Diana Keuilian

Article Summary:

Reasons why your back might hurt, and what you can do to fix them.

Why Do I Have Back Pain?

Are you over the age of 30 and experiencing back pain every day? Do you find yourself wondering when and why this aching pain started, and how you can get it to stop? If so, you are not alone. Millions of people suffer from excruciating back pain every day with little or no hope for a cure. While some of these conditions are serious and need special medical care, most back pain can be relieved with a few simple behavioral modifications. Read on for helpful tips on alleviating your aching back pain.

Do you sit for long periods of time?
Sitting is hard to avoid these days. We commute through traffic in our cars, we sit for hours at our desks, and then we commute back home in our cars. Most of the population sits for at least 8 hours a day. All of this sitting could be taking a toll on your back. It is important to get up at least once every 2 hours to avoid adverse effects on your back. Get up and take a walk around your office, or walk around the block on your break. If you are in your car all day make sure to make a stop every 2 hours to stretch your muscles. If you spend a lot of time on the phone stand for at least 10 minutes every hour while you talk. Pay attention to the length of time you spend sitting each day, make sure that you are not sitting for long stretches at a time.

Do you practice proper lifting techniques?
Since most back injuries occur during an attempt to move a large or heavy object, it is very important to practice proper lifting techniques. The proper way to lift an object is to first bend your knees, grasp onto the object, and then straighten your knees while keeping your back straight. Make sure that you are not bending over at your waist, as this will put unnecessary strain on your back. Practice proper lifting techniques even when the object that you are lifting does not seem very heavy to protect your back from injury.

Do you have weak back muscles?
Weak unconditioned back muscles account for many people's aching back pain. Protect your back against unwanted pain by regularly strengthening your stabilizing back muscles. You can strengthen these muscles by doing the following exercise right in your own home. The Superman Pose: Lie on your stomach with your arms and legs stretched out on the floor (as if you were Superman flying through the air). Exhale as you raise your right arm up until it is even with your shoulder and simultaneously lift your left leg up off of the matt. Hold this position as long as you can. Repeat on the other side. For a more advanced pose, start on your hands and knees, rather than on your stomach.

Do you have poor posture?
Your mom was right when she told you not to slouch! Having poor posture is another classic reason that people suffer from back pain. While sitting keep your head and shoulders erect with your feet on the ground, make sure that your lower back is supported, and that the chair is not pressing into the backs of your knees. Keep yourself aware of your posture throughout the day to avoid slouching. If you continuously find yourself slouching place a mirror at your eye level while sitting properly, and periodically check to see if you are aligned with it or not.

Do you have tight or stiff muscles?
Do you find it hard to touch your toes? Do your legs and lower back feel stiff and unmovable at the end of the day? Limbering up your tight muscles is a great way to relieve back pain. Make it a habit to reach down towards your toes to stretch out your hamstrings. You should hold this for at least 30 seconds. For another good stretch, sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Lean forward at your waist, keeping your back straight, and reach toward your toes. Exhale and reach even further.

You don't have to suffer from back pain any more. Make the decision to change the behaviors that cause your back pain. Exercise regularly, making sure to get at least 30 minutes of continuous activity 3-4 times each week. I wish you the best in your quest for a healthy pain-free back!

Diana Keuilian, Certified Personal Trainer, and author of "Avoid The Freshman Fifteen", has a proven method for avoiding college weight gain. Visit AvoidTheFreshman15.com to learn more. She is also the head Fitness Trainer for the nation's leading online fitness site HitechPersonalFitness.com and board member of www.HitechTrainer.com.

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