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Quick Tips to a Healthier Back - 7/15/2011

While chronic back pain can be a daily nuisance, limiting many of the activities we enjoy and even some of the ones we depend on, intensive treatment or surgery is not always immediately warranted. In fact, there are several simple and quick tips to gradually help you relieve back pain and improve back health. From exercises to the right furniture, habitual activities to harmful ones, these tips demonstrate how nearly everything you do involves your back in one degree or another, and if you follow them correctly, how chronic back pain can become a thing of the past.

1.) Exercise: Nearly everyone knows the physical and mental benefits of getting in shape, but few understand that light exercise and stretching can loosen lower back muscles and thus alleviate pain and stress, especially for those disabled or in rehabilitation. Low-impact exercises such as speed walking, swimming, yoga, motion inducing stationary machines, or home exercises incorporatinginflatable balls or trampolines for just 30 minutes or less a day can increase muscle strength and flexibility. Delegating a few minutes before and after every work out for stretching will increase your back strength and flexibility, which in turn increases back health and limits pain. It should be cautioned that you should NEVER directly stretch your lower back. Instead of risking extra injury, you should stretch local muscles such as the hamstring, gluteus, and quadriceps to indirectly stimulate your lower back.

2.) Use Ergonomic Furniture: Think about it, most of the time we spend in today’s society is sitting or lying down on some piece of furniture. At the office, sitting in a chair with good lumbar support and proper position and height adjustments is vital in maintaining a healthy posture while staying comfortable. There are ranges of choices between executive and task models, many of which are innovatively designed to mold to your specific body shape and allow you to move freely. Still, it may be necessary to periodically walk around the office, or add an ergonomically designed lumbar support to guarantee your back comfort. Newer ergonomic research is focusing beyond improving just your chair, and has output a range of office accessories aimed to keep you as comfortable and supported as possible, including adjustable desksfootrests, and monitor arms

You can improve your back health at home by purchasing ergonomically designed recliner chairs,sofas, and even outdoor seating. While all of these chairs are made to alleviate your back pain through a blend of support and comfort, a massage chair is the only seating option that proactively works to eliminate back pain. Vibrating kneaders loosen your back muscles without pressing too hard leaving you feeling great and healthier. Perhaps the most important piece of furniture in terms of your back health is your bed. Chiropractors recommend a firm bed for those with chronic back pain, but that does not necessarily mean it has to be uncomfortable! In fact, memory foam mattresses such as the Tempur-Pedic line and premium pure latex mattresses provide contouring support along with supreme comfort to deliver a great nights sleep even when you are plagued with back pain.
3.) Don’t Try Too Much: The last thing you want to do once you already have discomfort in your back is further injure it. Therefore, don’t try to lift or move objects too heavy for you, or over-exert yourself doing any activity. If you do find yourself lifting, move most of the weight with your knees, pull in your stomach muscles, keep your head down and in line with your straight back, hold the object close to your body, and do not twist when lifting. Although it is recommended for any muscle or joint pain in general, applying Tiger Balm is crucial to relieve aches and pains, as well as promote blood flow, in a local area after you have exerted yourself. 

4.) Eat and Drink Well: Maintaining proper nutrition and diet will reduce and prevent extra weight which taxes lower back muscles. It’s not only how much you eat, but what you eat that matters too. A diet with sufficient daily intake of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D helps to promote new bone growth and increasing bone density. Smoking is also not recommended when you have chronic back pain or the potential to contract it, as it reduces blood flow to the lower spine causing the spinal discs to degenerate.

Preventing back pain is much easier than treating back pain. Almost everything you do requires the use of your back, so take precaution and treat your back well. 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.