Thousands of people are affected by back pain every day. Whether it’s strained muscles or spinal stenosis, diagnosing and treating spine problems takes time. And beyond this, you’re still trying to navigate family and work life, insurance, and everyday life stressors. Such pain can also lower your quality of life: it causes you to miss social activities and hinders you from accomplishing even the simplest tasks. According to NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders), back pain contributes to many cases of job-related disabilities. If you’re the regular 9-5 person who sits all day, you need to be mindful of your spine health. Fortunately, you can take several steps to improve the health of your spine. It involves nothing more than adopting correct body mechanics or how you move and position your body. Let’s dive in!
Change Your Desk Sitting Position
Sitting jobs are not healthy for your spine. Unfortunately, many of today’s jobs include long streaks of hours sitting at a desk. Health experts are even calling it the ‘sitting epidemic.’ To escape this “sitting epidemic,” you need to improve your sitting position when working. According to expert advice from ErgoEdge.co, use an ergonomic desk and chair to improve your sitting positions. An ergonomic setup increases comfort and can make all the difference to your back health. Ensure your feet touch the floor or a footrest and avoid crossing your legs.
Move Around and Exercise Your Core Muscles
Your health comes first. Not the other way round. To improve your spine health, your core muscles need to be strong. Most people rarely use their core muscles during everyday activities. Your core muscles need to be strengthened through physical training and specific exercises. Consult with your healthcare provider or other health practitioners to understand which exercises are appropriate for you. Also, you can search platforms such as YouTube for home-based core exercises that don’t require equipment.
Adjust Repetitive Tasks
If you work in a technical field with many repetitive tasks, try and use lifting devices to help you lift loads, where possible. Additionally, switch between physically demanding tasks with less strenuous tasks. If you work at a computer or laptop, ensure your keyboard, mouse, chair, and monitor are positioned correctly. If you work in the customer service section and use the phone frequently, place the phone on speaker or consider using a headset. You also want to avoid too much bending, reaching, and twisting. This only impairs your spine, leaving you susceptible to back pain problems. Finally, reduce the time you spend pushing and carrying heavy items.
Keep a Straight Posture
Whether you’re walking, standing, or at your desk, try and maintain a straight posture. Unfortunately, it’s easy to forget how to sit straight when you’re sucked into your computer screen. This is common with the 9-5 guys who want to beat deadlines and have a pile of tasks waiting on them. If you sit at a desk for extended periods, your spine posture becomes impaired by the minute. This is why you need to take frequent breaks. Get up from your desk at regular intervals and walk around. You can also stretch or do whatever you need to straighten your posture.
Be Mindful of the Shoes You Wear
While your $800 Christian Louboutin Stilettos look good on you, they could be wreaking havoc on your spine. Whether you’re walking, running, or just going to work, the shoes you wear help support your lower back. Choose shoes with a supportive base that ensures the spine and body remain in alignment. When fitting your shoes at a retail store, ensure your shoe’s back area fits the heel perfectly but not too tight. A comfortable fit prevents pronation and reduces excess rolling of your foot to the inside or outside.
Choose Your Diet Carefully
The foods you ingest help maintain the health of your spine. Try to incorporate meats, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and fruits into your diet. These foods are rich in antioxidants agents that keep your spine healthy. Consuming foods high in calcium and vitamins such as oatmeal can curb spinal problems like osteoarthritis. Also, cut down on processed foods and limit unhealthy sugary foods to an occasional treat. Eating a healthy diet helps you maintain a healthy weight which reduces pressure on your spine. Over time, this helps to minimize back pain.
Try and incorporate one or all of the above tips into your daily life for a healthy spine. Remember, even small changes to your daily lifestyle can have significant and meaningful results. Also, pay attention to any warning signs. If you feel that something is out of the norm, visit your physician. If left untreated, back pain can become severe and render you immobile. Act today, don’t wait until the last minute!