There are two different types of pain. First, there is acute pain. This is defined as pain that is the result of an injury, illness, recent surgery or inflammation. Acute pain is only temporary and usually goes away after the underlying cause has been resolved. The second type of pain is chronic pain. This pain is defined as pain that overwhelms all other symptoms and becomes the problem. It is a pain that can last for weeks, months or even years. Chronic pain is said to be the most costly health problem in the U.S today. Estimated annual costs, which include medical expenses, lost productivity and compensation payments, are more than $500 billion. A good percentage of chronic pain sufferers have back pain.
Good posture plays a key role in keeping your spine healthy. It helps to prevent back and neck pain and prevents injuries to the spinal structures.
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Things to remember to maintain good posture include
- While standing and walking, keep the head level and not too far forward. Keep your feet slightly apart with your weight toward the balls of your feet and avoid locking your knees.
- Sitting requires an incredible amount of muscular effort to keep the body erect. The correct posture for sitting requires sitting back in the chair and using the chair’s back support. Most people do the opposite and lean forward in a hunch while sitting at their desk or computer. This position can overstretch the spinal ligament and increase pressure on the spinal discs.
- Learn to lift and carry correctly. This involves more than just remembering to bend your knees. The correct way to lift is to bend at the hips and push the chest outward. This will keep the back straight, causing the knees to bend and allow the muscles of the legs and hips to produce the power for lifting.
A good ergonomic office chair is a vital piece of equipment to help relieve or prevent chronic back pain.
The following tips will help you choose a good ergonomic office chair
- Make sure your elbows and your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Two fingers should slip easily between the bottom of your thigh and the chair.
- The backrest of the chair should push your lower back forward slightly to help prevent slouching down in the chair when you get tired.
- The computer screen must at the level of your eyes.
- The armrest of the chair should just slightly lift your arms above shoulder level. This helps to prevent neck and shoulder strain.
Stretching exercise will go a long way in preventing back pain and helping to alleviate existing pain. There are three good stretching exercises that require no equipment and can be done practically anywhere.
The first stretching exercise will stretch the muscle that runs up the back of the thigh to the bottom of the spine. To stretch this muscle, lie on your back. Now place one leg over the other. Pull the knee to the chest until you feel a stretching sensation in the buttock area. Hold it for up to 30 seconds and then repeat the procedure with the other leg.
The second exercise will stretch the muscle that is attached to the lower spine. It is the cause of a lot of lower back pain when tight. To stretch these muscles kneel on a knee. Turn the leg outward and pull the buttock muscle tight on the particular side that you are stretching. Lean forward at the hip rather than bending at the lower spine. A stretching sensation will be noticed in the hip, on the side that you are kneeling on. Hold for 30 seconds.
The third is an exercise used to stretch the hamstring muscle. It runs from behind the pelvic bone to behind the knee. Tight muscles in this area are the cause of a lot of lower back pain problems. To stretch the hamstring muscles, lie on your back and grab either leg right behind the knee. Keep your hip flexed at a 90 degree angle and keep your knee bent. Try to straighten out the knee with the foot flexed so that the toes point toward you. Hold for 30 seconds.
Always make sure you consult your doctor before doing any type of exercise. Your back is one of your most valuable assets. Take good care of it.