The previous Great NEWS post explained how Sitting Makes US Old and Sick and today we learn simple suggestions on How to Avoid Back Pain and Problems. Have you experienced back pain? Most people have at one time or another. If you have not had back pain yet that is great and this post can help keep you pain free. This post will share great prevention and protection strategies to help avoid back pain now and in the future. The back is very complex and subject to deterioration, injury and strain which leads to pain. How to Avoid Back Pain and Problems offers simple strategies to help keep our back healthy and pain free.
The Great NEWS Coach blog series on Health Hazards is dedicated to alerting us to health risks that hinder us from being happy, in harmony and healthy. Back pain and problems with the musculature skeletal system are the second leading source of difficulty, disability and distress requiring medical treatment. Many problems like arthritis, back aches, head aches, joint issues, neck aches, obesity and sciatica are traced to poor behaviors and habits affecting the back that compound to become worse over time.
The simple things like how we bend, eat, exercise, lift, move, sit, stand and walk have a major impact on whether we experience back pain and problems or not. While sitting may seem normal it can be very detrimental and the previous post covered the dangers of simply sitting still to much. Most people are not performing a daily care and prevention protocol necessary to maintain or sustain their muscular skeletal system for health and longevity.
When we do not understand the core fundamentals of alignment, ergonomics, exercise, posture, sitting, standing and walking it is only a matter of time before our system will signal us with red lights and screaming sirens and then warning us with aches and pain to get our full attention and awareness.
Most people feel confused and over whelmed by the complex design, maintenance and structure of the bones, cartilage, joints, ligaments, muscles, spine and tendons that make up our muscular skeletal system. In that state of being it seems easier to delegate decisions about our back and body to chiropractors, doctors, personal trainers and physical therapists. Or worse we take pain pills or do nothing at all and allow it to become worse. Letting others take care of us and make our decisions for us is a recipe for disability, disease and disaster.
Today we will learn the basic A B C’s of anatomy, biology and chemistry regarding our back physiology. This will help us understand how we are designed to function for peak performance. When we are in balance and harmony and properly maintain our physical structure our body, bones and brain will thank us by being pain free. When we are out of alignment and balance we will experience physical pain and problems. Our goal today is to learn how to stop abusing our back and start supporting our body with proper alignment, exercise, movement, nutrition, support and Tender Loving Care (TLC). The result for not doing this could be debilitating pain, devastating financial loss, disability, disease and distress.
Many people are directly and indirectly harming their health due to a lack of intelligent information and poor choices regarding behaviors, habits and rituals. While our body seems very complex and complicated there are proven principals that yield amazing results when diligently implemented. Our body is an amazing gift that is designed for incredible feats, fitness and flexibility.
We are designed to bend, carry, jump, lift, run, squat, swim, throw and walk for hours each and every day. Our evolution and survival have depended on it. Just as most people are only using 5-10% of their brains full potential most people are only using 5-10% of their body’s full potential. We are designed for long hours of physical effort to find and gather food, shelter and water.
Unfortunately we have become lazy and spoiled by modern inventions and technology making our life too easy. This is negatively impacting our health and well being. Our body needs to be active, challenged and physical in order for us to be fit, resilient and strong. Unfortunately we are becoming more vulnerable and weaker by excessive sitting while commuting, home, school or work time. This is leading to a global epidemic of back pain and problems directly linked to a lack of proficient musculature skeletal conditioning and training.
Conditioning Our Back and Body
Recalling basic anatomy we know our bones, cartridge, joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and spine are all connected and designed to work well together. Our bones are connected with cartridge, ligaments, muscles and tendons designed to function with a specific alignment and range of motion for optimal efficiency. We must be careful to maintain the structural alignment and integrity of our back during various positions and postures to maintain and sustain our agility, balance, flexibility, stability, stamina and strength. We must maintain all aspects of our physical fitness to include: head and spine erect, hips aligned (not tilted), legs parallel and feet pointing forward, muscles toned and shoulders back.
When we have a pain or problem in our back it may be caused by an alignment and posture issue at that location or different area of the body. Carpel tunnel is the result of repetitive use of the hands and wrists when the arms, back and shoulder are not properly aligned and engaged. Many headaches are caused by improper back, head alignment, hip, neck and shoulder posture. When we have a “head forward position” or incorrect curvature of the spine it is only a matter of time before we experience pain. Too much sitting can lead to tight muscles and sciatica that runs the entire length of the leg.
When we apply excess pressure, straining and twisting to our back, neck, shoulder and spine muscles and tendons the weakest link will suffer. This strain and stress over time causes us to experience aches and pain. Eventually if not corrected our back and body will begin to adapt and adjust and become even more dysfunctional.
When we restrict our full body activity or movement for more than 15 to 30 minutes our body may experience a lack of adequate blood and lymph flow and muscle and nerve stimulation. We feel this as achy, numb, pain, sore, stiff, swelling, tingling and tired. These are the signals of our body’s dashboard telling us something is not functioning properly and needs attention and maintenance.
Both sitting and standing while the body is slouched, slumped or strained puts excessive pressure on our bones, joints, muscles and spine resulting in discomfort. Over time a compounding effect results in long term pain and problems. Our back and spine is the main pathway for nerve impulses from the body to the brain. As we become less flexible and weaker and then use improper positioning and posture of our various bones, joints and muscles we cause pain and problems to manifest. Back pain is now a global health and productivity problem.
Stop Back Pain and Problems
A quality mattress is helpful for supporting your back and body to receive a great night sleep. Most pillows are constructed of unhealthy synthetic materials and too large for proper support and spinal alignment. When your head is raised too high it puts quite a bit of strain on the neck and spine. A dark and quite room pus proper positioning is very important during sleep.
