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End Back Pain: 51 ways to protect your back

It’s hard to appreciate the back pain you never get because you have taken care of your body.

Who wants to endure the unpleasantness of back pain? Protect yourself by following these suggestions:

  • Sleep on a supportive mattress. Some mattresses can be flipped or rotated to extend the life of the mattress. Purchase a new mattress as necessary.

  • Don’t sleep on your stomach. Sleep on your back or on your side.

  • Use a supportive pillow in bed. Make sure that you use the right type of pillow. Some pillows are better designed for sleeping on your back and don’t support your neck well when sleeping on your side.

  • Your couch should be comfortable. How old is your couch? Make sure it doesn’t sag and that it offers support. Never purchase a couch only because it looks nice or matches your room. It should be comfortable to sit on.

  • Warm up your back, arms, and legs before doing landscaping or home-improvement projects.

  • Your monitor / TV screen should be directly in front of you. Rotating your neck or trunk can lead to muscle fatigue and soreness.

  • Your hands should rest comfortably on your car steering wheel when you drive. Try to keep your shoulders, arms, and upper back from becoming too tight while driving.

  • The seat in your car should support your low back.

  • You shouldn’t need to reach far to move your computer mouse. This can cause unnecessary stress on your arms and upper back muscles.

  • Your recliner chair should fit your body size. When the chair is extended, it should comfortably support your knees, hips, and back.

  • Use a stool if you are spending time in the garden, doing landscaping, or weeding. Use a spade or garden trowel to remove stubborn, deep-rooted weeds instead of repeatedly yanking on them.

  • Place a mat in front of the kitchen sink to make yourself more comfortable while washing dishes.

  • When peeling potatoes or other vegetables, position your body close to the table or counter top.

  • Keep items that you use regularly in easy-to-reach locations. Organize shelves and cabinets so that only items you rarely use are kept up high.

  • Place a mat in front of your vanity. This enables you to be comfortable during makeup application, hair care, and personal grooming.

  • Avoid rotating your back too much while vacuuming. Place the vacuum cord over one shoulder to avoid tripping over it.

  • Give yourself enough time to do household chores. Don’t rush through them. When you twist, lift, and bend too quickly, you risk injuring muscles.

  • Divide large projects (such as tidying the garage, mopping several floors, packing, spring cleaning) into multiple days. These types of projects often take longer than expected anyway.

  • Wear comfortably fitting slippers at home if you have tile floors. This takes pressure off your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and low back.

  • Don’t over-pack luggage. Bring clothing that you can mix-and-match. Continually hauling around heavy luggage isn’t healthy for your back.

  • Be mindful when placing luggage into your vehicle. When possible, roll the luggage close to the vehicle before lifting it.

  • Rather than packing one large box of belongings, distribute the items over multiple smaller boxes that are easier to lift and store.

  • When shoveling snow, mulch, or soil, keep your knees bent and don’t over-reach.

  • Don’t over-pack grocery bags. Try not to carry too many bags at a time.

  • Take precautions so that you don’t slip while standing in the tub or shower. Use a shower mat if necessary.

  • Use proper footwear. Your shoes may be lovely, but do they support your feet? Can you comfortably stand in them for hours at a time? Bring a back-up pair of comfortable shoes when necessary.

  • Make sure the soles of your shoes haven’t been worn too smooth to avoid slipping on slick surfaces.

  • When going to a movie theater, try to sit in the center of the row to avoid rotating your neck or hips during the movie.

  • When using a ladder, reposition the ladder several times rather than over-reaching to complete a project.

  • Stay hydrated. Drinking enough water protects the small discs that are between the vertebrae in your spine.

  • Don’t do heavy lifting when you’re tired. Make sure that you’re strong and fully alert before you try to lift a heavy or cumbersome object.

  • Keep objects that you are lifting close to your body.

  • Keep the stairs and floors free of clutter that can be tripped over. This includes toys and pet clutter.

  • Have a friend help you to lift heavy furniture and other items. A lifting partner can save your back.

  • Don’t overfill the trash bag.

  • Your computer chair should offer good support and it should be positioned directly in front of your monitor. If you spend many hours a week in this chair, make sure that it fits you well.

  • Your feet should contact the floor when you are seated. If your legs do not reach the floor, place a small foot stool or other stationary object beneath your feet for support.

  • Place a pillow under your arm (or use the arm of the couch / chair for support) when holding a baby for prolonged amounts of time.

  • Instead of twisting and reaching for objects that are behind you in the back seat of the car, exit the vehicle and access the item more directly. It only takes a few seconds longer to do this and you avoid annoying your back.

  • Be mindful of your neck position while using a tablet or other mobile device. Try not to tilt your head or shoulders too far forward.

  • Don’t store heavy items in the attic.

  • Stretch and warm up before exercise.

  • Use proper equipment when weight lifting.

  • Maintain correct posture when lifting weights. Use a mirror to help you keep correct form.

  • When you run, do so on a flat, even surface. Use proper running shoes that fit comfortably.

  • If you are on the phone for several hours a week, consider using a headset.

  • When doing gift-wrapping, sit at the table instead of on the floor.

  • Use the railing when going up or down stairs.

  • Pay attention to your posture. Try not to slouch.

  • While seated at a meeting, angle your chair to face the speaker instead of twisting in your seat.

And last but not least, visit your family chiropractor every now and again for a wellness checkup. Begin seeing a chiropractor when you are young for continued joint health and to maintain a strong musculo-skeletal system. Speak with your chiropractor to create a wellness schedule that meets your needs. Protect your body and stay healthy.

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