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Exercise

Regular low-impact aerobic activities - those that don't strain or jolt your back - can increase strength and endurance in your back and allow you muscles to function better. Walking and swimming are good choices. Talk with your doctor about which activities are best for you.

Build muscle strength and flexibility

Abdominal and back muscle exercises (core-strengthening exercises) help condition these muscles so that they work together like a natural corset for your back. Flexibility in your hips and upper legs aligns your pelvic bones to improve how your back feels.

Quit smoking

Smokers have diminished oxygen levels in their spinal tissues, which can hinder the healing process.

Maintain a healthy weight

Being overweight puts strain on your back muscles. If you're overweight, trimming down can prevent back pain.

Use proper body mechanics

Stand smart: Maintain a neutral pelvic position. If you must stand for long periods of time, alternate placing your feet on a low footstool to take some of the load off your lower back.

Sit smart: Choose a seat with good lower back support, armrests and 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.

Lift smart: Let your legs do the work. Move straight up and down. Keep your back straight and bend only at the knees. Hold the load close to your body. Avoid lifting and twisting simultaneously. Find a lifting partner if the object is heavy or awkward.

Sleep smart: People with back pain have commonly been told to use a firm mattress, but recent studies indicate that a medium-firm mattress might be better. Use pillows for support, but don't use a pillow that forces your neck up at a severe angle.

Article written by:

Dr. Sajan K Hegde
SR. Consultant Spine Surgeon
Apollo Hospitals Chennai

 

 
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