Struggling with back pain and aches? Have a hard time moving around or doing your workouts? You’re not alone.
About 80 percent of people worldwide will experience back pain at some point. This condition is a leading cause of disability and accounts for over 264 million lost workdays annually.
The winter months are particularly harsh for back pain sufferers. Cold weather causes the tendons, ligaments, and muscles that support your spine to tighten, making the pain worse. Therefore, spinal health should be your priority when the temperature drops.
Simple measures, such as stretching your back and changing your diet, can make all the difference. Certain foods, for instance, may help prevent inflammation and increase bone strength.
So what does it take to keep your spine healthy during the cold winter months? Consider these tips for a strong, pain-free back!
Being obese or overweight may increase your odds of experiencing back pain. Every extra pound puts pressure on your spine, which may affect your posture and cause serious issues down the road.
In clinical trials, higher BMI (body mass index) and waist-to-hip ratio were linked to intense low back pain. Furthermore, being obese may lead to musculoskeletal pain, foot pain, and osteoarthritis.
Take the steps needed to achieve a healthy weight and keep the pounds off. Cut down on sugar, fill up on protein, and stay active throughout the day. Reach for whole foods that provide your lean protein, complex carbs, and good fats.
Remember, it’s the small things that matter when it comes to your diet and lifestyle habits.
Stretching not only keeps your spine healthy but it may also prevent back pain and reduce injury risk. On top of that, it helps maintain joint flexibility and relieves tension.
Start with some basic yoga stretches and take it from there. The sphinx pose, the child pose, and the cat and cow pose are all a good choice. Stretch your spine and muscles for at least 10-15 minutes per day to reap the benefits.
Good posture has both an aesthetic and functional role. On the one hand, it makes you look taller and leaner. On the other hand, it allows you to sit, stand, and walk in positions that place the least strain on your spine and joints.
Try to be mindful of your posture at all times. Avoid common mistakes, such as rounding your back or shoulders or crossing your legs. Take short walks around your home or office every 30 minutes or so.
Most importantly, avoid prolonged sitting. This habit not only affects spinal health, but it may also contribute to weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease, and even cancer.
Also, pay attention to your posture when working out. Incorrect exercise form can lead to painful injuries, from sprains and strains to herniated discs.
Spinal health has a direct impact on your quality of life. Back pain can affect your ability to work, exercise, and carry out your day-to-day activities. If left unaddressed, it may result in disabilities and injuries.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. Seek medical care if you’re struggling with neck or back pain. Check out these tips for your first appointment with a spinal specialist!
Contact us if you have any questions.