Up to 90% of the population will experience back pain at some point during their lifetime. The stronger and more stable you are through your spine, the less likely you are to have an injury. You will also be more efficient through your arms and legs through movement (like exercise!) with a stable core. For the best spine health, practice some of these healthy spine habits:
- Use your legs rather than your back or upper body to lift a heavy item. You should be squared up in front of the object, power stance, with legs apart and one slightly in front of the other. Proceed to squat down with your bottom out (this will engage your leg muscle, if your bottom is tucked under the weight goes through your spine), bring the object to you and when you lift, the item should be touching your body, then push through your legs to return to standing. Do not twist, turn your feet when you go to move!
- Sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs, rather than your stomach. A supportive mattress is a great investment.
- Make sure your workspace is accommodating to your body. Your laptop or other digital screens should be high enough to discourage slouching. Make sure your chair is set properly for you and pay attention to your posture (see posture blog) and try the 30-30 rule. For every 30 minutes of seated work, do 30 seconds of moving and stretching.
- Most importantly, recognize persistent problems in your body. Seek help with chronic back pain.