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Figure Skater Peggy Fleming, HealthSaver Says: Take Pains For Back Strains, 2nd Most Common Doctor Complaint
Date:9/5/2007

NORWALK, Conn., Sept. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Back pain is second only to headaches as the most frequent complaint heard by doctors.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070125/NYTHFNS2 )

"If you're one of the 80 percent of Americans who know the inconvenience of back pain," said Peggy Fleming, Olympic figure skating champion and HealthSaver spokesperson, "you can find relief by addressing the cause, taking precautions and understanding your body's limits."

The most common cause of back pain is overstretched muscles or partially torn ligaments. "Such strains and sprains are often the result of using our backs in ways our bodies are not used to," said Brad Eggleston, vice president of HealthSaver.

If you stay healthy, lift loads properly and maintain correct posture, you are less likely to suffer the aches and pains of back problems.

Prevention

-- An inactive lifestyle is just as likely to cause or contribute to low

back pain as injury, age-related conditions and some sports, according

to the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Regular exercise will keep your back muscles strong enough to support

your spine. Try core-strengthening exercises such as yoga or weight-

bearing activities such as walking.

-- Be careful how you lift and how much you lift. Bend your knees to use

your leg muscles instead of your back. While lifting, keep your back

straight and do not twist. Twisting while lifting can cause a

herniated disk, which occurs when a disk between your vertebrae slips

out of place and places too much pressure on the nerves.

-- Stand tall. Proper posture puts the least strain on your back's

muscles and ligaments. By using your muscles more efficiently, you

also conserve energy and prevent fatigue.

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SOURCE HealthSaver
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