rest comfortably on the floor). Refrain from holding the phone between your rear and shoulder to prevent neck pain. Get up, move around and stretch! Staying in the same position too long will tighten your muscles and cause pain.
- Employ Proper Lifting – Protect your back by lifting objects correctly. Don’t lift things that are too heavy. If you do lift an object, stand as close to it as you can. Bend your knees so your arms are at the same height as the object. Engage your stomach and leg muscles. Do not twist while lifting.
- Heed the Warning Signs of a Strained Back – Some back pain from exercising, sleeping the wrong way or other out of the ordinary activities are normal once in awhile. If the pain intensifies or won’t go away, it can get worse and become serious, even chronic!
If the pain persists, consult your local chiropractor right away. A back specialist can evaluate the problem and offer a treatment. So this Valentine’s Day, show yourself some love, and find the long-lasting relief that your back’s been craving.
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