Saturday, March 14, 2015

Treat and Prevent Back Pain, Simply and Effectively

For many people, back pain and other spinal issues are a part of life. From old injuries to daily stresses and strains, there are a variety of factors that can contribute to chronic back pain, some of which can result in reduced mobility and poor quality of life. Thankfully, though, there are simple, yet effective, ways to treat back pain, as well as prevent injuries and other complications. Keep reading for tips on addressing discomfort and protecting your back in the interest of long-term health and mobility.

Stay Strong

One of the best ways to prevent pain and injury is to keep the back strong and toned. Core strength can help, too, as a strong midsection will aid in balance and promote healthier posture. Exercises that target the back and core include swimming, elliptical workouts, yoga, pilates, dance workouts and free weights. Also, since being overweight can add excess train to the back, as well as affect balance and stability, cardiovascular exercise is extremely important. For maximum benefits, 30 minutes of cardio activity, three or four times a week, is recommended.

Since exercise can result in injury and wear and tear to the back, safety tips like the following are beneficial:

•    Don't overdo it. To prevent injury, it's important to take it slow, and match activities to your overall health and skill levels.
•    Use the right gear. The proper footwear, supportive braces for the back and knees, and other types of protective fitness gear can enhance safety and stability, which can reduce the risk of stress and injury.
•    Pay attention to form. When performing any type of exercise, paying attention to form and alignment can prevent injury and enhance the effectiveness of physical activity.

Preventative Care

During the course of a normal day, the back can bear a fair amount of stress and strain. Over time, daily activities, both at home and at work, can result in repetitive stress injuries to the bones, nerves and tissues of the back and spine. For example, sciatica, herniated discs, and tight muscles are often caused by simple, everyday activities like lifting, twisting and even walking. To relieve stress and prevent complications, the following methods can be helpful:

•    Massage. When it comes to issues like muscle soreness, spinal compression, nerve pain and aching joints, massage can be extremely effective in providing relief and preventing injury and discomfort. In fact, for individuals who suffer from chronic back pain, frequent massages can provide significant advantages to both health and quality of life. For these people, at-home massage using professional massage tables can offer sustained relief from pain and discomfort, as well as prevent future flareups.
•    Stretching. Stretching exercises can relieve tension, stiffness, soreness and compression, and may also prevent injury to the spine. What's more, frequent stretching can enhance range of motion, which aids in stability and mobility.
•    Awareness. In protecting the back and overall health, in general, a little awareness goes a long way. For example, by paying attention to posture, as well as taking the proper precautions when working, exercising and performing other tasks and activities, stress, discomfort and a variety of injuries can be prevented.
•    Sleep. Sleep gives the body time to heal and repair; without sufficient rest, pain and discomfort can worsen, and the risk of injury is increased. Also, individuals who suffer from chronic back pain may benefit from changing sleeping positions or using pillows between the knees or beneath the lower back.

Although back pain and injuries are extremely common, the tips provided here can help address discomfort, as well as prevent injury and a worsening of symptoms. If you suffer from back pain or a spinal injury, talk to a doctor about available treatment options.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

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