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- article submitted by independent contributor

Prevent Back Pain

Low back pain affects hundreds of thousands of people each year and nearly 80% of the population suffers from it at some point in their lifetime.While we may not be able to totally prevent back pain from occurring, there are things we can do to prevent some of the back pain and then aid recovery after it has occurred.

One of the reasons that many people experience the pain and discomfort of a low back injury is because of the change in lifestyle that has happened in the past decades.It’s well known that the standard Western diet has changed in the last fifty years, resulting in a higher incidence of obesity.Plus, lack of exercise and sitting at a desk all day increases the risk of lower back pain.

Preventing low back pain means taking positive action to improve your overall health as well as your back health.  It may seem obvious but the first thing to do to prevent injury or pain is to protect the back in your activities.  This means learning the correct ways of lifting, sitting and standing.  Sitting and standing in a slouched position increases the stress placed on the lower back and increases the probability of an injury.

Another side benefit of learning to sit and stand correctly is the reduced risk of having upper back pain.Poor posture is one of the main causes of upper back pain. Slouching forward places more strain on your back.Sitting straighter and walking in a more upright position will help relieve that pain.  This protects the back from top to bottom.

Learning how to lift things properly is important either at work or at home or wherever you must pick something up that is heavyi.  Each of those activities can lead to an injury.You might think your injury came from bending down, but the actual cause might be from years of bad posture and sleeping positions over the years

Exercise is also an important aspect to prevention of low back pain.  Proper exercises will help to improve the core muscles, strengthen the back and improve flexibility.  All of these benefits will help to decrease the risk of developing low back pain.  Strong and flexible muscles will protect the spinal column, decrease the risk of a herniated disc and improve your overall appearance.

Try to change your sleeping positions.  If you think about it you are in some of the same positions every night for between 5 and 8 hours.  That’s more time than you spend doing almost anything else.Avoid sleeping on your stomach as it puts stress on your lower back.Sleep on your side instead or on your back with your feet in a raised position.  Some individuals also find that sleeping with a small towel rolled up under their lower back is comfortable.

Women should wear low heeled shoes as they are easier on their back muscles.  While the occasional evening out in spike heels won’t cause consistent damage, women who wear high heels often find that it puts stress on the lower back and hips.

As was alluded in the first part, obesity also plays a role in the development of low back pain.  As people gain weight this places more and more strain on the back muscles to keep the body in alignment.  People who suffer from chronic back pain may find that just by losing 20 or 30 pounds they are able to reduce their pain and manage it without medications.

Another risk factor is osteoporosis.This particularly important in women but also can affect men as well.Smoking actually increases the chance of developing osteoporosis and sensitivity to pain.  Smoking will also decrease blood flow and the supply of oxygen to the spinal discs, a major factor in low back pain.

While most people will suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives there are specific treatment protocols and methods of prevention that can help to speed the recovery process and reduce the risk of the problem happening again.

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