Five tips for avoiding back pain

Avoiding Back Pain

Back pain is an all-too-normal part of life, especially as you get older. It’s easy to strain your back from sitting too long or picking up heavy objects. In these cases, you simply need to rest and try some at-home treatments to reduce your pain. More serious back pain, though, will require professional treatment.

Severe and long-lasting back pain that is accompanied by other symptoms, like numbness, may be the sign of a serious condition. The physical therapists at Whatcom Physical Therapy can help treat back pain when it’s severe and recurring. However, you should do your best to follow the steps below to help prevent this kind of pain in the first place.

Five steps for preventing back pain

1. Maintain a healthy weight — Being overweight puts extra stress on your spine. Regularly exercise and eat a healthy diet to help keep your weight in its ideal range. 

2. Maintain good posture — Sitting or standing with poor posture puts extra pressure on your lower back. Stand straight with your head up to help keep your spine straight. When sitting, keep your knees and hips level while keeping your head and back straight. Feet should be flat on the ground and, if you’re using a computer, the screen should be level with your eyes.

3. Be careful when lifting objects — Do not bend at the waist or twist when picking up heavy objects. This is a quick and sure way to hurt your back. Instead, bend at the knees and squat. Let your legs do most of the heavy lifting. 

4. Stay active — Stretching and exercise can help keep the muscles and connective tissues in your back flexible and strong. Find some activities you enjoy that could help keep your back more fit to prevent pain.

5. Quit smoking — Smoking is frequently connected to lung and heart problems, but it can hurt your back too. Smoking inhibits the blood flow to your spine. This means your spine gets less of the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function properly.

Contact Whatcom Physical Therapy for back pain treatment

Whether you follow these tips or not, if you develop severe back pain you need to see a physical therapist for help. Contact us today to talk to one of our team members about finding relief from your back pain.