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Back Pain Basics

Did you know...that as a person ages, the odds of having a problem with back pain tend to increase?  You might think this is something that goes along with aging, but if the truth be told there are measures one can take to reduce the risk of this problem.

In order to avoid spinal issues, it is important to take a look at what causes them.  The main problem is that we tend to spend a lot of time "hunched over"--leaning forward over a computer, or driving, for instance.   Slouching is not unusual, but oh so unhealthy! Many are unaware of proper lifting technique; spinal cord injuries occur as a result.

So, with that in mind, here are some tips to keep in mind during every day activities.  By putting some healthy practices in place now, it will save a lot of pain in the back later.

1) When sitting, try not to lean forward.  Even sitting at a 90 degree angle is not preferable.
  • The ideal is to sit at a 135 degree angle.  (see image above)
  • This posture reduces pressure on the spine when you are seated.

2) Don't sit for long periods of time.  It is a good idea to periodically (hourly) get up and walk around a bit.

3) Instead of driving, walk to destinations when it's reasonable to do so.  This is another way to reduce the time you spend sitting down.

4) Use proper lifting technique to protect your spine. Here are 3 basic rules to keep in mind:
  •    Keep object that you are lifting close to your body.
  •    Try not to twist at the waist while you are holding object. Try to keep your spine in a    neutral position.  If you have to reposition, move your feet.
  •    Use the strength in your legs to do the lifting, bending at the knees.
5) Include core training in your exercise program at least 2-3 times per week.

6) If you need to grab something out of your reach, use a step stool.



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