Helpful Tips and Tricks

Gosh Darnit, I Hurt my Back!

Kat back at work by goosmurf, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic LicensePhoto by  goosmurf

There are many folks out there today that suffer from back pains and or injuries.  A bad back can get in the way of so many daily activities and can really slow you down if it’s not tended to properly.  Without a good strong back, most all other motion becomes difficult.

Back problems is one of the more common reasons today for doctor visits and the pain associated with it is very real.  It can come in the form of sharp quick pains, long lasting dull pain, or some cases may even be more severe, where an individual can hardly move at all.

Now don’t get me wrong, a little back ache is normal and most of us will have it from time to time, so don’t mistake a small amount of discomfort for something serious.  But if you have back pain that simply will not go away, any numbness or weakness in your legs, and in worst cases it can even affect the ability to control your bladder.  If you are showing these kinds of signs, then it’s definitely time to consult a physician.

Areas that may Cause you Pain

There are many areas of the back that could potentially lead to pain or discomfort.  The back is made up of vertebrae and disks that stack together in order to form the spine.  There are three main areas to your spine. The first being the neck, known as the cervical curve, then there’s your upper back or thoracic curve, and finally the lower back also known as your lumbar curve.  If any of these key areas have damage inflicted upon them, it can cause serious issues.

The most common problems associated with your back are bulging disks, ruptured disks, or a torn annulus.  You have probably heard of most of these and we won’t go into great detail about each one.  But a visit to the doctor for back problems may reveal one of these problem types.

Preventive Maintenance

What we will go into is some ways to prevent back problems in the event it isn’t already too late.  Many of these things can become second nature with a little practice and self reminder.


RM T2 Corte sagital Malformación de Chi by aktyuvinsk34, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic LicensePhoto by  aktyuvinsk34

Bad Posture

Your posture deals with the way you hold yourself.  It is bad posture to slouch, or over extend your reach, these types of things may cause extra pressure on your disks and can eventually lead to severe problems.  It’s always good to remind yourself to keep good posture.


Bad Body Mechanics

Body mechanics deals with the movements of your body.  Such as walking, sitting, standing and even sleeping.  Short quick movements in awkward positions can be construed as bad body mechanics.

Excess Weight

If you’re carrying excess weight, then it is even harder to practice good posture and body mechanics.  Carrying around the extra weight will also increase the stress and tension on your back which could lead to severe back issues.

Exercise is Key

When ever you have the chance, try to do some exercise.  Keeping your muscles in tune can help strengthen your back and may help reduce the strain daily activities may put on your back.  A lack of exercise can also lead to Bad Posture, Bad Body Mechanics and also Excess Weight.

Emotional Stress

If you are under a great deal of stress or tension, this can lead to back pain and fatigue.  Usually people under a lot of stress are sometimes depressed as well, and that can really make good posture hard to achieve.

Some Good things to Practice

Lifting Properly

  1. Lift with your legs, not with your hips.  Meaning do not bend over with your legs locked, squat with your legs bent.
  2. Do not twist or make sudden direction changes while lifting.
  3. Try not to lift heavy objects above your shoulders, use steps or risers if you need to put something up high.
  4. If the object you’re lifting is quite heavy, then seek help to lighten the load.

Sitting Properly

  1. Make sure the chair you are sitting in is not too high, nor too low.
  2. Keep your back straight, do not arch or slump your back while sitting.
  3. Do not lean forward or slouch.
  4. While sitting try to keep both your feet flat and keep your knees slightly below your hips.
  5. If you have one, a lumbar support or pillow behind your lower back may help.
  6. If you are sitting for long periods, while working on the computer for instance, try to incorporate a foot rest.

Driving More Comfortably

  1. Sit close enough to the steering wheel so that you don’t have to stretch or strain to reach the pedals.
  2. Do not drive with your knees above hip level.
  3. Try to shift your weight as often as you can.
  4. For men that carry a wallet in your back pocket.  Try to keep back pockets empty, a wallet may cause you to sit uneven.

Standing and Walking

  1. Try not to stand for long durations in the same position.
  2. Practice good posture and body mechanics at all times.
  3. Women may remove high heels if standing for long periods.
  4. Try to shift the weight from one leg to another often, and if possible, keep one foot up on something.
  5. Do not stand for long periods with your knees locked.  This can lead to lack of circulation and you may pass out.

Sleeping More Comfortably

  1. If you can help it, do not sleep on a soft, sagging mattress or cushions with no support.
  2. Try not to sleep on your stomach, this can arch your back in an abnormal position.
  3. Try to get a mattress that will support your backs natural curve.
  4. Use a pillow under the back of your knees while sleeping on your back.  If you sleep on your side, then keep a pillow between your bent knees.

If you feel that you’ve hurt your back in some way or the back pain just simply will not go away, then please consult a physician.  There are many different types of daily exercises that can help to strengthen your back that your doctor can teach you.  Plus It’s Easy To Get Back Pain Relief With Meditation as well. Also if you engage in sports or activities of a physical nature, be sure to stretch for at least 15-20 minutes prior to the activities.  What good is a strong back if you’re just going to rip or tear a muscle.  Hope some of this comes in handy and I wish you all health and wellness.


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7 thoughts on “Gosh Darnit, I Hurt my Back!
  1. I have been a photographer in the Raleigh area for 30 years and carrying all that gear for so long has really taken a toll on my back. I find the thing that helps me keep from getting muscle spasms is bringing my knees up and stretching my lower back before getting out of bed-while I am still warm and cozy. If I have to rush out out the door and forget, I pay the price.

    1. Very good advice Bruce. These days it’s hard to find the time to stretch properly. But it’s definitely better safe than sorry.

      I bet carrying all that equipment does take it’s toll on ya!

    2. Thanks for this informative post. I have been suffering those long dull back pains for sometime now and the doctor said it has everything to do with my sitting posture something i’m still working at. I have learnt something new about not sleeping on your stomach, i do this a lot and now i know better. Thanks a gain for sharing

      1. You’re quite welcome Doreen! I truly hope you get the back pains under control. Nothing can put a damper on a good day quicker than being uncomfortable while at work. Best Wishes 🙂

    1. Great, I’m glad you enjoyed the article. It’s so very important to be careful when it comes to you back. The slightest malfunction has the potential to become permanent in a flash.

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