The Oaks at Ojai
"Oh my aching back!" Youíve heard loved ones say this and maybe have muttered it yourself. Howís your back feeling today? If the answer is "Not so great," then Iíve got good news for you. What you donít know about back health and the myths you may believe about your back could be causing you heaps of trouble. Read on and learn to take back your backís health.
Myth #1: If you commute long distances youíll be prone to lower backaches. Truth: The most common cause of low back pain includes sustained poor posture, incorrect methods of lifting objects like briefcases and groceries and incorrect bending without the knees slightly flexed. However, if youíre constantly bending forward to see over the steering wheel, youíre tensing up in heavy traffic (and who doesnít?) or you slouch while riding the train or bus to work, you are sustaining poor posture and that is a true cause.
Myth #2: If your posture is good, you wonít have backaches. Truth: If you posture is excellent but youíre carrying unwanted body fat in the belly, youíre a candidate for an aching back. Strong stomach muscles provide support for the back. Along with an aerobic fitness program, curl ups done with legs bent, can help build stronger stomach muscles, which in turn support, the spine.
Myth #3: Toe touches can strengthen the back. Truth: Straight leg toe touches are dangerous and not recommended at all. If you love to touch your toes, for the stretch of it, flex your knees, tuck your hips, contract your tummy muscles and slowly reach down. Doing it slowly is important. Bobbing and bouncing will only aggravate spinal problems or even start them.
Myth #4: Standing is more stressful on the back than sitting. Truth: Both can be stressful, however, if youíve ever been on an overseas flight you know how tired you can be after flying for 10 or 16 hours. Anytime youíre sitting or standing for more than an hour, get up and move around. New medical evidence shows that for those who circulation concerns, not moving for long periods may increase the likelihood of blood clots forming. More so, check your chair and get one that gives good back support. Check your shoes while youíre at it. If the soles or heels are worn, they could be the culprits for your back problem.
Myth #5: It matters little about your body weight. Everyone gets backaches. Truth: Men and women who are over a comfortable body weight are more prone to backaches. Further after losing the unwanted body fat, through a fitness program and common sense meal planning, backaches sometimes disappear.
Here are some tips to keep your back healthy:
*Check with your doctor before you start any fitness program and then select one where you can move all your muscles, such as brisk walking. Yoga may help strengthen your back too. Cycling and swimming are the workout of choice for those suffering from chronic back pain.
*Eat less fats and sugars. Eat more whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, and low-fat protein choices. If youíre just five pounds over a comfortable weight but itís all in the tummy, reducing that weight may eradicate your backache.
*Stretch with gentle movements. Try this. Lying on your back, on a cushioned surface with knees bent to the ceiling, contract your abdominal muscles by pressing the small of your back into the floor. Now tight buttocks and lift your hips off the ground. Hold for a count of ten, breathing regularly. Slowly release and rest for a count of ten. Repeat working up to 20.
*Lift wisely. Keep knees flexed slightly when lifting. Carry a heavy load in both hands rather than putting all the weight on one side. Ask others for help or get equipment to help you move things.
*Rest and get professional advice immediately should you hurt your back or for a back has been giving you trouble. Many new exercises and therapies are available to help get your back back in shape.