Preventing Back Pain
At Mission Hospital, helping our community avoid back pain is an important part of our approach. Back pain can be prevented through improved physical condition and proper body mechanics.
Improving Your Physical Condition:
- Regular exercise. Exercise can increase your back's strength, stamina and flexibility. Low-impact aerobic activities, such as walking and swimming, are good options that don't stress your back
- Regular stretching. Stretching before and after physical activity is vital. Flexibility in your hips and upper legs aligns your pelvic bones and can improve how your back feels
- Core strengthening. Abdominal and back muscle exercises help condition the muscles around your back to work in unison as a natural support
- Maintaining a healthy weight. Extra body weight can place an enormous strain on muscles of your back and of surrounding are
Improving Your Body Mechanics:
- Stand smart. If you must stand for long periods of time, alternate placing a foot on a low footstool to take some of the load off your lower back. Maintain a centered hip position
- Sit smart. Choose a seat with good lower back support, armrests and a swivel base. Consider placing a pillow or rolled towel in the small of your back to maintain its normal curve. Keep your knees and hips level by not crossing your legs
- Lift smart. Let your legs do the work by keeping your back straight and bending only at your knees. Hold the load close to your body. Avoid lifting and rotating your back at the same time. If a load is too heavy or unwieldy, get help lifting it
Be sure to ask your doctor about any exercise or stretching regimen before you get started.