BACK PAIN CLINIC
Did you know that 80-90% of the population will experience back pain at some point? Taking steps to keep your spine healthy can help prevent back pain in the future. Here are seven tips to help keep your spine in good shape and pain-free.
No matter whether an item is light or heavy, avoid twisting when lifting. Twisting is dangerous for the spine as is, but it becomes particularly unsafe when lifting.
Never lift an item that is too heavy. If possible, push the item instead, and use your legs – not your back – to push. If a heavy item must be lifted, ask someone for help.
Proper posture can help alleviate pressure on the lower back and keep your spine in a neutral, healthy position. When standing, keep your knees slightly bent, and one foot just slightly in front of the other.
Avoid bending at the waist for long periods of time while standing. This position can decondition your lower back muscles, and eventually lead to pain.
If you’re like most people, you probably spend an extended amount of time sitting at a desk each day. Practicing good posture when sitting can prevent future pain and keep your spine in tip top shape.
When sitting, your knees should be a tad higher than your hips, and your back and head should be straight. The shoulders should be back and straight – not slouched forward.
The goal is to maintain the spine’s natural curve whenever you sit. Investing in a high quality, adjustable ergonomic chair can help you maintain good posture whenever you sit down to work at your desk.
When carrying heavy items, try to keep them close to your body. If you’re carrying two smaller objects, try carrying one in each hand to alleviate pressure or strain on the spine.
When reaching for something that is above your shoulder level, such as a high cabinet, use a stool. Reaching too high will strain your back, and even lead to shoulder injuries.
Rather than bending down at the waist to pick objects up, kneel down on one knee and keep the other foot flat on the floor. If you have difficulty with this movement, bend at the knees and left with your legs (not your back) while keeping the item close your body.
If you sleep on your back, you’re putting 50 pounds of pressure on your spine each night. Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees may be a better option and will alleviate some of the pressure on your spine. If you must sleep on your back, place a pillow underneath your knees.
Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and quitting smoking can also help keep your spine healthy. Always remember to practice good posture and follow these recommended guidelines when lifting, carrying, bending or reaching.