A pain in the neck, legs and buttocks
Because the spine runs right up to the head, neck aches are often caused by the same problems of the spine that affect the back.
Plus, many people are surprised to learn that pains in the legs or buttocks are actually caused by back problems.
The following factors increase your risk of suffering from back pain:
- Being overweight or unusually tall.
- Repetitive lifting or twisting.
- Lifting heavy or awkward objects.
- Regular exposure to vibrations caused by heavy. Machinery or vehicles.
- If you are pregnant or a new mother.
Lifestyle tips to prevent backache
People who have already experienced a flare–up of backache are ten times more likely to have pain again. However, the following lifestyle tips will help you avoid that initial flare–up of backache or reduce the chances of a recurrence.
Exercise and fitness
A regular program of aerobic, strength and flexibility exercises will keep your back healthy. Stay within your own limits to avoid injury, especially if you have already had back problems.
Posture and body mechanics
Your mother was right, good posture is important. When sitting, select a chair that allows both feet to touch the floor with knees slightly higher than the hips. Sit firmly, well back in the chair, so that your buttocks are touching the back of the chair and don’t slouch!
Walk upright with your head high and chin tucked in. Raise your chest, keep your pelvis forward, tighten your stomach muscles and point your toes straight ahead.
Good nutrition and diet
Watch your diet, particularly fatty foods, to help control weight. A good balanced diet will provide the nutrients needed to maintain general health and will ensure that you get enough calcium to keep bones healthy.
Stress management and rest
Backache can be triggered by tense muscles brought on by emotional stress. Learn to manage stress and you can reduce your risk of back pain flare–ups. Stretching exercises, walking, swimming, deep breathing and yoga are great “Stress–busters”.
Rest is also very important. Never push yourself to the point of exhaustion, take frequent breaks when performing physical tasks and get plenty of sleep.
Although the reasons are not fully understood, clinical studies have shown a direct correlation between smoking cigarettes and back problems.