1. LISTEN TO YOUR BACK
Pain is a warning sign. Your body is telling you that you have already or are about to cause damage. If what you are doing hurts then STOP. Do not try to push through the pain.
Regular exercise is important to help maintain mobility and strength. It should be done without pain and it should be done regularly. Brisk walking, swimming and cycling are all excellent exercises, but you should do what is suitable for you and what you enjoy.
3. WARM UP
You should warm up your body before any form of physical activity, whether it is sports, gardening or DIY'ing. This prepares the body for action and helps to prevent injuries.
4. COOL DOWN
Cooling down and stretching after exercise or physical activity is just as important as a warm up. Never "bounce" your stretches and do it gently without pain.
5. LIFT CORRECTLY
You don't have to lift something heavy in order to hurt your back. Picking up something light incorrectly is far more likely to hurt your back than picking up heavy objects correctly. Lifting things away from your body is also likely to cause damage. When you pick up anything, no matter how heavy, get it as close to your body as you can and keep your back as straight as you can and don't twist with it.
6. MOVE NOW AND THEN
Whether you are at home, at work or in the car, prolonged sitting causes load on the discs and weakness of the muscles. Get up and move every now and then, even if it is only for a minute. The body is designed for movement not for slouching in front of the TV or driving for hours on end.
7. GET THE RIGHT FURNITURE
So called "comfortable chairs" do not do your back any good. They are usually too low, too soft and the seat is too long with a rounded back. They force you to slouch and sit awkwardly which puts stress on your back. Choose a chair that is supportive, allows you to sit up correctly with your feet flat on the floor. The right bed is also important. Beds can be too hard. The base of the bed should be firm and the mattress should be soft enough to mould to the contours of your body but be firm enough to give you support in the right places. Futons are not good for most backs and the word "Orthopaedic" when applied to beds means absolutely nothing.
8. SLEEP PROPERLY
Sleep in a comfortable position. On your side in the "fetal" position is usually the least stressful on your back. Sleeping on your front puts most stress on your back and neck and can lead to trouble. Using a pillow of the right height which supports the neck is also important.
9. USE MEDICATION WISELY
All drugs have side effects so they should be used wisely. The use of pain killers and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs only helps to mask the symptoms and not to sort out the problem.
10. CONSULT YOUR CHIROPRACTOR
If you have a long term problem, whether it is just irritating or disabling, or if you have a recurring problem, then chiropractic treatment can probably help. Chiropractors can usually give you marked relief from pain and discomfort and improved quality of life as well as decreasing the likelihood of a recurrence.
Posted by Dr. Babak Missaghi