Orthopedic Surgeon Shares His Secrets to Maintaining a Healthy Back

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It’s easy to let your back take the brunt of a hectic schedule and fast-paced lifestyle. But when aches creep up and you can’t find relief, it’s time to take action. It’s no secret that most people will experience lower back pain at some point in their life. Between sitting at desks all day and lifting heavy objects, there are certainly many things that can put stress on this sensitive area of the body. 

But if you manage your stress levels, exercise regularly, and practice good posture habits, you can greatly reduce your risk of feeling the effects of an unhealthy back. Here are some helpful tips from a trusted orthopedic surgeon in Modesto about how to maintain a healthy back.

Exercise and stretch regularly

Regular exercise can help relieve lower back pain and strengthen your core – the muscles surrounding your midsection that are vital for good posture. For best results, aim to do some type of strengthening exercises at least twice a week. Examples of exercises that can help include planks, squats, and leg lifts while on an exercise ball. 

Be sure to check with your doctor first, especially if you have existing back pain. A stretching routine can also help reduce back pain by helping increase blood flow and flexibility in the muscles, especially the back. Aim to stretch at least once a week, and hold each stretch for 30 seconds.

Walk, don’t run, to relieve back pain

If you’re feeling the effects of back pain, try to walk instead of running. This can help ease the pressure off your back, as running has a tendency to be more jarring for the spine. Walking on a regular basis also encourages better posture, which is beneficial for your back. While it’s important to keep moving when you’re experiencing back pain, it’s also a good idea to check in with a doctor. Back pain doesn’t always have to be a long-term condition, but it can be a sign of a serious underlying condition.

 

Maintain a healthy diet

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A healthy diet can not only help you maintain a healthy weight, but it can also reduce the risk of experiencing lower back pain. Because much of the lower back pain experience is due to strain, consuming a diet rich in nutrients can help reduce stress and strain on the lower back. 

A healthy diet includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fish. Find ways to make healthy eating a part of your everyday routine. Try packing your lunch instead of eating out, and choose healthy snacks like nuts and seeds whenever possible.

Keep your workspace ergonomic and clean

A clean and well-organized workspace can help prevent unnecessary stress on your lower back. Try not to overload your desk with heavy books and items, as this can be difficult to keep your posture at a healthy level. A good rule of thumb is that if the item you’re working with is taller than your desk, you should put it down. 

Cleanliness is also important when it comes to preventing back pain. Wipe down your desk often, and use a foot pedal to keep the top of your desk clear of clutter. When you’re typing, try to keep your upper body upright and lean towards your keyboard slightly. Avoid resting your arms on the desk, as this can put stress on your back.

 

Bottom line

A healthy back is crucial as you age, so it’s important to take steps now to prevent any potential health issues in the future. Follow these tips, and you’re well on your way to maintaining a healthy back. Most importantly, it’s important to remember that when it comes to back pain, no two people are exactly alike. What works for one person may not work for another. Speak with your doctor about what works best for you, and use these tips as a guide.