Your back is more prone to injury compared to most other parts of your body. This is because your spine must not only be stable enough to support the upright position, but also flexible enough to allow you to bend and twist your upper body.
A back injury may occur suddenly due to a variety of reasons such as a motor vehicle accident, a direct blow, or falling on your backside. It could also occur more gradually due to overuse, incorrect lifting, or bad posture.
Some of the most common types of injuries include back sprains and strains, ruptured or herniated discs, compression of the nerves in the spinal canal, and dislocation or fracture of the spinal vertebrae.
Here is a list of things you can do to avoid common back injuries:
- Strengthening Exercises: This is one of the most important things you can do to prevent back injury. Consult your doctor or a physical therapist about specific exercises that you can do to keep your back muscles strong as this helps reduce some of the stress on the spine.
- Stretching Your Spine: Reduced range of motion and back stiffness is a common problem faced by sufferers of back pain. Performing regular stretching exercises aimed at improving spinal flexibility can help alleviate symptoms of spinal stenosis.
- Practice Good Posture: Maintain correct posture when sitting, standing, or walking because this allows your back muscles to work more efficiently and prevents undue strain on the spine. While standing try to ensure your ears, shoulders, spine, hips, knees, and ankles are all in a straight line. When sitting, keep your feet flat on the floor, sit upright, and avoid slouching. If you have a sedentary job, try to ensure your furniture is ergonomically correct.
- Proper Lifting Technique: When picking up a heavy object off the floor, stand close to the object and bend at your knees (not your back) to reach down and grasp it. Use your arms, legs, and core muscles to do the lifting while keeping your back as straight as possible.
- Find the Right Sleeping Position: Lying on the side is a comfortable sleeping position for most people; however, it can cause a strain on your spine. Placing a firm pillow between your knees will help maintain the alignment between your spine and hips. If you prefer sleeping on your back, place a firm pillow under your knees to take the pressure off your lower back. For those suffering with a herniated disc, sleeping in the fetal position may help alleviate symptoms. Try out the different positions to see which suits you best.
Putting into practice the above tips will help relieve and resolve common back problems. However, if you do not experience any relief of painful symptoms consult your doctor or a spine specialist.
NewportCare Medical Group is a comprehensive specialty group in Newport Beach, California. For all
appointments and inquiries, please call (949) 491-9991.