Back pain costs industry millions of dollars in lost time. It is one of the major burdens on the health and insurance industries. Millions of people suffer daily misery because of it. Yet most people could avoid it altogether by following this simple back-to-health program.
1. Don’t do things that could hurt your back.
The first activity that comes to mind is lifting. Do you keep heavy items to lift close to your body and use your legs to do the actual lifting? Bend your legs, not your back. This is especially important in the gym. Use a weight belt to do squats or deadlifts.
At the risk of sounding like a nagging mum, do you pay attention to your posture? How you stand and particularly how you sit? An upright spine is subject to much less stress than one bent and twisted by slouching and poor movement habits.
Also consider when you play sports or train. Do you warm up and stretch beforehand and afterwards? Taking these simple precautions is the daily line of defense in preventing back injuries and pain.
2. Do exercise that strengthens your back.
It’s pretty obvious that the stronger your back muscles are, the more support your spine has. Weak back muscles mean the possibility of spinal injury or back muscle strain is much greater when you engage in any activity or exercise where the load weight is taken by your back.
Weight bearing exercise, done properly, will build a very strong back. Be careful though, not to overdo it especially if you are just beginning to use exercise to strengthen your back. Start slowly with lighter exercises or without weights.
3. Strengthen your abdominal muscles.
The abdominals and the back muscles work together to make a strong middle section which supports your upper body. You can’t make a really strong back and neglect the abdominal muscles.
Strengthen your abs with exercises every two days. Try crunches for upper abs and leg raises for lower abs. About 3 sets of 25 each will take less than ten minutes. Your abdominals are a whole set of muscles that work together to support your upper body weight. So a variety of exercises is best in order to condition the transverse abdominus, obliques and intercostals as well as the upper and lower muscles.
4. Keep the body fat low.
Abdomens bulging with excess weight strain the spinal alignment of the low back so keep the weight off your belly. The more body fat you carry the tougher it is on your back.
Keep your diet nutritious, low in fat and take in 4-6 smaller meals a day rather than fewer but larger meals. Building your muscle and raising your metabolism assists greatly in burning off excess body fat and keeping the over weight problem at bay.
Stick to these simple rules and you will not only lessen the likelihood of back strain but your back in general will feel much healthier. That backache you wake up with will probably disappear.