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5

TRY TO GET UP EVERY HOUR TO WALK AROUND THE OFFICE AND STRETCH.

Make a point of using a printer or shredder further away than normal, or visit a bathroom on another floor. This will give you more time away from your seat and lengthen the hip flexors, which can become shortened when sitting in a position of hip flexion for too long. Tight hip flexors are one of the leading causes of nonspecific lower back pain and can generally be avoided when the right steps are taken to prevent or reduce them.

6

USE A DESK CHAIR THAT HAS BACK SUPPORT.

If you can’t find one that has built-in back support, place a small pillow or rolled up towel behind you to fill the lower back space. People have a tendency when sitting in unsupported chairs to slouch forward; this can cause rounding of the lower back, disrupting the natural curvature of the spine, which can lead to chronic low back pain

7

LIFT PROPERLY. When lifting and carrying a heavy object, lift with your legs and tighten your core muscles. Hold the object close to your body. Maintain the natural curve of your back. Don’t twist when lifting. If an object is too heavy to lift safely, ask someone to help you.

8

MODIFY REPETITIVE TASKS.

Make sure that your monitor, keyboard, mouse, and chair are positioned properly. If you frequently talk on the phone and type or write at the same time, place your phone on speaker or use a headset. Avoid unnecessary bending, twisting, and reaching. Limit the time you spend carrying heavy briefcases, purses, and bags. Consider using a rolling suitcase.

If you are suffering from back pain, there are lifestyle changes you can make to feel better. Get “back” into good health with these quick tips: MAINTAIN A HEALTHY DIET. Make sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D. These nutrients can help prevent osteoporosis, a condition that causes your bones to become weak and brittle that is responsible for many of the bone fractures that lead to back pain. ENGAGE IN A WELL-ROUNDED WORKOUT. Combine aerobic exercise, such as swimming or walking, with exercises that strengthen and stretch your back muscles and abdomen. Exercises that increase your balance and strength can also decrease your risk of falling and injuring your back. Consider tai chi, yoga, and weight-bearing exercises that challenge your balance. BE A QUITTER. If you smoke, quit. Smoking reduces blood flow to your lower spine, which can contribute to spinal disc degeneration and slow healing from back injuries.

9

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If you must sit for a prolonged period, change your position often. If you feel pain, don’t ignore it!

Didier Demesmin, M.D. is an interventional pain medicine specialist who is double board certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine. He specializes in a wide spectrum of minimally invasive procedures to treat pain syndromes, such as neck pain, lower back pain, sciatica, herniated disc (neck or back), failed back surgery, diabetic neuropathy, cancer pain, headache, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, arthritis, osteoporosis, any types of joint pain, and others. 119

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