What is back pain? “O my aching back!” We hear this line so many times. Our back is probably the most neglected part of our body. We use it everyday without our acknowledging its importance. Only when we suffer aches and pain do we realize that we need to take care of it. But do we know how?
About 80% of Americans suffer from lower back pain. There are so many back conditions such as a herniated disc, sciatica and a bulging disc. Back injury is also responsible for a quarter of insurance payments. It also accounts for the most visits to the physician. Can inversion tables have any impact on our back pain?
Back pain is a symptom for a lot of other disorders, ranging from kidney disease to spinal tumors. Not only does it occur because of an underlying condition, it is most commonly caused by stress and anxiety. This is because when we are stressed, our muscles tense, from our abdominal muscles to our hips and our backs. As this happens, our muscles “knot up.” Tense muscles will also aggravate our current back pain. Heavier people and those who are inactive, or who rarely exercise, are more prone to back pain. Chiropractors can help in reducing the back pain but extra weight it something we all can reduce without there help. Aside from the extra weight, our bones also need exercise to keep them strong. As we rely more on machines or other gadgets to do our work for us, we become lazier and just lie down, not giving our backs the regular movement it needs. However, workers who need to do heavy lifting are subject to pain too.
Did you know that spending just 10 minutes of exercise everyday can prevent back pain? Provided, of course, that proper body mechanics is observed. Here are some easy steps you can easily implement in your daily life for back pain prevention.
1. Lose the extra weight. Even just a few excess pounds of your weight, especially that bulging belly, can strain your spine. This “pulls” your body forward, thus making your back contract stronger just for counterbalance.
2. Try to keep it flat. Wearing high-heels or unsupportive shoes without the correct arch support can change the spine alignment. High heels will cause the pelvis to go forward, increasing the stress on the abdominal and back muscles. Unsupportive shoes, meanwhile, tilt the pelvis forward, causing difficulty of weight transfer when walking.
3. Sit up straight! And stand up straight too. Keeping your head and your back aligned will keep you from experiencing back pain.
4. Yoga and Pilates. Yes, this popular meditative practice can help prevent back pain. Yoga is not only physical exercise, it is mental exercise too. The stretching will help improve your spine’s flexibility and will help strengthen the muscles supporting your back. The mental exercise or meditation will help keep stress away, which is one common cause of back pain.
5. Herbal remedies. There are also some herbal leaves you can collect and boil to apply where your back pain is. The five-leaved chaste, scientifically known as vitex negundo, and the Indian beech, pongamia pinnata, are commonly used as treatment. The leaves are boiled in water, as a ball, and at a tolerable heat, applied to the area.