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If you have ever had a bad back, you’ll understand the unbearable impact that it can have on your health, physically and mentally. Everyday tasks can be very difficult; this makes you feel hugely restricted in day-to-day life. Back pain can greatly reduce a person’s quality of life, so it is super important that we look after our backs and spines, by integrating a focus on back health into our fitness regimes.
Bad posture is very likely to put a lot of pressure on your spine and can cause degenerated discs to be increasingly sore. You need to care for the natural curve in your back by using an specialised chair and set a timer on your phone to remind yourself to check your posture as your work throughout the day. Make sure you get up and walk around at least once an hour if you sit most of the day. If you can, use a stand-up desk for at least part of the day.
Many people think that smoking decreases the supply of blood to the discs between the vertebrae, and this is thought to lead to these discs degenerating. While smoking is very frequently related with problems of the lung and heart, the unhealthy habit hurts almost all organs. A lot of studies have related smoking to inflammatory back pain and psoriatic arthritis. Also, smoking cigarettes is linked with weakened immunity, vision loss, and risk of osteoporosis, just to name a few lesser-known smoking dangers.
Exercise will both prevent and reduce back pain. If you’re overweight, it would be greatly helpful for your spine and posture to lose some of those extra pounds. Over-the-counter painkillers can help in the short term but if back pain persists, go to a doctor. You may feel like resting, but moving is good for your mental health and, you guessed it, your back. Exercises for lower back pain can strengthen back, stomach, and leg muscles. They help support your spine, relieving back pain.
Consider your work environment. If you work in an office look at your workspace and try to think of ways to adapt it to help you manage your back pain and posture. If your work is more manual in nature try to be aware of and work according to health and safety procedures such as manual handling or loading procedures.
Whether it’s a laptop bag, a briefcase or an overstuffed handbag, always carrying your stuff on the same shoulder or in the same hand will eventually cause postural changes in your spine, putting extra stress on one side. If at all possible, use a rucksack that distributes weight evenly — or at the very least, swap sides regularly. And do regular bag clear-outs so you aren’t carrying unnecessary weight!
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