This week is National Bone and Joint Health Awareness Week, and there’s no time like the present to take stock of your orthopedic health. 48% of the United States’ population over the age of eighteen is affected by musculoskeletal conditions — conditions of the bones and joints. Bone and joint conditions are some of the most common causes of long-term pain worldwide. This can include back pain, arthritis, an injury, osteoporosis, and a variety of other conditions.
The spine is often overlooked until back pain occurs, but there are a lot of things you can do in your daily life to protect the health of your spine. Here are some quick tips for a reducing your risk of back pain and achieving a healthier back and spine:
- Never twist while lifting. If you can’t lift an object off the ground, push it instead of pulling it, or get someone to help you. When lifting, use the muscles in your legs, not your back.
- If you must pick up something from a low shelf or the floor, don’t bend at your waist; rather, kneel down as close to the object as possible and pick it up.
- When carrying objects, especially heavy objects, carry them as close to your body as possible.
- Avoid slouching or hunching forward when sitting. Try to keep your knees higher than your hips and maintain the natural curve in your lower back.
- If you like sleeping on your back, try putting a pillow under your knees to relieve the pressure on your spine. If you’re a side sleeper, try sleeping with a pillow between your knees to achieve a similar effect.
- Try to maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight, especially in the belly, can put more strain on the muscles and connective tissues in the lower back.
If you’re already suffering from back pain, visit our Orthopaedic Institute to learn more about treatment options and prevention of future injuries.