Back pain can really intervene with your everyday activities. Sciatica, herniated discs and lower back strain are only a handful of examples of back issues you may experience at some point in your life. Since multiple nerves run along your spine and spread out to your extremities, back conditions may lead to pain not only there, but also in your legs or hips. As we have mentioned in a previous article, no matter which segment of your spine hurts, it should not be left untreated, as it may lead to further health complications. In today’s article, we’re revealing 4 more back pain prevention tips.
1. How you sleep matters
It may seem that back pain is the result of routine activities done incorrectly and affecting our spine negatively, such as slouching while sitting for an extended period of time, walking in high heels, or even carrying an overly heavy bag or purse in one hand. These, indeed, may contribute to your back problems; however, did you know that certain sleep positions can exacerbate already existing back pain? As a corollary to that, sleeping in proper positions may help you relieve pain. At RiteCare Urgent Care in Hialeah, we always recommend the following sleeping positions to our patients:
- Best position: Sleep on your back – this is the best sleeping position, especially for back pain sufferers, as it distributes the weight evenly across your body;
- Keep your spine in a neutral position – in order to do so, you may need to buy a foam or innerspring mattress that will keep your spine supported;
- Second-best position: Sleep on your side – if you are a side-sleeper, the best position to sleep in is with your legs pulled up towards your chest, with a pillow between them;
- Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach – it puts a strain on your back; however, if you can’t fall asleep in any other position than on your belly, then you should put a pillow underneath your pelvis to lift your hips and ease the back strain;
2. Stretch your hamstrings
Another thing you should consider doing for your back problems is stretching your hamstrings. Not many know that tight hamstrings can contribute to back pain. The hamstring muscles run along the back of each thigh from the hip all the way to the knee. When tight, they can cause stress in the lower back. Simple stretches – even some beginning yoga poses – are the best solution for dealing with this source of pain. They will decrease the pressure on your lower abdomen and pelvis. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all hamstring exercises are appropriate for all types of back issues. Before starting your stretching routine, you should consult your doctor or physical therapist first to find out which exercises are best for you.
3. Quit smoking
No matter how unbelievable it sounds, smoking may be a factor in back pain. When you smoke, your blood vessels narrow, which results in a restricted flow of nutrient-rich blood reaching the spine. It may lead to spinal disc degeneration, slower healing and increased vulnerability to getting injured. Beyond that, smoking may increase pain sensitivity in the long run. It’s also important to bear in mind that heavy smokers aren’t the best candidates for back surgery since smoking has a negative effect on the immune system and increases the risk of infection after surgery. At RiteCare Urgent Care in Hialeah, we always counsel all of our patients to quit smoking as soon as possible.
4. Lift carefully
Lifting things is a fairly common activity. But did you know that your lifting technique may negatively impact the condition of your spine? Never bend from the waist when you’re lifting an object. The proper technique involves bending your knees, squatting, tightening your abs, and holding the item close to your body as you stand up. This way you don’t put too much pressure on your back, and you avoid straining it.
When you should see a doctor?
If you experience nagging back pain that lasts for an extended period of time, you should not ignore it. Immediately see a physician who will find the source of your pain and help you eliminate it. At RiteCare Urgent Care in Hialeah, we treat patients who suffer from mild to severe back pain, and we always give them useful back pain prevention tips. Pay us a visit when it’s most convenient for you. We are open 7 days per week after business hours. You can also visit our website to find out about all services that we provide.