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Back Pain Prevention: Treating Back Pain Before It Begins

exercising girlJordan A. Gliedt, DC

Spinal pain and its treatment has become a common part of our society today.  Back and neck related complaints are so common that approximately 80 percent of Americans will experience some form of spine-related pain during their adult life.  Chances are if you have not experienced back pain before, you know someone who has suffered from back pain and it may seem inevitable that you are next in line.  The good news is there are preventive steps one can take in order to reduce one’s chances of suffering from an initial onset or recurrence of back pain.

Brief summaries of prevention strategies include:

Smoking Cessation:  Smoking has been correlated to spine related disorders, low back pain and decreased effectiveness of medical treatments for spinal disorders.  Studies have also shown that stopping smoking can decrease pain levels and reduce your risk for future back pain.

Exercise:  The benefits of exercise extend beyond your spine.  Regular core strengthening and aerobic activity improves your overall health and reduces your risk of back injury.

Weight Management:  Excessive weight may contribute to added musculoskeletal stress, particularly of the spine.  It is recommended to stay within 10 pounds of your ideal weight to reduce your risk of back and neck pain.

Use Proper Body Mechanics:  It is easy to overload and isolate one area of your spine while sitting, standing, sleeping or lifting.  Use a chair with good low back support, avoid sitting forward flexed for long periods, place a pillow under your knees while sleeping to support your lower back, use proper lifting and carrying techniques, and practice proper posture during these activities.

Consult With Your Physician:  If you have any specific questions or concerns regarding implementing specific preventive strategies consult with your physician and/or a board certified spine specialist.

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