Aerobic exercise is vital for blood and lymph movement. This delivers the nutrients and oxygen our cells need and removes carbon dioxide and waste products.
Anaerobic exercise like weight bearing and lifting exercises are essential for a strong and toned muscular skeletal system. Full range of motion body weight training, hiking, running, walking and weight lifting all help provide what our back and body needs.
Conditioning, strengthening and toning all of our joints, ligaments, muscles, spine and tendons is essential for a healthy back. Over time we become vulnerable to the weakest link in the body.
Eating a wide variety of nutrient dense organic whole foods is vital for maintaining our back and body. Our bones and muscles have very specific requirements for high quality carbohydrates, fats and proteins. We must eat an abundance of raw and unprocessed whole foods to provide the antioxidants, enzymes, minerals, trace elements and vitamins our body needs. Avoid GMO canola, corn and soy and processed fake, fast and junk foods. Consume an abundance of ancient grains, fruits, green leafy plants, herbs, legumes, nuts, roots, sea veggies, seeds. sprouts, tubers and vegetables.
Emotional issues are a major contributor to back pain in that they can lead to acidic habits and lifestyle factors like: alcohol, anger, frustration, lack of exercise, medications, over eating, sadness and sleep issues. Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) tapping on acupressure points is a great resource to help release the anger and hurts that turn against our back and body causing hram.
Excessive time spent lying down and sitting still causes the body to atrophy and become weaker. We are more prone to premature death, disease, disability and injury when we are more fragile, inactive and weak from the lack of aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Move your body and bones frequently to keep them in top condition.
Strong Back for Peak Performance
Hydration is vital to maintain all your fluid levels in the back and body. Did you know you have cerebral spinal fluid that must move down and up the spine to keep it primed for peak performance?
Maintaining our ideal body weight is essential to avoid excess strain and stress on your back and body. When abdominal and back muscles become weak it is only a matter of time before the rest of the body begins to deteriorate and develop pain and problems.
Our circulatory system also needs conditioning to be flexible and responsive to deliver more blood and nutrients when and where needed.
Overly acidic eating and lifestyle also causes the back to deteriorate faster. When we are acidic the body robs calcium and potassium from the blood and bones to neutralize the acidity. This acidity and a lack of strengthening the back can lead to a compression of the spine. This is often seen as the spine shrinking or the back becoming stooped or misshaped.
Practice doing some lunges, squats and stairs several times a day. It is imperative to have strong abdominal, back, hip and leg muscles in order to be active, fit and mobile. Tight hamstrings and hip muscles is a major contributor to back pain and problems.
Seek a competent chiropractor and physical therapist to help you learn proper exercise, strengthening, stretching and toning routines.
Sit on a kneeler chair, Swiss exercise ball or Swapper chair to actively engage the core muscles and maintain better posture. Stand up computer stations and tables may be another choice to keep you from sitting still for long periods of time. Try standing up to check your email, read a book or watch TV and you will be amazed at the calories burned and the toning that takes place.
Stress and struggles in life tends to wear us down and often show up as back issues. Dr. John Sarno a famous orthopedic surgeon discusses in his book “Healing Back Pain” that the majority of back issues may be more emotional than physical.
Yoga that is performed in a gentle and routine practice can be an excellent method to help improve the entire back and body. Gently elongating, exercising, massaging, maneuvering, stretching and twisting the body and spine is a great way to build your body and back. Chair yoga is an option for any one at any age. Agility, balance, endurance, flexibility, strength and toning improve our resilience and help to avoid back and body injuries.
Sitting on s Swiss exercise ball chair is a great way to engage the back and core muscles for healthy exercise while working at a computer or desk. Standing desks encourage people to be more erect and upright. Ergonomic comfort and support in office furniture is affordable and easy to find compared to the consequences of sever back pain and problems. Be sure to maintain correct chair, computer, foot and monitor placement to prevent back, head and neck strain.
The bottom line is to stop sitting still for long periods of time and start standing and stretching every 15 minutes. Avoid sitting still for more than 30 minutes at a time to keep the body active and engaged. Simple things we can do while sitting include: Keep our head up, hips and shoulders back and moving our feet. Stand up from your chair using your legs muscles and without using your hands. Do some Egoscue exercises to keep the back and body flexible and limber.
The previous post described how sitting still makes us sad, sick and stressed and today we received a second helping of strategies to maintain and sustain being happy, healthy and in harmony. By investing in a sip of green drink or water and a one minute stretch break every fifteen minutes while sitting you are helping to insure your long term health and wealth. Anything that will help keep the blood and lymph moving along with aligning your posture and musculature skeletal system will pay big dividends for life.
This Great NEWS post on how to Avoid Back Pain and Problems is shared to help people stop the pain and start to party. Our back and body is an amazing work of art and science that require us to do our part to maintain and sustain them. When we stop sitting so much and start exercising, standing, stretching and walking more we transform the quality of our back and body for great health. Now that we understand how to Avoid Back Pain and Problems what will you do with this information to make better choices and decisions?
What is your current Gap?
How much time are you investing in healthy activities for your back and body each day? How much time are you spending sitting and slouching that harms your back?
Mastery Action Plan (MAP)
What mastery action plans will help you stop sitting so much and start moving your back and body for better agility, flexibility, stability and vitality? The book “Pain Free” by Pete Egoscue is a great resource with exercise and programs to rebalance and rebuild your back and body.
Call to Action
What comments, commitments or concerns come to mind regarding having a better back? What healthy habits will you implement to stop sitting and start moving more for better health?
Next week the Great NEWS blog will share:
Free Radical Health Hazards
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