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Five common causes of back pain

One of the most common reasons people go to the doctor is for back pain treatment. A nagging back ache affects just about every part of life from standing to sleeping. The cause of back pain is rarely a single catastrophic event like a fall. Most back pain is caused by a number of daily and occasional events that work together to finally become a pain in the back. The best defense against developing back pain is to reduce or eliminate practices that can damage this important part of your body.

Here are five common practices that should be modified to reduce damaging your back over a period of time, as well as some suggestions for back safety from the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

Summoning your superpowers
After spending the majority of your life at a desk or other sedentary profession, many people suddenly believe they can do amazing things like playing in a marathon basketball game with the neighbor kid or re-sod the entire back yard in a single day. If you are not in shape, these activities can really take a toll on your back. At the very least, take time to stretch your core muscles and strengthen them before you tackle a huge task or your cousin during a Thanksgiving football game. Limit the amount of activity to avoid overdoing it and damaging your back.

Hoping to be Hercules
Even Hercules needs to practice proper lifting techniques. Improper bending over and lifting can cause serious back issues so observe some basic rules. Don’t lean over to pick up a heavy object. Instead, bend your knees, keep your back straight and then pick up the object. Keep the object as close to your body as possible while lifting it. Point your feet at the object and face it as you lift it. Don’t twist or pivot while you are lifting. Wait until you are standing straight and use your feet to change direction, not your waist. Finally, remember that you are not really Hercules so don’t try to lift anything that is more than 20 percent of your body weight.

Slaving away at your desk
Sitting at your desk or behind the wheel of your car or even in the easy chair in front of the television can damage your back. Basically, the discs in your back serve as the cushions for the vertebrae in your spine. Sitting in one position for a long time decreases the fluid that circulates around the discs to keep them happy and healthy. When there is no movement, the discs are not nourished and suffer damage. Sitting is actually harder on your back that lying down or standing up. The American Physical Therapy Association has found that 54 percent of Americans experiencing back pain spend their days sitting. The strain is increased if there is a combination of sitting and leaning forward. If you have to sit, keep your spine aligned and put your reading material at eye level. Get a chair that supports your back and allows your feet to be flat on the floor. If the chair doesn’t provide lower back support, put a pillow in the curve of your lower back. Try to get up and move once every 20 minutes so the blood gets moving and stress is reduced.

Being far too fashionable
Shoes and handbags can complete your look but they can also hurt your back over time. Shoes should be well-fitted and provide stability. High stiletto heels force the wearer to arch her back and strain back muscles. Backless sandals and flip flops allow the foot to move from side to side distributing your body weight unevenly and straining the back. Limit the amount of time these less supportive shoes are worn to decrease the chances of back strain. Be careful with those stylish handbags that are stuffed full and slung over your shoulder. The extra weight throws your shoulders off balance and throws the spine out of line. The American Chiropractic Association suggests limiting the size and contents of your handbag so that is no more than 10 percent of your body weight.

Sleeping on the past
One of the culprits adding to your back pain could be your mattress. The National Sleep Foundation reminds everyone that a good mattress only lasts about nine to 10 years. If your mattress is no longer providing the proper support when you sleep, it can increase the pressure on your spine and cause pain. Don’t go for a big change. Find a mattress that is not too firm or not too soft compared to your current mattress.

Dealing with back pain
Experiencing back pain, especially after surgery or hospitalization, only adds to the level of discomfort during a time of recovery. Instead of sitting around with everything hurting, consider recovering at Whitehall of Deerfield after surgery or a medical event. The expert staff will not only deal with your current medical condition, they can also help with chronic conditions like back pain. Experienced therapists work with guests seven days a week to strengthen core muscles to help support the back. There are even options for in-room massages to reduce pain.

Whitehall of Deerfield offers this superior level of care in a luxurious setting filled with world-class amenities. Well-appointed spacious rooms and suites include in-room dining, high-speed wireless Internet, concierge service, Gourmet coffee and newspaper delivery and dozens of cable channels with a 24-hour channel of newly released movies. Guests can also enjoy fresh baked goods, massage services, salon services, a wide-ranging choice of cuisine in their selective menus to be enjoyed in a beautiful dining room or in the privacy of your room. Other amenities include a complimentary ice cream shop, a putting green, valet parking for visitors and a nostalgic Main Street with delightful diversions for both guests and visitors.

To discover more about Whitehall of Deerfield, visit whitehallofdeerfield.com or call 847-945-4600.

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