Pain in your back can be a mere nuisance that interferes with certain activities, or disabling enough to lay you up on the couch for days. A leading cause of missed workdays and visits to doctors’ offices, back pain affects up to 80% of people at some point in their lives.
You may experience back pain after an incident, like twisting and picking up a fallen pair of keys or moving furniture. But this incident didn’t actually cause your back pain — it was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. Your daily lifestyle may be the real culprit.
At Edward Carden, MD, the team identifies the source of your back pain to find the ways to administer the appropriate treatments, relief, and prevention of future problems.
We understand the impact that back pain can have on your life. We recommend that you follow these lifestyle tips to minimize your back pain.
Keep yourself active
An active body is more mobile, flexible, and healthy. Your ligaments and tendons are less likely to tear under stress when they’re flexible.
Movement and activity are lifestyle strategies that support a healthy, pain-free back. Try the following to ease and prevent back pain:
- Avoid sitting for long periods of time
- Stretch your back before exercising or doing another physical activity
- Combine strengthening and low-impact aerobic exercises for best results
- Swim or ride a stationary bike if you have limited mobility
- Try gentle exercise formats, such as yoga, tai chi, or Pilates for stretching
- Establish a walking routine
We can also prescribe specific exercises that strengthen the muscles in your back, abdomen, and hamstrings to further reduce pain.
Refine your posture and form
Good posture and body mechanics discourage back injury and pain. Movements that cause jolts or strains can position your back awkwardly and result in injury. Avoid causing additional damage to your back by learning and practicing good body mechanics.
To reduce the risk of irritation and injury, stand up straight and put your weight on your feet. When lifting, squat down rather than bending over, then straighten your legs and keep the object close to you as you lift it.
If you sit at a desk, opt for a chair that swivels and supports your lumbar (lower back) region. Keep your computer or device at eye level to prevent slouching. Choose a medium-firm mattress to promote back health even while you sleep.
Support your overall health
A healthy body is less vulnerable to back pain. General physical fitness and good nutrition may help you avoid or minimize the effects of some diseases and conditions that can cause back pain. Even if you should suffer a back injury, a healthy body is faster to heal.
Seek expert management for chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, which can damage the nerves in your back.
Treat pelvic inflammatory disease and bladder or kidney infections promptly. Both conditions can cause back pain. Get vaccinated for shingles if you’re eligible, since this illness can cause pain in the nerves near your back.
A healthy weight is also key to reducing back pain. Carrying too much weight can put unnecessary strain on your back. If you smoke, quit. Smoking increases your risk of disc degeneration.
Seek medical support when you have a flare-up
Back pain flare-ups are best treated early, before they lead to complications. When new pain occurs or existing pain worsens or changes, seek prompt medical treatment. Undiagnosed back pain may be the sign of an underlying medical condition that requires attention.
When you put off treatment, you risk making your back pain worse. Seek immediate care if your back pain resulted from an automobile accident or fall, or if it’s accompanied by:
- Dizziness or fainting
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Weakness or numbness
We here at Edward Carden, MD are ready to help you find relief from back pain and prevent it in the future. Call the Sherman Oaks, California, office to set up an appointment or use the online tool to schedule.