TAKE CARE OF YOUR BACK
Want to have a healthy, pain-free back, but not sure how to get it? Here are 8 quick tips which can help you make your back fitter
- Brisk walking, swimming, or stationary bike riding 30 minutes a day can increase muscle strength and flexibility. Yoga can also help stretch and strengthen muscles and improve posture. Ask your pain physician for a list of low-impact exercises appropriate for your age and designed to strengthen lower back and abdominal muscles
- Always stretch before exercise or other strenuous physical activity.
- Don’t slouch when standing or sitting. When standing, keep your weight balanced on your feet. Your back supports weight most easily when curvature is reduced.
- Sit in a chair with good lumbar support and proper position and height for the task. Keep your shoulders back. Switch sitting positions often and periodically walk around the office or gently stretch muscles to relieve tension. Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
- Sleep on your side to reduce any curve in your spine. Always sleep on a firm surface.
- Don’t try to lift objects too heavy for you. Lift with your knees, pull in your stomach muscles, and keep your head down and in line with your straight back.
- Maintain proper nutrition and diet to reduce and prevent excessive weight, especially weight around the waistline that troubles lower back muscles. A diet with sufficient daily intake of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D helps to promote new bone growth.
If you smoke, quit. Smoking reduces blood flow to the lower spine and causes the spinal discs to degenerate