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Back Pain Prevention Should Start With a Plan
Date:11/24/2007

flow to the spine, and helps reduce stress.
  • Practice good posture. If possible, don't sit for long periods of time. Get up every 15 to 30 minutes and move around or stretch. When you're seated, keep your hips and knees at right angles to one another and use a chair with adequate lumbar (lower back) support.
  • When standing, keep your head up, shoulders straight, chest forward and stomach tight. Don't stand in the same position for too long. Use your legs, not your back, when pushing or pulling heavy items.
  • Use proper lifting techniques. When lifting objects from a position below your waist, stand with a wide stance and a slight bend at your hips and knees. Tighten your stomach as you lift and keep your back as flat as possible -- don't arch or bend it. When carrying heavy items, keep them as close as possible to your body. Don't carry items on only one side of your body.
  • Sleep on a firm mattress and box spring that doesn't sag. Sleep in a position that allows you to maintain the natural curve in your back.
  • Warm up before exercise or sports. Increasing muscle temperature and mobility beforehand will reduce the risk of injury.
  • Maintain/adopt a healthy lifestyle. Obesity and smoking increase the incidence of back pain.
  • More information

    The U.S. National Institutes of Health offers back pain prevention advice.



    -- Robert Preidt



    SOURCE: National Athletic Trainers' Association, news release, November 2007


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