There really is nothing worse than a bad back. When it aches or is painful just to move around it can really hold you back and can be a massive inconvenience. A bad back isn’t just like an arm or leg that you can rest until it’s better, it’s something that will bend and flex with you with every movement you make. There are lots of reasons for a bad back; here are a few common causes and what you can do about them!
When you think of posture, it’s easy to focus on the way you walk and stand. And while of course, these are important it’s the way you hold and carry yourself the rest of the time too.
Any back and neck pain chiropractor will tell you, posture is so important when it comes to maintaining good spine health. When you’re driving, how is your seat positioned? Adjusting the position and using a lumbar pillow can help.
When you’re at work, make sure your computer chair is comfortable and supportive. A high quality, ergonomically designed desk chair is the way to go.
Spend a little extra, your back will thank you for it. Hunching is bad for your back, sit up straight as much as possible and be careful when you’re picking things up from the ground. Bend your knees rather than hunching over.
Since we spend around eight hours a day lying down, if you have the wrong mattress you’re of course going to experience issues including back pain. Your mattress should be replaced every seven years to ensure it stays firm and supportive- memory foam, gel and latex are all good choices as springs wear faster.
Pillows are another thing that could be the difference between back pain and a great night’s sleep. Anything too soft or too firm is going to impact the way your body is positioned so make sure you find something that’s right for you.
Also, replace your pillow ever year as they can accumulate dust mites and their waste and be bad for your breathing. Your actual sleeping position can increase your chances of back pain too.
Lying on your front or your back, for example, can both put pressure on the lower back. If you like to sleep on your back, place a pillow under your lower spine.
The problem with carrying extra weight is that it puts strain on just about every part of your body. It affects your organs, disrupts your hormones and can make moving around more difficult which can affect your fitness levels.
It can be particularly problematic for your musculoskeletal system. As well as sore knees, feet and shins when you’re on your feet too long, if you have too much excess weight you can find that your back aches too.
A large stomach combined with a weak core can pull the pelvis out of alignment, pulling on the supporting muscles and ligaments and feeling very painful. Plus the weight of your upper body can push down on the curve of your spine again causing aches and pains.
If you’re experiencing lower back pain and aren’t sure of the cause, if you’re overweight then that might be the reason.
Back pain is debilitating, as humans we were built to walk and move around and having that taken away from you due to pain can be a difficult pill to swallow. But there are things you can do, and losing weight (if you need to) is one of them.
There are plenty of great health benefits for maintaining a healthy weight; you cut your risk of all kinds of preventable diseases, boost immunity, fertility, self esteem and much more. Getting rid of your back pain will of course be a huge bonus.
Just like any other muscle in the body, the muscles of the back can flare up when injured. Sprains and strains from accidents or sports can be extremely painful.
Depending on the extend of the incident you might feel pain anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Be careful when you’re jumping, twisting and moving around a lot- it doesn’t take much to overextend the muscle and tear the fibres.
Bed rest generally isn’t recommended for minor back injuries, getting back to your normal activities will actually prevent it from seizing up or getting worse. Ice is good for swelling, then heat for ease muscle pain. You will make a full recovery in time.
5. Dominant muscles take over
A lesser-known cause of back pain can be an imbalance between muscle strength in the body, specifically one muscle group being stronger than others and doing the majority of work.
As Pilates instructor Lesley Logan explains in this in-depth guide to beating back pain, full body functional movement training can help ease back pain that results from an overly dominant muscle group. A great example is a Pilates class that focuses on mat work and includes special equipment, such as the Cadillac.