Let’s face it. Life is rough…
On your back!
As we grow from children into adulthood, we take a lot of chances; risking our bodies in many ways; like playing sports, in the playgrounds, on the fields, or just running down the alley from your parent’s back gate to the street.
In fact, most all Americans are faced with back pain or injury as some stage of their lives. Some people get really unlucky and suffer severe back pain, and/or end up with a spinal disease they’re forced to live with on a daily basis.
When you look at the data, it’s no wonder back problems are such a drain on our health care system.
So how can we avoid back pain and spinal injuries?
5 Ways To Protect Your Back
Number 1.) Take regular walks: I know, I know…you’re sick of hearing about how great walking is for your health, and you might be a person who doesn’t enjoy walking. If that’s you, try this:
Step outside your home and walk only one block. Stop, take a deep breath and walk back home. The next day do the same thing. After many days of doing this, try walking two blocks. Then stay at two for awhile.
Then keep progressing. What happens here is you make walking a habit. Getting changed, putting on your shoes, and breathing in fresh air will become something you’ll look forward to.
By starting off slow, you’re removing the fear of discomfort that comes from taking a long walk when you’re out of shape.
Number 2.) Keep your weight down to a dull roar: This is why walking was number 1 on our list. If you gain too much weight your spine can develop a tilt and start absorbing your weight unevenly. This can lead to many other issues, such curvature of the spine, disc problems, etc.
Number 3.) Make sure you lift properly: This can’t be overstated, and that’s why you’ve been hearing this mantra your entire life. If you lift anything heavy always make sure you’re wearing foot wear that has traction, you’re not a on a slippery surface, and never twist as you’re lifting.
Your humble narrator ended up with a prolonged back injury (herniated disc) from changing a heavy tire break on a 737. The floor was slippery with oil, my boots were old and worn, my back was in a hunched position, and I twisted around with the 140 pound break and slipped. Basically, I did everything wrong you can think of…
…and I paid the price. Still paying the price somewhat, and it’s now 20 years later. Like I mention at the bottom of this post, be careful out there.
Number 4.) Never sit with bad posture: The torque load on your spine and discs is much higher when you’re sitting. This is why the age-old mantra of “sit up straight” is so common. Watch to make sure you never sit with poor posture, and if you have to sit for extended periods of time, be sure to get up and move around at least every 45 minutes (if you can).
If you’re traveling long distances this may not be possible, but whenever you can find a moment, get up and stretch out your legs and body.
Number 5.) Strengthen your core muscles: There are many different exercises you can do to strengthen your core (stomach) muscles, and some of them are even fun and relaxing.
Just be sure that when you do these core strengthening exercises you do them correctly and safely. If you don’t take care when exercising your core muscles you could end up hurting your back. Not helping it.
And there is one more very important method of protecting your back and spine that I’ve rarely ever seen published online; and it’s very simple.
JUST BE CAREFUL!
Yes. I know that sound contrite, but the sooner in life you realize that you need to be mindful, and careful with your body, the better off you’ll be.
Just a few examples:
- Don’t climb ladders that look dodgy
- Don’t work on a roof if you’re not in good shape
- Don’t sit in a position if it’s causing you pain.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol as it impairs your balance
- Don’t be hero on moving day – get help
I’ll give you an example. I had a friend who was always rough on his body. He over-worked and over-played all the time. Eventually he had to get knee surgery, and these are the first two things he did after healing:
- he learned how to skydive
- he jumped off the back of his truck
The jump from the truck destroyed his new knee, and he spent over a year trying to recover. They did multiple surgeries, and he had to fight off a dangerous out-of-control infection as well. He never did fully recover, and he has a permanent limp (not to mention daily swelling).
So like the old sayings go…
Take it easy, and take care!
And always, before I go, I just want end leaving you with my very biased opinion that my boss Dr. Fredrick is one of THE best chiropractors in Florida. A bold statement I know, but it’s fact I believe to be true. 😉