When it comes to back pain, the culprit is usually something right under your nose. Improperly lifting a heavy suitcase or a child, strenuous workouts, sleeping on a bad mattress, even your golf swing can wreak havoc on your back. The use of proper lifting techniques, a healthful diet, and regular exercise are some of the keys to promoting good back health.
Jerold Lancourt, MD, a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, says that while couch potatoes are not doing their backs any favors. Neither are those whose mantra is “no pain, no gain.”
Couch potatoes with stiff, weak backs, he says, are more likely to suffer back injury than those with strong, flexible backs. But he warns, do not suddenly leap off your couch and make a beeline for the nearest gym. Start slowly.
Aerobic exercise is good, as long as you are willing to stop after ten minutes or so for the first couple of weeks to give your body a chance to adapt to the new routine. Walking is also wonderful, and not just for your back. “Walking works the muscles. It is, fundamentally, the best exercise for the whole body,” Dr. Lancourt says.
Obesity is often a contributing factor to back pain. “We’ve gotten too fat and it hurts,” he says. “People are really hurting themselves by being overweight. Backs can’t take the stress.”
Source: www.northsuburban.com; Brian Randall, MD; March 2011