When you’re young enough, the idea of a bad back seems like a trope—something that, like bad mother-in-laws or Sunday drivers, seems a common enough but far from inevitable or universal experience. Then you grow older, and you find out the ugly truth: Pretty much all of us have to worry about back pain and back issues, and this trouble can start cropping up relatively early in life. If you’ve made it through your 20s without back pain, you’re on a roll—but don’t count on cruising through your 30s!
As inevitable as back pain may eventually seem, though, it is not something that is totally beyond our control. In fact, there’s a lot that we can do to keep our backs as strong and ourselves as comfortable as possible.
Posture And Sleep
Ah, posture. Posture is that too-often-ignored thing that is at the root of so many awful backaches. When we’re young and not imagining the awful truth of back pain, we can laugh off comments on our sitting, standing, or walking posture. But these bad habits will surely come back to haunt us, and probably sooner rather than later.
Correcting your posture will help you combat back pain. (If you’re lucky enough to still be living without back pain, good posture can help you continue your streak for longer.) So study up! Make sure that you are sitting, standing, and walking in ways that are good for your back. Find ways to check in on your posture at unexpected moments—a short-timer can help you see if you’re reverting to poor form soon after correcting your posture.
Active And Proactive
Your spine is made of bones and nerves, but your back is more than just your spine. The muscles that run all over and across your back are the source of many kinds of back pain. They can also be the guardians that help you prevent this pain.
That means that exercising can be good for back pain, and that building muscles in your back can be especially helpful. However, there are words of warning to consider here, so read on!
Training And Restraint
A healthy hobby can make a world of difference in your general health as well as your back pain levels. If you take up hiking, cycling, surfing, bodyboarding, or any number of other great hobbies, you’re going to be burning calories and building muscles. With that said, caution experts who offer bodyboarding lessons, it’s important to remember that some sports can put you at risk of injuries.
A bad wipeout on your surfboard could cause you to hurt your back, and that’s counterproductive to our goals here. With that in mind, make sure that you’re training carefully. Take lessons to ensure that you’ve got the proper form down—mastering posture and movements is key to staying healthy in any sport.
This is particularly important in the case of weight training. Discretion is the better part of valor, so don’t let your ambitions lead you to hurt your back when you’re trying to help it.
Calling In The Pros
There is a lot that you can do on your own to make your back healthier and reduce back pain, but make no mistake: as with any other area of your health, it’s absolutely vital that you work with a professional. You wouldn’t try to conquer a painful illness without the help of a doctor, so don’t go it alone against back pain, either, advises an expert NYC chiropractor. Contact a chiropractor directly or ask your primary care physician to refer you to a qualified one.
You may also want to consider physical therapy—chiropractic practices often handle that too, and yours can refer you elsewhere if they don’t. With proper care, you’ll enjoy a healthier back and less pain. That will allow you to get further with the other goals laid out above, creating a virtuous cycle that could allow you to shoo away back pain and keep it at bay for years to come.