How to Prevent Back Pain From Getting Worse
May 09, 2023
Back pain affects millions of people globally, with a considerable number of them reporting chronic pain symptoms. Lower back pain is a prevalent type of back pain that can destabilize your day-to-day activities. If you are experiencing back pain, you understand the need to manage the pain and prevent it from worsening.
To get you back on your feet and healthy, we’re looking at how to prevent back pain from getting worse. Learn what causes back pain to linger, lifestyles or activities that may be in the way of your recovery, and useful prevention techniques.
As always, consult your doctor before beginning any new health routines to ensure it’s safe for you to do so.
What Causes Chronic Back Pain?
The first step in learning how to prevent back pain from getting worse is to understand what causes it to be persistent. Back pain can result from a myriad of catalysts including sitting incorrectly, lifting heavy objects, and maintaining a particular posture for a prolonged period.
Poor posture is one of the leading causes of chronic back pain. When you sit or stand with poor posture, your spine may become misaligned, leading to muscle strain and tension. Over time, this can cause back pain to linger or worsen.
Lingering back pain can also be caused by stress and anxiety. When we experience stress, our muscles tense up, which can lead to back pain that, in turn, increases our stress levels. It’s part of a self-feeding negative cycle. Part of learning how to prevent back pain from getting worse due to stress is identifying and treating the root cause.
Additionally, common side effects of more sedentary lifestyles such as carrying excess weight or weakened muscle strength can put extra pressure on your spine, leading to back pain. To help prevent back pain from these catalysts, being more active is key.
It’s also important to note that back pain can result from underlying medical conditions, which is why you should seek medical advice to determine the root cause of your back pain. Some medical conditions that can cause back pain include herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and osteoporosis. A proper diagnosis will make sure you receive the appropriate treatment to manage your back pain now and help with how to prevent lower back pain from getting worse down the line.
Lifestyles or Workouts That Keep Back Pain From Getting Better
When you’re exploring how to prevent back pain from getting worse, you may recognize that some lifestyle choices or workouts could be keeping you from a full recovery. While staying active is key to building strong muscles to support your core and maintain a healthy back, overwork or misuse of already-injured muscles could be the source of your lingering discomfort.
An unhealthy weight caused by a poor diet or lack of exercise may be one catalyst that keeps back pain from getting better. Excess weight puts extra strain on your back muscles and can exacerbate pain and discomfort. Consult your doctor about ways you might achieve a healthier weight for you based on factors such as activity levels, genetics, and goals.
More sedentary lifestyles that include sitting for long periods of time or general inactivity may also be impeding how to prevent back pain from getting worse. General inactivity can result in weaker core muscles, which are used to support your spine and keep a healthy back. Recovering from back pain necessitates core strength, good posture, and activities that prevent excess pressure from being exerted on your lower back.
In addition to lifestyles that may be contributing to your discomfort, it's important to note that not all workouts are beneficial for how to prevent lower back pain. While keeping active is often advised, some exercises — such as heavy weightlifting or high-impact activities like running — can actually make back pain worse. If you exercise regularly, consider seeking professional advice on workouts and activities that are safe and effective for individuals with back pain. It may be as simple as taking it easy for a little bit as you recover fully or adjusting your technique to prevent back pain in the future.
Back Pain Prevention Techniques
If you want to avoid chronic pain symptoms, it's crucial to proactively take steps toward how to prevent back pain from getting worse. We’ve put together our list of back pain prevention techniques to get you back to living a pain-free life.
Some techniques for how to prevent lower back pain include:
- Maintaining good posture
- Exercising regularly
- Avoiding activities that cause back pain
- Getting a massage
- Lifting objects the right way
Maintaining Good Posture
One of the most effective methods for how to prevent back pain is maintaining good posture. This includes how you sit and stand while also being part of how you move and hold your body during every kind of activity like running or even sleeping.
Learning how to improve posture may take a concentrated effort at first, but will become a healthy habit in no time. When sitting, make sure your back is upright and supported, and your feet are flat on the ground. If you're standing, keep your shoulders back and your weight evenly distributed between your feet.
To further ensure you’re maintaining good posture, choose the right chairs to sit in that provide support for your body. Too little support forces you to engage your muscles more and may strain them over time. Additionally, sinking into a chair may sound nice, but it also puts excess pressure on your lower back which will result in pain from sitting too long.
