Correcting your posture with exercises
Keeping a good posture is the first step to preventing back pain. However, if backaches do appear, there are simple ways to help you relieve them.
+ A healthy posture, when you're on your feet or walking, is essential for taking care of the spinal column (see Correct Posture box). If you feel as if you can't easily change your position, you may need physical therapy to correct your posture.
BEFORE EXPERIENCING INTENSE PAIN
Those who suffer from occasional back pain tend to complain that their pain begins as a slight ache and gradually becomes more intense, something like a sensation of a slight electrical current running through the affected area. Noticing the pain early on can be very useful, because you can use certain methods to lessen the pain or to avoid it. When you sense symptoms it's useful to practice the following tips:
- ∎ Stretch out. When your pain begins, it's good to lie on the floor, facing the ceiling and place your feet on a chair or bed, so that your knees and heels are at the same height, at a 90 degree angle in relation to your chest. This posture helps to relieve muscle spasm and lessens the pressure on your vertebrae disks and joints. You should stay in this position for at least 15 minutes.
- ∎ Lie down in bed. If you are fighting the initial signs of back pain and the previous position doesn't help, its best to lie down in bed on your back, with your legs straight and a pillow under your knees. Aspirin (acetyl-salicylic acid) or other mild pain medication can help, always under the supervision of your doctor. If you have painful or inflamed muscles, you can use an heating pad. If the pain gets to be intense, you should take a stronger pain reliever, always following a medical prescription. If the pain is very severe, it may be best to stay in bed, resting for a few days until the pain subsides.
If you must sit for long periods of time working it is recommended that you use a correct posture: