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Bad Back: It Could Happen To You - 7/20/2011

It’s estimated that eight out of ten Americans suffer from back pain at some point in their lives, making it one of our society’s most common medical problems. Chances are you have experienced some form of back pain, whether minor or chronic, and understand how debilitating it can be to your everyday life. Since you use our back in one way or another in nearly everything you do, recovering from back pain can be an unnecessarily prolonged and difficult process without severely limiting your habitual activities. That’s why it is so important to understand and avoid the risks of injuring your back through lifestyle changes, proper form when lifting, and specialized ergonomic products. 

Anyone can have back pain, but there are a number of factors that increase your risk including old age, poor physical fitness, inherited diseases or conditions, your job or work environment, and even smoking. While age and inheritance are inevitable, most back pain factors can be controlled through proactive behavior.

For example, back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit because weak back and abdominal muscles cannot properly support the spine. In addition, people who work out only sporadically are more likely to suffer painful back injuries than people who make moderate physical activity a daily habit. Studies show that frequent low-impact aerobic workouts such as Pilates or ball exercisesare beneficial in strengthening the muscles that support your spine as well as cushioning the discs of the vertebrae.

A diet high in calories and fat, combined with an inactive lifestyle can lead to obesity, which can put injury causing stress and strain on the back. Maintaining a healthy weight, with diet and exercise, and including calcium and vitamin D in your diet will help keep the bones in your spine strong.

Although smoking may not directly cause back pain, it increases your risk of developing Sciatica, which is back pain that radiates to the hip or leg due to pressure on a vital nerve. Smoking may lead to back pain in two ways; by blocking your body’s ability to deliver nutrients to the discs of the lower back, or repeated coughing due to heavy smoking that can aggravate muscles and cause back pain. In addition, smoking can slow your body’s healing process and even prolong pain for people who have back injuries.

There are numerous occupational factors that put a healthy back at risk as well. A job that requires heavy lifting, pushing, or pulling - particularly when this involves twisting or vibrating the spine - can lead to injury and chronic pain. Therefore it is crucial to always support your back properly and avoiding heavy lifting when you can. When you have to lift something heavy, always keep your back straight and lift using your legs and hips. If you feel any soreness before or after lifting, try using a muscle rub such as Tiger Balm that reduces pain and increases blood flow in the area of pain. 

While lifting and standing on your feet all day is an obvious factor in back pain, the injury risks of sitting at a desk all day for an office job should not be overlooked. The inactivity associated with desk jobs may lead to or contribute to back pain, especially if you have poor posture or sit in an uncomfortable chair for hours. Fortunately, there are a plethora of ergonomically designed products on the market today, including back pillowslumbar supportsdynamic-movement office chairs, and a range of other ergonomic office accessories that provide vital support and comfort for your entire body. 

In actuality, there is no kind of “easy” or “preferred” back pain, from the dull, chronic ache to a sudden, sharp pain that can leave you incapacitated. The best way to deal with back pain is avoid it, through preventive measures and the right type of equipment. HealthyBack.com specializes in selling products to help you thwart back pain of any kind, including beds, office chairs, and other ergonomic solutions. Browse our site today to find what you need to ensure that back pain will never get the best of you. 

The Healthy Back Store is a specialty retailer that provides high end comfort solutions and ergonomic products for back pain and other physical conditions. The company offers pain relieving products for sleeping, working, exercising and relaxing including back and neck supports, specialty mattresses, office chairs, exercise and therapy equipment, recliners and massage chairs. Healthy Back sells recognizable name brands such as Herman Miller and Tempur-Pedic, but also represents smaller, specialized manufacturers offering a growing selection of house-branded goods. Healthy Back has 23 stores in 6 states across the United States, and also sells through its website and call center, making it the largest privately owned back care retailer.