5 Ways to Prevent Back Pain (that Also Treat it)
Back pain is one of the most common, and can be one of the most frustrating, limiting, and painful, conditions people deal with on a daily basis. In this case, we can offer some tips for preventing back pain – as well as what helps treat it – since the same techniques can often be used to do both! If you’re dealing with back pain, or if you’d like to make sure you don’t, check out these helpful hints.
- Posture: Sure we feel a little like a broken record, but we’ll live with it. Good posture has a lot of benefits beyond making you look a little taller. Standing up straight and training those muscles to perform properly can help prevent/alleviate back pain, neck pain, even headaches. If you find yourself slumping closer to your desk by the end of the day, remind yourself to do a quick posture check every few minutes. Then sit up nice and tall, like an invisible string is pulling you up from the top of your head. (If you’re really invested in maintaining your posture, you can even find gadgets that fit under your clothes to alert you when you slouch!)
- Core strength: If your core muscles are weak, guess what ends up taking more of the work load? Your poor back! In order to give your back a break, engage your core and start getting the right muscles to do their job. One easy tip: practice planks during your downtime in the evening. Start with just a few sessions of 15-30 seconds each and work up from there.\
- Flexibility: Are you as stiff as a board with trouble moving and bending? Ensuring you have flexibility and that your movement isn’t restricted can really improve how your back feels. While there’s no law that says you must give up flexibility as you get older, it tends to happen if you don’t work at it!
- Cardio health: This one is true movement as medicine. If you spend most of your free time on the couch, your back may pay the price. If you’re carrying extra weight, that also puts pressure on your back. While it’s true living an active life may also carry some risks, you’d much rather have the issues that come from activity than the ones that come with being sedentary. Keeping your fitness up benefits your entire body, including your back.
- Annual PT check up: Visiting your physical therapist once a year, just like you visit your family doctor is a great way to stay on top of small problems before they become bigger. If back pain is something you’re dealing with, a physical therapist is the ideal place to start. You’ll learn not only what to do to help improve your pain/discomfort, but also likely what’s helping cause it in the first place. You’ll be part of your own recovery as you work with your PT on home exercises and visit for manual (hands-on) therapy.
Although back pain is common, it isn’t inevitable – and doesn’t have to be permanent! If you’re dealing with back (or other musculoskeletal) pain, it’s time to call the experts at Body One Physical Therapy. We’re locally-owned and operated, with three locations serving Central Indiana: North Indianapolis, Fishers, and Zionsville. Don’t settle for anything less than living your best life: call Body One today.