It’s an injury health experts are familiar with. “Back injuries are probably the most common seen injuries,” said Marissa Roberts, a nurse practitioner with Lee Health.
Lifting injuries are the number one cause of back pain. “If you’re going to lift always try, if it’s coming from the ground, always try to bend your knees and lift from the legs. Keep your abdominal muscles tight so that your core is protecting your back,” said Roberts.
But many patients live with chronic back pain. “Posture is a big thing and sometimes people have chronic back and neck problems just because of the way they sit,” said Roberts.
Other things patients can do to ease and prevent back pain are improve their core strength, exercise, and keep off extra weight. “Your vertebrae, your spine, it carries all the weight on your body,” said Roberts.
The less weight your body has to carry, the less strain on your back. “Try and maintain a normal body weight, make sure you’re eating plenty of calcium rich foods, take a vitamin D supplement as you get older. Vertebrae are bones just like the bones and the rest of our body that start to thin as we get older,” said Roberts.
Changing your sleeping habits can also help with back pain. “A lot of times I’ll tell my patients to get a wedge pillow. If you’re going to lay flat don’t lay completely flat. Put pillows underneath your legs. If you’re a side sleeper make sure that you put a pillow between your knees. That helps with proper spinal alignment and takes some of the pressure off,” said Roberts.
Practicing safe movements, improving your body mechanics and modifying your diet and exercise can help prevent and treat chronic back pain.