Due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of you would be staying at home due to the lockdown. That means spending more time on your bed as there seems to be nothing else to do in free time other than binge-watching TV. Doing so for a long period of time can lead to stiffness and pain especially in the lower back area. People should ensure now more than ever that spine issues do not arise or increase. Here are some ways to ensure a healthy spine:
Do not Spend too Much Time on the Bed
The spread of COVID 19 has made people stay back at home. Companies have given their employees the option to work from home to prevent the spread of infections. Many people think of the bed as a work desk and that can put pressure on the spine due to the bad posture and stiffness. Now with extended work from home, there is more likelihood of back pain than before. Also, for those who already have back pain, the instinct is to spend more time lying in bed which does more harm to them. It leads to stiffness in the back and increases pain. Additionally, if you are resting for a long time it leads to loss of muscle strength, and hence it is best to keep moving rather than stay in the rested state for long.
Exercise and Be Active
It is essential to maintain at least a basic level of physical activity even in lockdown as that can help reduce back pain or prevent it. Agreed, you cannot go out on long walks in the park due to lockdown, but you can still remain active by consciously getting up from your chair and talking a few strides every hour. If you want to push your body to the next level, you can do activities like jumping, on the spot jogging, kickboxing, or dancing.
You can also use the many exercises app to strengthen the core muscles. The core muscles which are in the abdomen and the lower back have to be strong so as to support the spine and the lower back. But most of the time, the core muscles are not as strong as they used to be during daily activities. So to have a stronger back and to reduce back pain these muscles have to be exercised. Some of the exercises that help are planks, fire hydrants, push-ups, etc.
Give Appropriate Rest to your Spine
When you sleep at the end of the day, the spine should get a well-desired rest. All the elements of your spine should get relaxed and rejuvenated for the rigors of the next day. For that to happen, you need the right mattress that offers support and comfort. Consider the following tips for a better spine.
- Sleep on a medium-firm mattress as it is firm enough to provide support to the spine. Check if the mattress is sagging or is soft as that misaligns the spine from its natural alignment. Experts from Wakefit suggest that people benefit from mattresses that are chosen based on body type and sleeping position.
- Maintain the spine’s natural alignment based on the sleeping position. Side sleepers can place a pillow between the knees, back sleepers can place back support cushions below the knee and some benefit from neck pillows to support the cervical spine.
Maintaining the right posture is essential to alleviate back pain and also to keep the spine in top condition. Some of the techniques to maintain a healthy posture is:
- Keeping the back straight while sitting or standing. No slouching!
- Keeping a back support pillow or a rolled towel behind the lower back while sitting on the chair.
- Avoid sitting for a long time. If you are sitting for a long time change position often.
- To relieve pressure from the back if you are sitting for a long time, use a low stool to elevate the feet and reduce pressure from the back.
- Try working using a standup desk
- Pace around even when talking on the phone.
It is important to eat healthily and not over-indulge yourself in food especially during this period as there is less physical activity. Most people tend to put on weight in the mid-section and that can strain the lower back. So it is best to avoid foods that are high on fat and sugar, processed, or fried. Instead look to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, legumes, healthy fats, fish, or lean poultry. One of the best ways to avoid snacking is to plan healthy meals and eat on time and only give into cravings once in a while.
If your back pain is unbearable and has weakness in your legs, fever, chills, incontinence, numbness below the waist, and sleepless nights due to pain then you should visit a doctor. For all other simple spine issues follow the above-mentioned tips as that can improve the spine support so that it boosts the back health.