Have An Aching Back? – Health Coach Corner

Health Coach Corner by Maria Hicks

Do you have an aching back?  It’s not a surprise if you do.  Unfortunately, back pain is a major problem and I figure that almost everyone has had a backache at some point in his or her lives.  One of the keys to a healthy back is a strong core!  Think of your core muscles (abdominal & back muscles) like an internal belt, holding your spine in place.  In addition to having a strong core & stretching (creating and keeping flexibility in your back) – there are some prevention tips that I want to share with you:

Sit Pretty – You don’t need a fancy ergonomically designed chair, but you should have one that provides good support so that your back is curved like an S, not a C.  Also, every half hour, get up and walk around for a few seconds to take some of the stress off your back.

Stand Tall – Imagine a line coming down through your body from the ceiling.  Your ears, shoulders, hips, and knees should all stack up along that line, with your head stacked directly atop your neck, not jutting forward.

Wear Soft Soles – If your shoe has little cushioning, every time your foot strikes concrete, you’ll jar the bones and muscles in your low back.  Look for a shoe with a cushioned sole, or buy an insert.

Don’t Smoke – A 2010 review of 40 studies found that smokers have more low back pain than nonsmokers, possibly because smoking reduces blood flow to the spine.

Learn How to Lift – You know to hoist heavy objects using your legs, not your back.  But what about a very light object?  Answer: lean over it, slightly bend one knee, and extend the other leg behind you.

Downsize your Pillows – Sleeping with two or three pillows under your neck can strain your muscles.

Back Ache Links