235 Walnut St., Framingham, MA 01702
508-620-1585

7 Ways to Avoid Back Pain

back_pain_abstract_200_300

Dr. Howard Austrager, a Framingham chiropractor, gives you his 7 ways to avoid back pain and what you can do about it.

  1. Maintain good posture when sitting or standing. This sounds easy, but there are many ways this can go wrong. Make sure your workstation is setup correctly if you have a desk job. Remember you are sitting here for at least 7 hours. When standing, make sure your weight is distributed on both of your legs. Many people have a tendency to shift to one side or another. If you can’t stand on both legs equally, there may be an underlying problem.
  2. Watch your weight; excess weight places additional strain on your back. Your lumber spine (lower back) has a natural curve. If you have excess weight, this can accentuate the curve and place additional pressure on your lower back nerves. If your spine is already unstable or out of alignment, the additional weight can cause a nerve to get pinched.
  3. Warm up before and stretch AFTER physical work or exercise. Get your muscles warm with some jumping or light jogging in place to get your muscles warmed up. Even more important,  after you are finished do some basic stretches to give muscles a nice stretch. This will help avoid injury.
  4. Stay active and follow a regular pattern of exercise to keep your muscles and joints flexible. A sedimentary lifestyle can be more dangerous than drinking or smoking. Even a walk 3x/week for 20 minutes can make dramatic improvements to your health. This will also work your lower muscle groups and keep your lower back looser and more flexible. (don’t forget to warm-up before and stretch after)
  5. When lifting, bend at your knees, hold the object close to your body and lift from your legs. I think we have all heard this one before, but let’s review. Plan ahead what you want to do and don’t be in a hurry. Position yourself close to the object you want to lift and separate your feet shoulder-width apart. This will give you a solid base of support. Bend at the knees, tighten your stomach muscles and lift with your leg muscles as you stand up. Don’t try and lift by yourself if an object is too heavy. Get help!
  6. Avoid sleeping on your stomach, which can strain your neck and back. Imagine turning your head and pushing on it for 7 hours or more. This is what happens to your neck when sleeping on your stomach. Sleeping on your stomach also can place your lower back into extension and strain the joints and irritate the lower back nerves. causing pain.
  7. See your chiropractor! Well you probably saw this one coming. Regular spinal adjustments can keep your spine in the proper alignment and prevent back pain. Remember pain is the last thing that will show up if your back is out of alignment. Regular chiropractic adjustments will keep your spine more flexible and prevent those flare-ups.