You back hurts. You probably chose to read this article because you're suffering. Well, you are not alone. Our life style, which involves a lot of sitting down, causes each of us to suffer from some level of pain, at some point in our lives. Usually the pain will go away, untreated, within a month or so. Yet - it can be one hell of a month.
"But I exercise a lot, and I still hurt!" you may claim, and you will be right. Most people compensate for the many hours of sitting during work or school with sports. However, some sport activities may damage the back and cause even harder pain. Another very common factor for back pain is lack of balance between the muscles of the back and the stomach, which creates load on the spine.
1. Motion: It is not easy to change the way you move around or sit, but this may be the main reason for your suffering. It is probable that you walk or run wrongly, or even sit in a position that is challenging to your back when you watch TV. It is important that you learn, and practice, correct walking, running, bending etc. It may take some time and effort, but your body will thank you in the future.
2. Sitting up: We sit most of the day, but we don't care enough about how we sit. The correct way to sit is with your back straight and leaning on the chair's back rest, both feet on the floor and your neck pulled up while your chin is a little lowered. You should ask your boss to treat you with a chair that fits you - adjustable to knee height, with support to the lower back.
3. Relax and stretch: Every 30 minutes please get up, walk around and stretch a little. Move your hands, shoulders, neck and feet. This will help blood circulations in your body and relax the tight muscles.
4. Sleep: Soft mattresses are great for fun, but not really that great for your back. You need to get proper support to your body in order to get a full rest for your muscles while you sleep. Sleeping on your back is recommended for as many hours as possible. If you have trouble falling asleep that way - roll to your side (sleeping on your left side is healthier than sleeping on your right side).
5. Exercise: In the effort to lose weight, gain muscle mass or follow trends, people tend to neglect the specific muscles that support the spine and care for their back health. Find yourself a dedicated set of exercises that strengthen your stomach and back erector muscles. It will only take a few minutes a day, and will have significant influence on your quality of life.
6. Improve your technique: The back will be the first to get hurt if you are doing your exercise the wrong way. Make sure you wear shoes with suitable shock absorbers. Consult with a professional instructor how to do your training at the gym. Be attentive to your body and if you encounter any issues - consult again. Make sure to add sufficient stretching and relaxing at the end of your training.
7. Sudden moves: Avoid it. Sudden moves can "surprise" your muscles and cause serious injuries. Warm up before you put load on your muscles, make sure you lift heavy loads with the power of your legs and not of your back. When you twist your back make sure to do it slowly and with control. Watch your back!