Back Pain brought to you by Senior Extra at Lake Norman Regional Medical

MOORESVILLE, NC (August 9, 2013) --

Protect your back

Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting most people at least once during their lifetime. When your back is sore, it can have a significant impact on your daily activities, independence and overall well-being.

Because people are more likely to develop back pain as they get older, Lake Norman Regional Medical Center’s Senior Extra program would like to share some tips to help you protect your back.

Tips for a healthy back

There are two types of back pain: acute and chronic. Acute pain comes on suddenly and can be caused by an awkward movement, lifting something heavy, a fall, or an accident. Acute pain is the most common type of back pain, lasting six weeks or fewer, and often goes away without treatment. Chronic pain may come on either quickly or slowly, and persists for three months or longer. Chronic pain is often progressive, and the cause can be difficult to determine.

As we age, our spine and discs degenerate, which can lead to back pain and problems. Although you can't control the normal wear and tear that comes with aging, there are steps you can take to strengthen your back and lower your risk of back injury. The health care team at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center recommends you:

  • Stay active by exercising regularly. Combine exercises — such as walking, swimming, tai chi and yoga — with specific exercises to strengthen your back and abdomen. Always be sure to warm up before exercise, and talk to your doctor about the best activities for you.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight puts more pressure on your spine, so stay within 10 pounds of your ideal weight.
  • Avoid smoking. Smoking increases your risk of developing back pain and osteoporosis, which can increase your risk of fractures. Smoking restricts blood flow, reduces calcium absorption, prevents new bone growth, and hinders healing.
  • Practice good posture when you sit, stand and lift things. Try not to slouch when you stand or sit, and keep your head up and shoulders back. Make sure you know how to lift, hold and move objects properly, and avoid heavy lifting.
  • Try not to bend your back when you bend over to tie your shoes, put on socks, or perform other actions that require bending. Bend at the knees or hips instead.
  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D. These nutrients help keep your bones strong and prevent osteoporosis. Discuss your recommended daily intake with your doctor.

Most back pain usually goes away without treatment, however, if you've had an accident, experience numbness or tingling, or your pain is severe and doesn't improve after a few days, you should see a doctor. You should also see a doctor if you have pain along with any of these symptoms: trouble urinating, fever, unintended weight loss, or pain or numbness in your legs.

When you maintain a healthy weight, exercise, get enough calcium and vitamin D, and avoid smoking, you’ll also be preventing osteoporosis. By incorporating these healthy habits into your lifestyle, you’ll not only benefit your back, you’ll be improving your overall health.

About Lake Norman Regional Medical Center

Lake Norman Regional Medical Center offers comprehensive medical care to individuals throughout the greater Lake Norman region. Located just off I-77 at Exit 33, the Mooresville medical campus offers complete specialty services from 24-hour emergency medicine and maternity to oncology and advanced surgical services. For more information about the services offered at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center, please visit www.LNRMC.com.   

About Senior Extra

Ever-changing advancements in health care allow us to live longer and improve our overall health. Providing the latest information about health advancements through monthly seminars and events is just one facet of Senior Extra. To sign up for a free membership, visit www.SeniorExtra.com.

Remember that this information is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor, but rather to increase awareness and help equip patients with information and facilitate conversations with your physician that will benefit your health.

Sources:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - healthfinder.gov

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine