Stay in shape to prevent back pain
The best way to avoid back pain is to exercise regularly. After all, if you’re healthy, you’re less likely to hurt yourself because you’re strong enough to lift a heavy bug-out bag or supplies in a survival scenario. You should also keep your abdominal muscles strong to prevent back pain.
Staying in shape through regular exercise can also prevent back pain because your spine won’t have to work hard to support your full weight. (Related: Exercise is the best natural remedy for back pain.)
Before you exercise, warm up properly for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Warm-ups prepare your muscles for intense physical activity so you can avoid muscular injury.
Tips for back pain prevention
Most tips for preventing back pain involve practicing healthy habits, having proper posture, or using the right tools for certain tasks.
- Always lift heavy things properly. First, bend your knees and hips instead of your back. Check your footing, then keep the weight close to your body.
- Avoid twisting motions. When lifting heavy objects, refrain from suddenly twisting your body so you don’t hurt your back.
- Stay active. Don’t sit for long periods of time. Get up from your chair at least once every hour. Poor sitting posture strains your back and compresses the discs in your spine, which may lead to disc problems.
- Stay hydrated. At least 70 percent of your body is made up of water, which helps maintain the flexibility of your body. Drink enough water to enhance the height of the intervertebral discs which function as your body’s “healthy shock absorbers.”
- Quit smoking. Nicotine constricts your blood vessels and the cartilage discs between your vertebrae may weaken if you smoke frequently.
- Use a bag that distributes the weight evenly between your shoulders. Choose a backpack with a frame that shifts the weight of your bag onto your hips.
- Use a long shovel. Using a short-handled shovel will force you to bend your back too much. Be careful when shoveling snow on your driveway so you don’t slip and hurt yourself.
What can you do if you hurt your back?
Avoid painkillers because they have negative side effects. Painkillers may even cause addiction, which is the last thing you need when trying to survive a disaster scenario. Bed rest can result in muscle atrophy, which does nothing to help your back pain.
When SHTF, these options can help relieve back pain, especially if you don’t have access to emergency medical services.
- Acupuncture offers temporary relief, but you need to know a practitioner who will still offer their services when SHTF.
- Biopsychosocial back care involves doing whatever you can to relieve all physical symptoms while coping with psychological factors. This means that reducing the anxiety and depression that come with pain can help improve your condition. Biopsychosocial modes of treatment look into the biologic, psychological, and social factors that affect a patient’s condition, in this case, back pain.
- Consult an osteopath or chiropractor whenever possible to ease muscle and back pain.
- Exercise even after you hurt your back. Also, doing stretching and strengthening exercises is more effective at reducing back pain and related disabilities than other treatments you may have access to when SHTF. And the best part of it is, exercise is free.
Before SHTF, practice healthy habits. Eat nutritious foods and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight so you can prevent back pain.