Four out of five people suffer from back pain making it the second most common reason for people to abstain from work after the common cold. I have seen innumerable patients of back pain leading a life of misery. Everything, they do, like sitting at work or at home, sleeping, standing, walking is a painful experience for them. It is as though, life itself is a pain. The pain is at times severe, in the back and in the legs, which can make life terrible. If you have read the causes of back pain,  its symptoms and better still about its complications, you will realize how important it is to prevent the back problem because of its crippling complications.

Eight effective ways to prevent back pain

The main aim to prevent back pain is to develop good and strong back muscles. These muscles support the vertebral column and hold the vertebrae in place. Strong back muscles are less prone to strain than weak back muscles. Weak back muscles can cause a vertebra to slip from its normal position and press on the emerging nerves from the spinal cord or an intervertebral disc to prolapse. Therefore, when you have strong back muscles, chances of a prolapsed intervertebral disc or collapse of a vertebra are much reduced or if a back strain does occur, recovery is much faster. The steps to develop a healthy back are simple and easy to implement. You must incorporate these steps into your everyday lifestyle. Posture is everything. Always maintain an upright posture when standing, walking or sitting. 1. A nutritious and well-balanced diet is necessary to give good nutrition to the bones, muscles, and nerves of the back. North Central gives a detailed post on the diet to increase your muscle and bone strength. 2. A proper sleeping mattress is a must. Some of us develop back pain when sleeping. To avoid this, a proper sleeping mattress that will help to avoid getting back pain is a must.  Select a mattress in which you feel comfortable. It is not necessary that a particular mattress suits all of us. The mattress should be firm but not hard. The surface should be soft. It should preserve the natural contours of the spine when sleeping. The thickness and the padding are determined by your preference and your comfort. The pillow should be such so as to keep the neck in a neutral position. If the mattress begins to sag with age or you stop feeling comfortable when sleeping on it, it is time to buy a new one. 3. Maintain a normal weight. Excess weight increases the load on the vertebral column and the intervertebral discs. 4. Your shoes should offer comfort when walking and standing. They should have a rubber or soft padding under the heels and soles to absorb the shock when walking. This will reduce the impact of such overtures on the backbone. 5. While lifting objects, make sure you do it the right way. Maximum cases of back muscle strain occur when lifting objects. Do it the right way to reduce this incidence. Stand close to the object. Legs should be a little more than shoulder-width apart. To stoop, bend the knees and the hip joints and not the back. Lift the weight gradually while maintaining a straight back. Image showing the right posture to lift a weight Image showing the right way to lift heavy objects 6. Sitting at work: You may be sitting on the chair for 8 hours or maybe more. That is a   lot of time and you may develop backache while sitting at your desk. If you do not follow the proper steps, you are asking for back trouble. Follow these simple tips: Choose a proper chair, which gives support to the back. You should feel that support at the upper and lower back when you sit on the chair. Always maintain a proper upright posture when sitting.  The importance of this point cannot be overemphasized. Get up at intervals and walk around or do a little bit of stretching. If you are engaged in a job, which requires to sit for hours, you could use a lumbosacral belt prophylactically. The belt for the back will give the back support when you sit for hours. It will also help to maintain proper posture while sitting. This will prevent developing back pain in the future. Image showing the correct and the wrong sitting posture. Image showing the right and wrong posture to sit in a chair 7.  Exercise to prevent back pain: To keep your back muscles strong, you need to exercise them.  Doing abs and other stretching and core muscle strengthening exercises will do your back good. Swimming is another good exercise, which exercises the whole body. Start with a warm up first before you jump into your exercise routine. Exercise forms probably the most important part of the tips to prevent back pain because they help to strengthen the back muscles. 8. Avoid high heel shoes. Wearing high heel shoes may give you back pain while walking because this will shift the center of gravity of your body and put an additional strain on your back muscles, which can weaken over time and cause pain. To prevent this wear shoes that have a one-inch heel. This will give you comfort and make walking that much easier.

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