How to Prevent Back Pain

July 09, 2019
Back pain is an uncomfortable yet extremely common source of pain for many adults. In fact, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke reports that about 80% of adults experience back pain at some point in their lives. According to the Health Policy Institute of Georgetown University, nearly 65 million Americans report a recent episode of back pain. Furthermore, almost 16 million adults, or approximately 8% of all adults, experience persistent or chronic back pain. This results in limitations on certain everyday activities or athletic endeavors, particularly for those suffering from chronic pain. Back pain has other effects on your life too, especially in regards to work. Those experiencing back pain are naturally more likely to miss days of work or college in order to rest or seek help from medical professionals. Adults of all ages are affected by back pain, and it can even happen to you. In short, back pain is a major issue which affects not only American adults but indeed adults all around the world. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent or mitigate the effects of back pain, even if you’re already experiencing it.


Before we delve into how to prevent back pain, it’s important to understand its causes. By understanding possible causes, we can have a better idea of what should be done to mitigate its effects in the first place. While the symptoms can be nearly identical, back pain has many different causes. One common cause of sudden or acute pain is muscle or ligament strain. This can occur in several ways. The first is through repeated heavy lifting, such as when exercising at the gym or moving furniture. The second can occur seemingly at random, but may happen if you make a sudden awkward movement. Those in already poor physical condition may experience painful muscle spasms when putting constant strain on the back. When the soft tissue in the discs between your joints comes out, this is referred to as herniated discs. This painful condition affects your lower back and hips, and is usually caused by wear on the sensitive tissue. Car accidents, falls, and fractures are also possible causes of back pain. Lifestyle triggers are sometimes the most likely culprits of back pain. Individuals who often slouch at their desk or when walking, are overweight (or do not exercise), and smoke tobacco are all more likely to experience back pain at some point in their lives. Making lifestyle choices and practicing proper posture won’t prevent all the woes of back pain, but it’s certainly an important first step.


Proper posture should not only be practiced when on the move, but when sitting too. Slouching while sitting is one of the most common causes of lower back pain; you may even be slouching right now! Did we catch you? The pressure that slouching puts on your back can result in excessive strain on the joints, muscles, and discs, all which cause pain. Instead, sit with your head up, back straight, and shoulders pulled back. Similar techniques can be applied when standing or walking. When you’re on your feet, avoid repetitive bending. Like slouching, lots of forward bending can strain the discs in your back, exerting pressure which can lead to aches and pains. Stand or walk with your head up, shoulders straight, and with your chest forward. Avoid standing in the same position for too long.


Back pain often occurs in the sitting position. While consciously correcting your posture is a good start, certain tools will make your life easier and your posture better. Lumbar support is crucial when sitting for an extended period of time, as otherwise unnecessary pressure is placed on your coccyx, or tailbone. Our Fortem Lumbar Support pad securely attaches to any chair, car seat, or wheelchair and provides you the very support you need. Simply adjust to the necessary height, close the buckles, and voila, you’re well on your way to proper posture. Properly aligning the spine in a sitting position requires more than lumbar support, and for that reason we have our Fortem Seat Cushion (offered in grey as well). Placed under the tailbone, this cushion contours to your body and immediately relieves pressure on your spine. For the complete set of both cushions, check out our combo package, offered in black and grey. Back pain can affect you not only physically, but mentally as well, precluding you from participating in some of the activities you may have previously enjoyed. Fortunately, there exist the solutions outlined above. To summarize; avoid slouching, unnecessary heavy lifting, and smoking tobacco. Try to exercise and always remember to stretch! Practice good posture both when sitting and standing, and utilize tools such as our soft cushion and pad to aid you in this process. Use these tips and be the best version of yourself: standing tall, confident, and strong!
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