Back pain?

DON’T TAKE IT LYING DOWN

Four steps to a better back

Aching back? join the club. Lower back pain is one of the top five reasons Americans see their doctors. Although you may be tempted to stay in bed until the pain subsides, prolonged bed rest can actually delay relief. “An active lifestyle can help prevent discomfort or recurring injuries by helping you build a stronger, more supple back; improve your posture; and get rid of excess weight,” says Haroon Choudhri, M.D., director of the Neurosurgery Spine Service.

What you can do

Follow these simple steps to improve your back health.

1. Whole-body exercise is crucial for maintaining good posture. Make sure your workouts include aerobic exercises like walking or swimming to stretch and strengthen back muscles; strength training and flexibility exercises to make your back more durable; and core exercises, since weak abs can stress out your lower back.

2. Live well. Eat a balanced, healthy diet to help shed extra pounds that could be putting strain on your back. If you smoke, quit. Smokers tend to have lower levels of oxygen in their spinal tissue, which slows recovery from back problems.

3. Get a lift. Lift objects with your legs, not your lower back. Try to perform any heavy lifting late in the day instead of first thing in the morning when your back is less flexible.

4. Straighten up. Use good posture with your head and neck aligned, and sit with your lower back properly supported.

Get the care you need close to you at our new comprehensive Spine Clinic at 1220 West Wheeler Parkway. To make an appointment, call 706-869-1515.