You’ve heard it from everyone around you, a dull ache, pain down the leg, even throbbing so bad that you’ve had to miss a couple of events. If you’ve had back pain before, you know how debilitating it can be and the statistics show that you are not alone:
- In six-month period, five in 10 Canadians suffered low back pain
- Up to 85% of working people can expect to experience low back pain during their lifetime
- In Canada, the low back pain-related estimate of the medical costs ranges between 6 and 12 billion
Muscles, ligaments, and nerves support your entire body. That’s why it is so important to take care of your back- a healthy back is essential to your overall health.
Here are 5 SIMPLE ways to do that:
1. Stretch It Out
Start your day in the morning by stretching. Do simple stretches to stay agile. In developed countries, 75% of workers sit for long periods of time and have extremely sedentary lifestyles. In addition to that, excessive periods of sitting or standing decreases your muscles strength, increases fatigue and stress on the discs. Ensure to move around and shift your posture every 20 minutes.
2. Work on your BMI!
Excessive weight is another reason for low back pain. Our spine is our only support system to the rest of the body. Extra bodyweight puts more pressure on our spines and other joints to work that much harder. Research shows that a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) increases the risk of suffering low back pain. With growing rates of obesity, Canadians are increasing their chances of developing low back pain (CCA, 2018)
3. Walk well!
The most number of bones you have in your body are in your feet! Your feet also support every other joint and take on a lot of weight- treat them right with a good pain of shoes and custom orthotics. A custom orthotic is a device designed to align the foot and ankle into the most anatomically efficient position. Custom orthotics work on your feet much like glasses work on your eyes – they reduce stress and strain on your body by bringing your feet back into proper alignment. (TOG, 2017)
4. Maintain Your Posture
Remember what your mom used to say? Sit straight! Maintaining good posture while standing, walking, sitting, lifting or even lying is important. You want to be able to put the least amount of stress on supporting muscles and ligaments. Speak with your Chiropractor about what a Neutral Spine could do for you- you’ll be surprised!
5. Work on that Core!
Don’t worry- we don’t mean attaining a 6 pack. Core muscles which include your low back and abdominals- need to be strong to take pressure off the low back.
Unfortunately, for most of us our core muscles are rarely used during everyday activities; they need to be toned through specific, targeted exercises. These exercises are simple and can be performed as part of your routine!
It has recently been shown that low back pain is a key drivers for opioid prescription. New guidelines are showing that manual therapy, self-management, and physical activity can help with low back pain more effectively than opiods.
Chiropractors are trained professionals that specialize in joint and muscle dysfunction. Having a conversation with your chiropractor is a great way to reduce and prevent these symptoms and to keep you pain-free!