Make your back healthier

Though sudden back pain can occur after a twist or a sneeze, most back injuries are caused by years of mistreatment before that final painful injury.

Stresses such as poor posture, faulty body mechanics, obesity, emotional tension, and lack of fitness over the long term are the cause. With these modern problems, it’s not surprising that back pain is the number one complaint today.

Whether you want to treat it or prevent it, these steps will help.

* Posture: Stand with your ears, shoulders, and hips forming a straight line. See a physical therapist or trainer if they don’t.

* Body mechanics: Keep the correct alignment of ears, shoulders, and hips while performing everyday activities. Keep lifted objects close to your body, and you reduce your risk of injury.

* Exercise: Make it central to maintaining a healthy back. Your program should include aerobic, flexibility, and strengthening exercise.

Aerobic exercise includes walking, biking, and swimming. Do it 10 to 15 minutes three or four days a week to start, building to 30 minutes.

Poor flexibility can be a key contributor to low-back and neck pain. If your hips don’t move freely, your spine will move more than it should, leading to back programs. If you have a limited range of motion in an area, you need to stretch that area.

Well-balanced muscle strength is essential in maintaining good posture and a healthy back. Strong back, hip, and abdominal muscles support the spine. Toned trunk muscles help to prevent back injuries.

Remember these top keys to a healthy back: posture, mechanics, and exercise. The time is NOW!

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