Tag Archives: aches

Back To Your Best: Back Care Advice

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Back To Your Best: Back Care Advice

At one point or another as you get older, you are likely to suffer from some sort of back issue. Our modern lives involve a great deal of sitting down in hunched positions, which can lead to problems further down the line. As well as this, being overweight and having poor posture can all contribute towards pain and discomfort. And, as anyone who has suffered from back issues in the past will know, they can be quite debilitating. So, let’s talk through a few of the ways that you can take better care of your back so that you can reduce your risk of developing problems:

Your Choice of Footwear:

It may come as no surprise that high heels cause more stress on your spine, but you may be shocked to learn that ultra-flat shoes like ballet flats and loafers can also be problematic. You should also avoid wearing flip-flops and other backless styles of shoes. All of these footwear types involve you tensing your feet, which will, in turn, put stress on your back. If you are going to wear heels, you are better off wearing small ones (around one inch). Even if you wear trainers all of the time, you need to remember that these wear out over time and will need to be replaced.

Your Workouts:

We have already discussed how a sedentary lifestyle can contribute towards a bad back, but suddenly launching yourself into an extensive workout routine isn’t going to do you much good, either. Instead, you should build up your physical activity slowly if you haven’t done any for a long time. And it is more important to make sure that you are practicing the correct technique – particularly when you are lifting weights of any kind. If you get into any problems, there is more info about a chiropractor here. Regular stretching is also important, especially before and after any workouts.

Your Mattress:

The type of mattress that you are sleeping on every night makes a big difference to the condition of your back. And while you might think that sleeping on a very hard mattress is the best thing if you suffer from back pain, there are actually many studies which dispel this belief. In fact, mattresses of a medium firmness have been found to be best when it comes to alleviating the most common symptoms of back pain. You should also replace your mattress every few years as it will wear down over time and won’t offer the same level of support that it once did.

Your Desk Set-Up:

Many of us have jobs which involve sitting down for hours on end, so you need to make sure that any workstations that you have are set up ergonomically to reduce any back pain issues which could be caused by your desk. You should aim to position your monitor at eye level to avoid having to hunch over to operate your computer. You should also position your chair so that you can rest your feet comfortably on the floor. Get into the habit of assessing your body position on a regular basis to ensure that you are sitting upright in your chair with relaxed shoulders. If you spend more than a couple of hours a day talking on the telephone, it is worth investing in a headset.

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 How is your desk set up?

Your Baggage:

The bags that you carry around regularly can also play their part in damaging your back and affecting your posture. If you have luggage such as a laptop bag that is always worn over one shoulder, you should avoid always wearing it on the same side as this can cause you to put extra stress it. Better still, you should switch to a rucksack which distributes the weight evenly between your shoulders. It is also worth emptying out your bag on a regular basis so that you are not carrying around any more weight than you need to.

Your Car:

Your car can be a particular source of problems if you spend a great deal of the day driving. Many of the issues are caused by seat set-up, so make sure that you position it to suit your needs and use some extra cushions if you feel like they are necessary. The vibrations caused by the car are a source of problems, so you should make sure to take regular breaks when you can to get out of the car and go on a short walk.

Your Health:

We already mentioned being overweight as a major cause of back problems, so you should take steps to cut down on excess pounds. If you are a smoker, you may be shocked to learn that back pain is on the long list of problems closely associated with tobacco usage. It is believed that smoking reduces the blood supply to the discs between the vertebrae, therefore leading to their degeneration. Too much stress can lead you to retain a lot of tension in your body. You should try to reduce the stress in your life, which can be another contributing factor by engaging in breathing techniques and meditation.

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Or yoga!

Back pain is something that you want to avoid at all costs, and these are just a few of the ways that you can reduce your chances of suffering from it.

Featured Image By: Pexels

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How Your Sleeping Position Can Impact Your Health

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How Your Sleeping Position Can Impact Your Health

We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is a vital component of health — but did you know the position you sleep in can also be important? On the surface, this sounds like junk science. After all, if you’re sleeping, that’s the bit that counts, surely? Why does it matter how you sleep, so long as you’re doing it?

Numerous studies have concluded that your sleeping position can indeed influence your health. The downside of this is that many people have a preferred sleeping position, and the idea of trying to sleep differently is very difficult to imagine. It therefore makes sense to know the potential downsides of your preferred sleeping position, so you can take action to mitigate the effects:

Side Sleepers:

The bad news…

  • Side sleepers are the most at-risk group for neck complaints. If you find that you frequently wake up with a sore neck or headache, it’s likely that the body alignment you adopt while sleeping on your side is to blame. Invest in a pillow that is specifically designed to adapt to the curve of your neck, so you are thoroughly supported throughout the night.
  • Side sleepers are also at risk of back and hip problems, again due to the alignment of your body while sleeping. As you can see on this Lull Bed review, side sleepers have been found to enjoy mattresses that conform to their body shape, so keep this in mind when you’re purchasing a mattress.

The good news…

  • Studies have shown that sleeping on your left side can reduce acid reflux for those suffering from GERD.

Back Sleepers:

The bad news…

  • Sleeping on your back does not mean you will necessarily develop a condition called sleep apnea, but sleep apnea sufferers who sleep on their back will definitely exacerbate the condition. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes people to stop breathing during sleep; this is usually only momentary and happens without conscious awareness in most cases. If you do have sleep apnea, avoid sleeping on your back to help prevent attacks.
  • Back sleepers are also more likely to snore than those who sleep in other positions, which can cause issues with dry mouth and throat pain.

The good news

  • Sleeping on your back ensures your spine is always in alignment with the rest of your body, so back sleepers are the least likely to experience aches and pains caused by their sleep habits.

Front Sleepers:

The bad news…

  • Lower back pain is a real risk for front sleepers, as your body is forced to flatten unnaturally. Try sleeping with a pillow under your abdomen to mitigate this.
  • Neck pain is also common for front sleepers. Most specialists recommend using pillows to train yourself to sleep on your side, as front sleeping is generally considered to be the worst sleeping position.

The good news

  • Snoring is less common in front sleepers.

In conclusion:

Now that you know how to prevent any issues caused by your sleeping position, you can make a few changes and ensure that your sleep is always as beneficial and restorative as it should be.

Featured Image By: Pexels