Careful! Everyone knows not to lift heavy objects with their back, right? Well, CHI Health is here to tell you some things you may not know, as we uncover back pain.
Hi, I'm Dr. Kirti Gupta, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Physician at CHI Health. There was a famous politician who wouldn't remember people's names and as he mingled through the crowd he would go up the them and say, "So tell me how is your back pain," and that would get the conversation started.
Posture Causing Back Pain
The strategy worked because 80% of Americans experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Since the 1960s, our lifestyles have become increasingly sedentary; especially in the workplace. Sitting most of the day disengages our stomach muscles. Soon our posture suffers, and we start to slouch. The spine compresses and eventually, pain appears.
So if you’re experiencing minor back pain, adjust your posture and sit up straight! Next step, get up and move every 20 minutes if possible. The discs in your spine are nourished by motion. Motion circulates your blood. By walking consistently, you reactivate your core and get the fluid circulating through your spine. Humans are meant to move, not sit, all day.
Sleeping Problems Due to Back Pain
All this talk about exercise and moving makes me sleepy...which, sad to say, is ANOTHER thing, we get wrong. ONE THIRD of our lives is spent sleeping, yet 80% of us experiences sleep problems due to back pain. Coincidence? The culprit: our beds! They’re soft and squishy...and the PROBLEM. Early man slept on soft patches of ground or grass. Lying on your back on a firm surface is the ideal way to sleep and support for your back at night. If you need to sleep on your side, try placing a pillow between your knees to keep your spinal alignment straight.
If you suffer from back pain, like many Americans, try these tips and hopefully you can give your back the pain relief it deserves!
Contact a CHI Health Back and Spine Physician Expert to schedule an appointment.