7 Tips For Reducing Back Pain

What a Pain in the Back!!

80% of adults in North America will have at least one episode of low-back pain severe enough to lose time from work. It is one of the most common ailments in American society today.

In Americans younger than 45 years the most common cause of disability and doctor visits is for back complaints. Although many of these individuals will recover within 7 days, chronic lower back pain continues to rise dramatically.

Although low back pain is universal and has been a part of our society forever, low back disability is a more recent epidemic. The cost of low-back pain in the U.S. as a result of time lost from work and disability is estimated to be $75 billion per year.

7 Tips For Reducing Back Pain:

1. Weight Loss – If you are carrying around extra weight, even as little as 10 pounds can put an unhealthy load on your spine contributing to your back pain. Through a consistent and well-planned diet and exercise program you can begin to lose those unwanted pounds and start feeling better about your body.

2. Strengthen The Core of the Body – The “Core” or trunk, consisting of the abdomen and back is the powerhouse of the body where all other movement originates. Pilates-based exercises are a great way to focus on strengthening the deeper core muscles that surround and protect the spine.

3. Improving Flexibility of the Lower Extremities – Stretching exercises designed to stretch and elongate the muscles of the legs and lower back will help to prevent injuries by keeping the muscles supple and flexible. Focus on stretching the hamstrings, quadriceps, and the muscles surrounding the hips.

4. Improve Posture – Your posture while sitting and standing has a huge effect on the pain and stiffness you are feeling in your back and even shoulders and neck area. By strengthening your core musculature along with the muscles of the middle back region you will notice your posture improving as well. Pilates exercises again have been proven to improve posture through strengthening the deeper abdominal muscles.

5. Using Proper Body Mechanics – When bending over or lifting objects from the floor it is important to keep your spine in a safe neutral position with the abdominal muscles contracted. Pilates exercises focus on strengthening the spine while standing, sitting, kneeling, or lying in this neutral position. This is the safest and healthiest way to work, exercise, and play without the risk of injury.

6. Avoid Sitting for Long Periods – Work that involves sitting for long periods of time or driving equipment that vibrates can aggravate the muscles of your back. Make sure you have an ergonomically correct chair and desk space and are sitting upright with your bottom up against the back of the chair and your shoulders stacked up over your hips.

7. Long –Term Exercise Program – Adhering to a regular long term exercise program that involves the aspects mentioned above such as: core strengthening, flexibility, postural exercises, and 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise most days of the week will contribute to a healthier spine and a happier you!

Copyright (c) 2007 Jennifer Adolfs