8 simple lifestyle changes to help prevent back pain
Around 80% of us will experience back pain in our lives. Thankfully, when combining healthy habits with your regular osteopath treatment, it can be prevented and is usually short lived. Back pain is a symptom, not a diagnosis.
Your osteopath will find the root cause of your discomfort, ease and balance your body as a whole and can also suggest ways to prevent it from re-occuring in your everyday life. Osteopaths treat the underlying cause for a better outcome and a long term solution to your back pain.
You can reduce your risk of back pain with simple lifestyle changes. One of the best ways to prevent back pain is to keep your back muscles strong and active. If you are sitting for long periods, always try to move every 30 minutes.
Follow these steps to protect your spine and prevent back pain
- Exercise – focus on back strengthening and stretching moves at least twice a week – see our video page for effective stretches
- Practice good posture – especially when sitting at a desk or using your phone. Work at an ergonomic station set up correctly for your body – get in touch for your personalised desk set up appointment with Chantal
- Lift correctly – if you lift something heavy, bend your knees and keep your back straight. This way your leg muscles will do most of the work.
- Stay at a healthy weight – being overweight can put strain on your back, get active and eat a balanced diet to help you
- Sleep on your side at night to ease pressure on your back – see our blog on sleep positions for more information on sleep and spinal health
- Reduce stress – this causes tension in your back muscles
- Quit smoking – it can cause persistent back pain and research shows it can make existing back pain worse
- See an osteopath for a treatment plan to support your healing
Back pain can be acute (short term) or chronic (long term). It can feel like a sudden, sharp pain or a dull, constant ache.
Acute back pain lasts from a few days to a few weeks. It can be caused by an accident, or by lifting something that’s too heavy, but back pain is more commonly the result of incorrect form in everyday actions. Simple things can cause pain in your back, such as turning to lift or reach for something, sitting incorrectly at a desk all day, bending over whilst cleaning or carrying heavy shopping bags.
Chronic back pain lasts for more than 3 months and is less common than acute back pain. By seeing an osteopath regularly, most chronic back pain can be treated without surgery.
With these 8 lifestyle adjustments, back pain can be prevented. Don’t ignore your pain, if symptoms worsen see your osteopath or consult your GP.