Exercising and Staying Active
Regular exercise is another great method for how to prevent back pain from getting worse. It’s important to start small and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts so as to not overdo it and set your sports injury recovery back. If you're new to exercise, consider working with a personal trainer who can help you develop a safe and effective workout routine.
Some exercises that may be beneficial toward how to prevent lower back pain include low-impact activities like swimming, using an elliptical, or active stretches to raise your heart rate without overworking injured back muscles.
Avoiding Activities That Cause Back Pain
It can be frustrating sitting on the sidelines while you recover, but part of how to prevent back pain means knowing when to avoid activities that could aggravate your injuries. This may include high-impact exercises like running long distances or lifting heavy weights while working out. It could also mean being more mindful of how long you’re sitting at any given time and making an effort to get up and move around more often to prevent back pain.
For example, if you work at a desk all day, ensure you’ve set up an ergonomic workspace designed to reduce strain on your back. You can also try incorporating stretching and relaxation exercises into your daily routine to help relieve tension in your back muscles.
Getting a Massage
Getting a massage is one of the best ways to help with how to prevent back pain from getting worse. In fact, consistent massage therapy experiences may help keep your back healthy while contributing a great deal towards holistic health practices. Not only does a massage positively impact your physical health, but it can also be useful for alleviating symptoms of stress and anxiety, giving you ways to relax and recharge without the added pressure of mental anguish looming overhead.
Maintaining a regular massage schedule is often inconvenient to ever-changing schedules or those who may need a massage for back pain relief immediately. Instead, many people have turned to luxury massage chairs. Using a back massage chair for pain relief at home lets you experience relief on your schedule, at your convenience, and in private.
You don’t have to worry about the stress of going to and from massage therapy appointments undoing all the good they should provide. You’re not confined to the specialties of your massage therapist. Luxury massage chairs like the Ogawa Active L 3D Massage Chair give you access to numerous different types of massage programs at the touch of a button.
In addition to the massage programs available, full body massage chair features may include experiences like heat therapy, chromotherapy, and zero gravity reclining capabilities. Each of these bonus features elevates your massage experience further and helps with how to prevent back pain from getting worse. They truly take your massage to the next level.
Lifting Objects Properly
Another key technique for how to prevent back pain is to be mindful of how you lift heavy objects. Continuously lifting improperly could quickly lead to repetitive motion injuries like back or shoulder pain.
If you need to carry something heavy, avoid lifting it with your back. Instead, use your legs to lift the weight and keep your back straight. It's also important to distribute the weight evenly between your arms and legs.
Preventing Back Pain From Getting Worse at Work, While Exercising, and More
Instead of living with discomfort, it’s important to learn how to prevent back pain from getting worse while at work, exercising, or participating in sports. Those with chronic back pain will also benefit from putting tips for back pain prevention into practice.
Outside of lifestyle changes and adjustments, here are some tips for preventing back pain from getting worse during your day-to-day activities:
- Practice good posture at work: One of the most important things you can do to prevent back pain from getting worse at work is to practice good posture. This means sitting up straight with your shoulders back and your feet flat on the ground. Avoid slouching or hunching over your desk or computer.
- Stretching before and after physical activities: Before you exercise or participate in sports, stretch and warm up properly to loosen your muscles. Full-body active stretches not only help with how to prevent back pain but may reduce the risk of sports injuries all around.
- Practice Relaxation Techniques: Adopt relaxation techniques to reduce stress levels. Stress can exacerbate the problem, so learning mindfulness and meditation techniques can be helpful with how to prevent back pain.
- Take Regular Breaks: It’s also crucial to take it easy and avoid overworking yourself. Incorporating regular breaks to stretch or walk around can help ease back pain symptoms. Sitting for long periods of time can aggravate back pain, so make sure to get up and move around every hour or so.
- Get Enough Sleep: Getting enough sleep is crucial for overall health and well-being, including how to prevent lower back pain from getting worse. Make sure to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and try to establish a regular sleep routine and stay healthy.
Learning how to prevent back pain from getting worse stems from identifying the cause of your discomfort and making simple lifestyle adjustments to accommodate it better. After consulting your doctor for professional guidance, try incorporating healthy habits like practicing good posture, being mindful of breaks during work, using a massage chair for regular back care, and any other techniques that work for you.