Back pain can range from a minor ache you can live with to debilitating pain that leaves you unable to work or care for yourself and others. A common medical problem, 80 percent of people have back pain at some point in their lives. Fortunately, back pain will resolve on its own in many cases.
Injuries and falls that cause back pain, however, are a different matter. You should always see an orthopaedic specialist if you have back pain from an accident or pain that involves numbness or tingling, muscle weakness and trouble urinating. Prompt medical care can help you avoid permanent nerve damage.
Here are four ways you can prevent back pain from occurring in the first place:
- Exercise often. Keep your back muscles strong. Federal health authorities recommend 2.5 hours of exercise weekly and strength-training every major muscle group twice a week.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Lose weight if your body mass index is above 23. If you have trouble losing weight or if you repeatedly gain the weight back, speak to your doctor about medically supervised weight loss programs.
- Make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D every day. Ask your doctor or orthopaedic specialist how much vitamin D you need.
- Always use good posture. Avoid slouching and heavy lifting when you can. If you need to lift something heavy, bend your legs and keep your back straight. Engage your core muscles so your back doesn’t do all the work.
+ Learn about The Spine Center of Hampton Roads which helps patients of all ages with back and neck pain. Our specialists use X-ray, MRI, CT, bone scan and other advanced diagnostic tools to evaluate each patient’s individual needs.