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Be Proactive in Preventing and Managing Back Pain

UHC Sept_image

In January, National Public Radio reported that more than one in four Americans have recently suffered from low back pain—and that as a nation we spend more than $80 billion to treat back pain. At this time of year, when we’re tackling home improvement projects, moving kids into college dorm rooms, and taxing our bodies in other ways, it’s important to remember the muscles we can’t see and ensure they are strong and healthy. Here are some tips to help you manage and prevent back pain.

Preventing Back Pain

Given that back pain is among the leading causes for doctor visits and missed work, according to the Mayo Clinic, strengthening your core (i.e., back, abs, hips, and pelvis) is prudent, even if you don’t currently experience discomfort. Ask your doctor or a trainer at the gym for aerobic activities and strengthening and flexibility exercises such as Pilates or yoga to prevent back pain. Small lifestyle changes, such as practicing good posture, can help prevent back pain as well.

Treating Back Pain

Back pain can stem from simple muscle strains or more serious conditions, such as arthritis or skeletal issues. Depending on the cause of your pain, treatment could consist of medication or injections, surgery, physical therapy (heat, electrical stimulation, massage, strengthening), or a combination. Neck strain from whiplash, overuse, poor posture, or stress can also cause back pain, and can often be treated by a physician. If you are plagued by back pain, see a doctor who can diagnose the cause and prescribe treatment.

Worried about back pain during pregnancy? For more information about preparing yourself and your body for pregnancy, participate in the Fitness and Nutrition During Pregnancy seminar at source4women.com on Sept. 23, 2014 at 12:30 p.m. with Tina Groat, MD, MBA. Visit Online Seminars and Events at source4women.com to register for this complimentary seminar.