7 TIPS FOR AVOIDING BACK PAIN
1. Get more exercise. If your back is hurting, you may think the best way to get relief is to rest. However, studies show that frequent changes in position and regular physical activity can actually help ease inflammation and muscle tension faster in the back. 2. Maintain a healthy weight. Extra pounds, especially in your midsection, can make back pain worse by shifting your center of gravity and putting a strain on your lower back. Maintaining a healthy weight can help control back pain and will provide additional health benefits. 3. Quit smoking. Nicotine in smoke restricts the flow of nutrient-containing blood to spinal discs. Because of this, smokers are especially vulnerable to back pain, which typically dissipates on its own after the nicotine is out of your system. 4. Adjust your sleeping position. If you’re prone to back pain, talk with your physical therapist about the best sleeping position for you. It is important to sleep in the position that will help you achieve the most rest.
5. Improve your posture. Posture is important, whether you’re working, exercising, or simply relaxing. Find a good chair to sit on that will allow you to keep your feet flat on the floor while you sit. Try to avoid soft couches or chairs that put you in a slouched position. When standing, try to alternate your positions and walk around if possible. Have one foot forward when standing, alternating between feet every 10 minutes. 6. Watch how you lift. It is a common mistake to lift with your back, rather than your legs. Make sure you don’t bend over at the waist to lift heavy objects. Instead, bend your knees and squat, pulling in your stomach muscles and holding the object close to your body as you stand up. Don’t twist your body while lifting. 7. Use supportive shoes. A good pair of cushioned shoes can reduce pressure on your back. When possible, avoid wearing high heels, as they shift your center of gravity and strain your lower back.
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