Oh, your aching back! Back pain may be mild or debilitating, chronic or occasional, located in upper back or lower back.
Depending on the cause of your back pain, and the frequency and intensity of your symptoms, treating it can be tricky. Some common treatment options include heat therapy, exercises (such as stretching) and pain relieving medications. Another common treatment for back pain is heat therapy. One of the best approaches to dealing with back pain may be to prevent it from occurring in the first place, or at least lessen the chances. Adjusting your posture may help.
Adjusting your posture to relieve back pain
In many cases of back pain, poor posture plays a role, so your mother gave you wise advice when she told you to “Stand up straight!”
When you stand up straight, your spine is properly aligned and your muscles can do their job of keeping you balanced. But when you stoop or slouch it strains and stresses muscles, resulting in fatigue and back pain over time. Try following these tips to help maintain good posture:
- Stand upright with your head facing forward
- Keep your back straight
- Balance your weight evenly on both feet
- Keep your legs straight
- Sit upright
- Keep your knees and hips level
- Keep your feet flat on the floor. This may require you to use a footstool
- You may find it useful to use a small cushion to support the small of your back
Lifting and handling
- Start with your feet apart, with one leg slightly forward to maintain balance.
- When lifting, bend your back, knees and hips slightly – but do not stoop or squat. Your legs should take the strain
- Keep the load close to your waist
- Avoid twisting your back
- Know your limits. If in doubt, ask for assistance
If you try to maintain proper posture but notice that your back muscles begin to tire, you may benefit from some strengthening exercises. Doing exercises to help strengthen the core muscles used in maintaining good posture may help to reduce the risk of injury.