It’s no secret that the human back has design flaws. Do you know anyone who’s made it this far in life without some kind of back pain? If so, give them an enthusiastic high-five – after you’ve both stretched first, obviously.
We all have to do back-breaking work sooner or later. Some of us do it every day. But that doesn’t mean we have to suffer. Consider one or more of these tips:
Watch what you eat
How does food have anything to do with back pain? Extra body weight can put more pressure on your back, even when you’re just walking around, doing normal activities. The pressure becomes much worse when you lift heavy things. There are many ways to safely keep your weight down, but eating healthy food, and drinking lots of water, is one of the best.
I get it. After a long, tiring day of carrying heavy boxes around a warehouse, who has the time and energy to exercise? But exercise comes in many forms. Something as simple as taking a 20-minute walk after dinner can be great for your back. Or even stretching for 10 minutes before work. You don’t need to spend hours every week in a gym to keep your back happy.
Sleep on your side
Have you ever gone to sleep feeling fine, but the next morning your back is a festival of pain? Laying on your back can do all kinds of damage, even when you are relaxed. Sleeping on your side is the best position for your back, but if you are a life-long stomach sleeper, you can reduce the pressure on your back by putting a pillow under your stomach, right about where your belt sits.
Learn how to lift safely
Maybe it sounds funny, because you have been lifting things your whole life without a teacher or coach, but if you follow some simple lifting rules you can reduce the possibility of hurting your back.
Don’t repeat the same movements
Some jobs can make you feel like a robot, doing the same movements over and over all day. In some jobs, this is difficult to avoid, but if it’s possible, change how you move once in a while, even if only a little. Variety is good for the body. Maybe you can trade positions with a coworker for a while, so parts of your back can rest. Instead of twisting your body, turn by moving your feet. If you’re carrying something heavy for a long time, try to find time for a short break.
Stress does bad things to your back, because the muscles are tense, even when you’re not working hard. Even if you can’t feel the pain immediately, you’ll definitely feel it later. There are many ways to reduce stress. Even if you only try one or two of these ideas, it’s better than nothing.
Backs are like snowflakes – healthy or not, no two are alike. Above all else, listen to your back.