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Back and Spine Care Newsletter Friday, October 24, 2014

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Pinnacle Health

Back and Spine Care Newsletter Friday, October 24, 2014

Getting the Better of Back Pain

Back pain is a common complaint: Nearly everyone will have low back pain that interferes with work or daily activities at some point in his or her life.


Where is back pain most common?

Although pain can occur anywhere in the back, it is the low back, or lumbar region, where most people experience pain. The lumbar region includes five vertebrae, along with muscles and ligaments, and supports most of the weight of the upper body. It also does most of the work of bending, stooping, sitting, and lifting. Wear and tear and injury can cause discomfort ranging from a mild ache to sudden, sharp, debilitating pain.

Risks

Here are some of the more common conditions or situations that put a person at risk for back pain:

  • Improper body mechanics when lifting or bending.
  • Poor physical conditioning, which causes weak muscles, and inflexible ligaments and tendons. When these areas are weak, they are more easily injured and fail to properly support the spine.
  • Chronically poor posture when sitting, standing, or sleeping.
  • Standing or sitting for long periods of time, especially if you are jostled by movement while sitting, such as when driving a truck long distances.


Symptoms

Back pain from a sprain or muscle strain usually has these symptoms and usually can be treated with medication and exercise:

  • Pain that ranges from an ache to a stabbing pain
  • Pain in a broad area of the back or on only one side
  • Pain that is worse with activity and is severe enough that you can’t bend, stand, or sit without discomfort
  • Pain that interferes with sleep


Prevention

If your back pain is caused by poor physical conditioning or improper body mechanics, you can help prevent injuries by regularly doing a combination of exercises that don't jolt or strain the back, maintaining correct posture, and learning how to lift objects properly. Activities that include stretching exercises, swimming, walking, and movement therapy can improve coordination and develop proper posture and muscle balance. Yoga helps stretch and strengthen muscles and improve posture. Always talk with your health care provider before beginning an exercise program to make sure it is the right thing to do.


Healthy Back Tips

  • Get 30 to 60 minutes of low impact aerobic exercise everyday
  • Focus on standing up straight
  • Eat a nutritious diet
  • Learn how to lift properly
  • Sleep on a firm mattress

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