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Health Tip: How to handle back pain

Back pain is a very common issue for many of us. In fact, 80 percent of Americans will experience back pain in their lifetime.

So what causes back pain? This problem could be caused by:

  • Poor posture at work
  • Age
  • Being obese or overweight
  • Arthritis
  • Repetitive movement such as bending over or lifting heavy objects

Here are a few tips tip keep your back in good shape.

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Keep your back muscles strong with regular exercise and strength training twice per week.
  • Stretch your muscles, especially before and after exercising and before heavy lifting.
  • Focus on good posture, by keeping your back straight and your shoulders and hips in alignment.
  • Lift properly by bending at the knees and keeping the item close to your body. Do not twist your body when you’re lifting something heavy.
  • Avoid carrying a heavy purse or bag. Instead try keeping what you need in your pockets or carrying a small bag.
  • Sleep on a medium- to firm mattress

If you’re experiencing back pain, try these tips.

  • Ice the affected area within 24 to 72 hours of injury
  • Heat therapy – you can try alternating cold and heat therapy if you have chronic pain
  • Stretch your hamstrings
  • Take regular walks

See your doctor if your pain persists, gets progressively worse, radiates to the leg or causes loss of strength or balance changes.

Need a primary care doctor? Adventist Medical Group has many convenient locations throughout Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

Find more tips from Nurse Rose here: www.AdventistHealthCare.com/NurseRose.

Health Minute 041818