Doing some heavy lifting? Exercising hard?
“Don’t be surprised if you wake up with back pain,” said Dr. Haroon Choudhri, Director of the Neurosurgery Spine Clinic at Augusta University Neurosciences Center of Excellence.
To minimize back pain and help keep it from becoming a serious — and more costly — issue, focus on prevention:
- Reduce your load. Keep your purse, briefcase or gym bag as light as possible or downsize to a smaller bag. This goes for overloaded backpacks for children, too.
- Carry items close to your body. Don’t let bags dangle from your arms. Keep them tucked in and close to your body so your frame can help absorb the weight.
- Avoid sitting for long periods. If you have a desk job, get up every hour or so for a quick walk. Also watch your posture when seated. Poor posture can contribute to back pain.
- Build your core strength. A fitness program that includes exercises for building core strength will help develop your abdominal and back muscles and protect your lower back.
- Lose weight. Carrying extra pounds can be hard on your lower back, especially if your core muscles aren’t strong.
- Space activities throughout the week. If you tend to do most of your physical work on the weekend — whether projects around the home or yard or weekend warrior sporting activities — try spacing things out so you’re not doing everything in one or two days. That way, you may avoid overuse or a muscle pull.
When back pain gets serious
If your back pain is persistent or related to an injury or accident, you may need specialized care. Augusta University’s Spine Clinic cares for patients both locally and from around the world. For a consultation, call 706-721-4581.