How People with Back Pain can Benefit from Volunteer Work
A study done by the Carnegie Mellon University found that volunteering can help improve your physical and mental health. The mental health benefits of volunteering may seem obvious; most people feel good after helping others and often make social connections during volunteer hours. The ways in which volunteering can improve physical health is still a growing body of work, but what researchers have found show a remarkable healing potential that can come naturally from doing a good deed.
More Physical Activity
Volunteer work gets you moving outside of the house. If you have severe back pain, you should not be participating in intense exercises that may jolt your back too much. Building a house and long hours of gardening will be off limits for most patients. Still, movement is an important part of healing – and preventing – lower back pain. Speak with local organizers on possible tasks that can keep you moving without putting too much stress on your lower back.
Lower Blood Pressure
According to the Carnegie study mentioned earlier, volunteering adults over 50 years old were less likely to have high blood pressure. High blood pressure is an indicator of stress and tension throughout the body, and many spinal conditions stem from too much tension or inflammation in the joints. It is important to note that the study did not prove that the two observations are directly correlated. It may simply be that volunteer workers have healthier habits in general.
While the traditional image of volunteer work is giving soup to the homeless or running a fundraiser, other possibilities go beyond outdoor work. If you are skilled in a particular subject or topic, you can volunteer as a tutor for students who may not have had the chance to learn through a traditional schooling environment. Common tutoring activities include teaching children how to listen, read and write. Such work is mentally engaging and has shown to help drop levels of depression and anxiety within the tutors.
Lower back pain should not keep you from enjoying your daily activities. While volunteer work can serve as a wonderful reason to stay active, many severe cases of lower back pain need the guidance of a medical expert for direct treatment. The Spine Institute in New Jersey has many such experts who specialize in spine surgery that can directly address your discomfort. Contact the office near you today to schedule an appointment.