Back pain. How to prevent it

Good back care and a healthy lifestyle are essential to prevent disabling episodes of back pain. Follow these rules to avoid a ‘back attack’:

1. Sitting
Chose a chair with good back support.  Sit right back with your feet on the floor. Keep your back straight when working at a desk. Avoid sitting for long periods and have regular breaks.

2. Sleeping
Sleep on your back, or side with your knees bent. Use a fairly firm mattress.

3. Lifting
Stand close to the object and bend at the knees. Hold the object close to your body and lift by straightening your knees. Keep your back straight at all times.

4. Carrying
Carry objects in both arms close to the body. Avoid heavy loads.

5. Turning
Avoid twisting your back. Lift and move your feet to turn.

6. Standing
Avoid slouching! Stand up tall by lifting your chest and relaxing the shoulders. If standing for prolonged periods, put one foot on a stool.

7. Stooping
Try to avoid long periods of standing with your back bent forwards, e.g. gardening, vacuuming. Have regular breaks and stretches. 

8. Stay in shape
Keep your back strong and flexible with regular exercise, e.g. swimming,  walking or cycling. Ask your doctor about gentle daily exercises which can strengthen the back.

9. Relax!
Your muscles get tight and sore if you are stressed.

10. Lose weight.
Extra weight puts a strain on your back.

Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.

Source: Summer 1999 Edition | Page 3

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