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Five Tips for Better Back Health

Chances are good you and the person next to you in something in common: back pain. According to the National Institutes of Health, and 8 out of 10 people at some point suffer from back pain that hinder their work, daily life and leisure activities.

Acute injuries continue for a few days or weeks are likely to stem from trauma such as falls and sports injuries, strains of the work around the house, or car accidents. It becomes chronic pain if I stayed around longer than three months. Seek medical attention as soon as possible after the injury, and you can reduce the time it takes to return to your normal routine.

Here are five tips to help prevent back pain.

1. Always carry packages close to your body. Carrying packages close to your body prevents unnecessary strain on you low back. Always test how heavy a box or bag is before lifting. When in doubt, ask for help!

2. Clean out your purse/wallet frequently. I went purse shopping yesterday, and, quite frankly, I was amazed that most purses were the size of brief cases! Carry only what you truly need in your purse. If it is too heavy, the weight can promote a postural imbalance. As for wallets in you back pocket, keep them cleaned out too. A bulging wallet can push your pelvis out of balance when you sit, with one hip higher than the other. When driving long distances, try putting your wallet in the glove compartment.

3. Get up from your desk every half hour and stretch. Most of us bring a strong work ethic to our jobs, where we often face recurring deadlines and a demand for high productivity. By putting your own needs on the back burner, however, you take a toll on your body, physically and emotionally. A daily stretching routine-right at your desk-can reduce stress, improve your posture, and even ease back pain. You don't need expensive equipment, and you don't need a substantial block of time. There's always time to sneak in a stretch or two-no matter where you are.

4. Sit with proper posture. Some of my clients sit with their legs curled under them, some sit with their legs crossed, and some sit with their heads pushed forward because they work at a computer. Each of these postures can lead to back problems. If you make your living sitting down-either at a desk or behind a steering wheel-try using a low back support pillow in your chair or seat. It's also important to keep your feet flat on the floor when you're seated. And, finally, low heels are better for you back than high heels.

5. Get regular back care from your healthcare providers. Do receive regular care from your healthcare team, which may include orthopedic, osteopathic, or chiropractic physicians as well as physical, occupational and massage therapists. Athletic trainers are also great members of your back healthcare team.


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