I can honestly say that every single day that I am scheduled to give massages, at least one (if not all) of my clients are asking me to relieve their back pain. For some it’s a temporary problem that can be resolved fairly quickly, for others it’s a long-standing chronic condition that they are always struggling to manage.
Considering how common this problem is, I thought I would share some suggestions published by the ABMP (Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals) on how to keep your back healthy and minimize pain and discomfort.
“Keeping Your Back Healthy
In many cases, recurring back pain caused by poor body mechanics can be preventable. Here are a few simple healthy back tips from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke:
- Stretch and warm tissues before exercise or other strenuous activities.
- Practice good posture. Avoid slouching when sitting or standing.
- When standing, keep your weight balanced on both feet.
- Follow good ergonomics in the workplace. When sitting for long periods of time, rest your feet on a foot support. Make sure your chair and work surfaces are at the proper height. Get up and move around in between long sitting stints.
- Avoid high-heeled shoes.
- Watch your weight. Excess weight, especially around the waist, can put undue stress on lower back muscles. Exercises that strengthen your core will also benefit your back.
- Take your vitamins and minerals. Calcium, phosphorous, and vitamin D are especially important.
- Don’t lift items that are heavier than you can handle. Remember to lift with your knees, not your back. Pull in your stomach muscles, keep your head down and in line with your straight back, and do not twist when lifting.
- Get a massage. Using therapeutic bodywork can melt pain-inducing stress away from your back and the rest of your body.”
For other ABMP articles on the benefits of massage and keeping our backs healthy, click here.