Today I’m moving. I’ve moved so many times in my life I’ve lost count. I’m not looking forward to it for several reasons, but because of some tricks I’ve learned along the way, back pain isn’t one of those reasons.
For many people like me, moving can greatly increase your risk of back pain. Lifting boxes, sometimes very heavy ones, puts strain on the back. This is especially true if you’re not accustomed to lifting and don’t know the proper way to safely lift a heavier load.
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Back pain is no joke. It affects millions and greatly impacts your quality of life. Whether the pain is short-term and severe or chronic, it can slow you down and make life very difficult. You can, however, greatly reduce your risk of back pain—and even help to eliminate any pain you already have.
Lifting, for example, can be a major risk for back pain if you do it incorrectly. The main thing to remember is to avoid bending over at your waist to pick up an item. Instead, bend your knees, squat, tighten your core, and lift with your legs. This can prevent all kinds of injuries.
Another way to prevent back pain is through exercise. If you have a strong back, it is more resistant to wear and tear and potential injury. Furthermore, regular exercise reduces muscle tension and limits inflammation. So if you tend to hurt your back a lot, one of the best things you can do is to work it out. Sitting on the sofa immobile will only lead to increased tightness and pain. You can start by adding some hip bridges, side planks, or lunges to your workout. Each of these exercises will strengthen your core, stretch your back, and build muscles that help to support your spine.
Paying attention to your posture and positioning is another way to prevent back pain. For example, if you spend a lot of time sitting at work, be sure you have the proper chair. Make sure your chair has a supportive back, especially for your lower back. It’s also recommended to have your knees slightly higher than your hips, so if you need to prop your feet up with a stool, do that. Finally, be sure your keyboard or the top of your desk is at elbow height or slightly lower to prevent strain in your upper back and shoulders.
Back pain is a common nuisance, but it doesn’t have to be. Protect your back by putting in the effort to keep it strong and free of stress—and you’ll find your next move may just be pain-free.