Most of us often face terrible back-aches and frankly, we are 110% at fault. Our posture is never good and thanks to working from home (or rather our beds), it has become worse. You’re probably reading this slumped over your pillow with your neck cranked and lower-back bending terribly. While you may relate to the “banana-back” memes and joke about constant back pain, you’re in for a painful future. To save you from becoming The Hunchback Of Notre Dam, we got in touch with Dr Shradha Maheshwari, a Consultant Neurosurgeon. Here are 5 things you need to do if your back hurts 24/7!
While we’re all in for body-positivity and not conforming to Instagram model standards, we’re not in for unhealthy weight-gain. Being obese can be terrible for back health and posture and can cause a lot of complications. Dr Maheshwari says,
Obesity gives rise to a sedentary lifestyle leading to restricted activity. Restricted activity effects the spine and gives rise to back pain and further decreased the activity, ultimately this further increases obesity. Hence, it is essential to break this vicious cycle so as to keep your spine fit and active. The inter-vertebral discs which are the soft structure in the spine and hence are the first to bear the brunt of the excess weight. The degenerative process begins here naturally and with obesity this process is faster. The weakened support system and changed alignment of obese individuals makes them more prone to slipped discs problems. This can cause acute, severe back pain and leg pain, sometimes making the patient bedridden.
The thought of being bed-ridden sends a shiver down our spine and pushes us to fix it, and it should do the same for you. Get active, go for walks, cycle in your neighbourhood and more. Putting in even 20-30 minutes daily is good enough. Regular physical activity helps not only in keeping the weight in check, but also strengthens the core and the muscles which support the spine.
Dr Maheshwari says,
Low impact light exercises and cardio are best suited to start repairing of the weakened back muscles. Stepping up the exercises in a staged fashion helps in improvising the back health.
Basically, don’t do those 1000- calorie YouTube workouts everyday, you will make things worse for yourself. Listen to your body and know when to stop. Similarly, overdoing it with diets isn’t recommended either. Your back muscles need good amounts of nutrition to become strong and extreme dieting can deprive them of that. Eat healthy quantities of nutritious food and your back will thank you.
Our posture is a joke and we know it. Unconsciously we sit, stand and move in ways that not only are terrible for our spine, but also our core. By taking conscious efforts to fix our posture, we can begin to heal our back pain. Dr Maheshwari suggests making corrections in our posture such as avoiding protruding your belly while standing, bending from your knees while picking objects from the ground and sleeping on your sides can go a long way in recovery. Additionally, fastening your seat-belt properly and using back-support chair braces can help greatly too!
Some fashion trends may look fabulous but could harm your back. Tight clothes like skinny jeans and body-hugging dresses interfere with movements of back joints in a bad way. Even bags with non-adjustable straps can be strenuous on your neck and back! Dr Maheshwari recommends opting for a back-pack instead as it’s more balanced. We live in a world where literally anything can be made fashionable, so opting for comfortable clothes, shoes and bags will not send alert the the fashion police!
Don’t be a jerk and don’t jerk yourself! Sorry for that terrible line, but you get the point. Fast, jerky movements like lifting a heavy bag off the floor can cause back troubles like slip-disc and bad spine injuries. So go slow, go steady and avoid all and any jerky movements!
How do you fix your posture and help your back? Share it with us in the comments below!