Back pain severe enough to to be called chronic can make it difficult or impossible to do the simplest things, is a fact of life as we age and wear out. In nature, everything is in a constant state of decay and this is very apparent as we get older and all the aches and pains associated with age catch up with us.
Back pain is a normal part of aging. It is something we don't need or want. But it happens anyway. An article in the Joplin Globe stated that back injuries are the number two reason people see a doctor. Chronic backaches can be an occupational risk, even if you don't do any heavy lifting at work or at home. Twisting motions, incorrect lifting techniques and some housework activities all contribute to excess stress and strain on our backs.
Medical doctors and chiropractors are seeing more back problems every year. Part of this increase could be related to our life styles, bad posture (sitting and standing), being over weight, and lack of exercises. Exercise and posture are important considerations, but most of us don't give them a thought. Consider this, when we do things that are athletic in nature, we always take a few minutes to stretch, loosen up and get ready. But when we go to work, or do strenuous things at home, we just do it, with no thought except for the task or job at hand. We do prevention exercises before we play, but we don't do any preparation before we do work.
Back pain doesn't just happen overnight. Wear and tear happens as we age and these small injuries that are shrugged off, lead to serious back pain that we don't recover from. The National Institutes of Health report that 80 percent of Americans will suffer back pain some time in their life. It is a fact that back injuries and pain is the number one reason most people miss work.
Back pain treatment has become a multi-million dollar business. Doctors, chiropractors, therapists and ergonomic experts all make very good money treating the pain in our backs. Any safety or workers' compensation manager will tell you that pain costs us millions every year in lost production, lost revenue and increased health care costs.
As it turns out, there is something we can do to reduce the stiffness and soreness of back pain. Compare the injuries that athletes get to the rest of us. Think about preventing back injuries, the big difference between an athlete and a couch potato is the regimen of stretching and exercise that an athlete does on a regular basis.
Here are some simple things to help relieve the back pain:
1. Sit up straight. Your mother probably told you to straighten up many times when you were young. She was right. Most of us become couch potatoes and slump or slouch when we sit. We don't think about it, but poor posture puts extra strain on the back muscles, tendons, discs and joints. It can cause nerve damage that may lead to pain in the back and legs, headaches and increases fatigue. Sitting up straight is especially important if you sit at a desk or use a computer for long periods of time.
2. Support your back: A lot of money is spent on ergonomic devices at work and many office chairs come with all kinds of adjustments to support your back and cost a lot of money. What you really need is something to support your back. This could be as simple as a rolled up towel. Or if you feel the need to spend some money, buy a lumbar pillow. A lot of reasonably priced office chairs offer lumbar support.
3. Stretch when you get up: Take a lesson from your animals. The first thing an animal does when it gets up is stretch. Sometimes they make a production out of it. Stretching will loosen the muscles, tendons and make you feel better. Take a deep breath while you stretch to increase the oxygen level in the blood and brain.
4. Watch your posture: Most people think of posture as something they do when they stand up. But posture involves more than standing, especially at work and more especially if you sit at a desk most of the day. When you sit, keep your feet on the floor. Sitting too high will cause you to want to slouch as you try to support your feet.
If you use a computer, make sure your monitor is at eye level. This will keep the vertebrae in your neck and spine straight and reduce the strain and fatigue caused by a bent-over (even slightly) posture.
When you sit in a chair, sit as far back as you can and support your lower back. If the seat back is adjustable, keep it as nearly upright as you can. This will keep your back, neck and head in alignment and have the added benefit of reducing fatigue caused by stress on your back.
Try these simple things. Stretching exercises and correct posture can be a learned habit if we pay attention to them. Back pain happens over a period of years, caused by many eventsba, including aging. But if we get in the habit of stretching and sitting properly, even at home, we'll go a long way toward reducing the pain and improving the quality of our lives.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Marshall_Crum
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