Back pain is common and usually affects everyone at some point. It often occurs more frequently as you grow older. Pain can either be sharp and sudden or dull and constant. Acute back pain lasts a few days or weeks while pain that lasts more than 6 months is considered chronic. Adopting a few good habits and taking certain precautions can help prevent back pain.
Exercise is very important as it strengthens the back to withstand the stresses of everyday activities. Strengthening as well as stretching exercises such as yoga are recommended at least 2 to 3 times a week. However, the kind of exercise and intensity is an important factor, and it is necessary to consult your doctor before engaging in an exercise program if you have a history of back pain.
Maintaining a good posture prevents strain on the back. While standing, hold your head erect and your shoulders back. Sitting puts more stress on the back than standing, so ensure you have adequate back support with your knees at a slightly higher level than your hips and your feet flat on the floor. While working on a computer, the screen should be at the level of your eyes and your forearms and thighs should be parallel to the floor. Try to take short breaks from your work to prevent strain.
Ensure that you use correct lifting techniques: squat to lift a heavy object. Always lift objects with your leg muscles and not with your lower back and keep the objects close to the body.
Being overweight or obese can strain the back muscles. Hence, it is advised that you maintain a healthy weight and eat a healthy diet.
Smoking reduces blood flow to the spinal discs and causes back pain. So, quitting smoking can help you keep your back healthy and strong.