Have you ever gone down to tie your shoe, only to spring up too quickly and twinge in pain? Or maybe it was when you picked up your 4 yr old? Or that barbell at the gym yesterday really was too heavy?
Most people have suffered back pain at some point in their lives. It really dampens the spirit and disrupts daily activities. You may concede defeat and take a hiatus on the couch until it returns to normal. But did you know that moving, stretching, and strengthening your back muscles is one of the best things you can do for back pain?
According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, lower back pain sufferers benefitted from exercise compared to no intervention at all. Gentle stretching and light aerobic activities, such as walking or swimming, can alleviate the stiffness that accompanies back pain. Try these 5 simple stretches**, which should be done on a daily basis, and you’ll be back to your normal self in no time! For a printable version click here: Get Your Back Into Action Stretches
**Disclaimer: Always consult your doctor before starting any exercise or stretching program. If exercises cause increased pain, discontinue immediately. The Healthy Diva does not accept any responsibility for injury, harm, etc incurred from using this guide.
Top Tips to Prevent and Alleviate Back Pain
Strengthen back and abdominal muscles to support the spine. Remaining active will also help to maintain your weight and decrease the pressure on your joints
Eat a healthy balanced diet:
Falls commonly lead to fractures as we age because bones become more brittle. A severe fall may lead to fractured vertebrae and back pain. Calcium and Vitamin D are vital to bone strength and the prevention of osteoporosis. Try to include some of the food sources below, or talk to your doctor about including supplements if necessary.
Food sources of calcium: low fat dairy products, fortified soy/rice/oat milk, broccoli, almonds, canned salmon or sardines(with edible bones).
Food sources of Vitamin D: fortified low fat dairy/soy/rice/oat milks, cheese and eggs.
Maintain good posture:
The majority of people spend lots of hours seated, so this point is especially important. Say no to the slouch! Keep your back upright, and feet flat on the floor. Use lumbar support cushions or foot stools if necessary. Have your workspace assessed so that it is ergonomically correct for you. Take regular breaks when seated for long periods of time. Go for a short walk to loosen muscles and stretch before returning to your desk.
Sleep on your side:
Maintain good spinal alignment with pillows for head and neck, and also between the knees to support the lower back.
- How can you remind yourself to maintain good posture?
- What other remedies have helped alleviate your pain?
I’ll be back next time with a core strengthening workout to support your spine, prevent back pain, and maintain good posture.
Keep fit and happy!