Are you looking for ways to stop back and neck pain? Start with these easy tips:
- Move more. Exercise, especially low-impact aerobic activity, helps loosen your muscles and increases strength and endurance – without straining your back. Swimming, yoga, cycling and walking are good options. At the gym, try the elliptical or rowing machine. Also, strengthening your core (abdominal and back muscles) can help ease back pain.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Staying within 10 pounds of your ideal weight can lower pressure on your joints and reduce back pain. Reducing your calorie intake and increasing your exercise are the best ways to drop a few pounds.
- Stop smoking. In addition to causing cancer, smoking narrows your blood vessels, preventing oxygen and important nutrients from reaching your spine. This makes it harder for back problems to heal.
- Sleep on your side. Experts say it’s the best position for your back.
- Pick the right chair. A good seat has low back support, arm rests and a swivel base. While you’re sitting, keep your knees and hips level. Get up or change positions at least every 30 minutes.
- Stand up straight. Lift up your head and keep your stomach pulled in. If you have to stand for long periods, alternate placing one foot on a low stool to ease stress on your lower back.
- Lift carefully. When you pick up something heavy, bend your knees and squat so your legs do the work instead of your back. And never twist your body while you’re lifting.