The subject comes up quite often—back pain. In fact, 60 percent to 90 percent of Americans will suffer some back issue or injury in their lifetime. There's a pretty good chance if you haven't had the displeasure of dealing with this common ailment, you most likely will. Back issues can impede everything from lifting items to walking and standing. Therefore, the best thing for your health is to prevent back injury. It's much easier to prevent back pain than it is to treat it.
Here are some tips to keep your back happy and you healthy.
The way you sleep, stand or sit can contribute to your back pain. Sitting down for a long period of time, especially on an unsupported surface can create great discomfort in your back.
More: 15 Ways to Cure Your Back Pain
Start Your Day Off Right to Help Prevent Back Issues
First, make sure you sleep on a supportive mattress. When that dreaded alarm clock goes off, don't just spring into action, or hit the snooze button. Instead, take the log-roll technique to get out of bed.
The log roll is exactly as it sounds; don't sit straight up before you get out of bed, but roll out of your bed. From the sitting position, roll yourself down one vertebra at a time (chest toward your knees), then slowly roll yourself up to a seated position. As you get out of bed, let your legs, not your back, lead the way. The move will help give your back a chance to ease into the day.
When you stand up, take another minute to stretch. Clasp your hands and extend your palms to the sky with a slight lean left and then to the right. Do a couple gentle forward bends by slowly rolling down and then up again, one vertebrate at a time. This will help get your back ready for the long day ahead.
More: Diet Detective: Understanding Back Pain Relief and Prevention
Prevent Back Pain
You know that exercise is essential to maintain optimal health, but if your back hurts you will more than likely not want to work out. The catch-22 is that if your back hurts and you don't exercise, you will probably still experience back pain. So, what's a better solution?
First, find out what exercises are best for strengthening your back. Consult with your physician for some suggestions. Even your personal trainer can suggest exercises that will restore your back to a pain-free condition.
More: 6 Weightlifting Tips to Avoid Back Pain
As simple as it sounds, a walk is probably the best thing you can do for your back. Walking is low impact, it uses many of your back muscles, and it's a relatively pain-free exercise get back into the swing of things. If you're well enough to kick it up a notch, try cycling as another low impact way to get your back issues straightened out.
Finally, watch what you eat to help keep your back in top shape. Being malnourished can bring about a lot of health problems, back issues included. Be sure to eat a well-balanced diet and take a multivitamin as well to fill in any gaps in your nutrition.
More: 3 Core Workouts to Keep Your Back Strong
Sign up for a fitness class.