Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Don't let your back down

Back pain is the second-most-common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, after respiratory infections, and Americans spend at least $50 billion each year to treat back pain, according to the American Chiropractic Association.

Lately it seems like I'm surrounded by people hobbled by back pain, and I count myself as fortunate for never having been likewise debilitated. And I'd like to keep it that way.

The editors at Prevention magazine have published a 14-item list of "Worst Habits That Hurt Your Back." Whether you've already experienced back problems or are hoping to prevent them, it's worth a read.

Some of the bad habits were fairly obvious, such as sitting at a desk or in front of the TV for hours on end, toting around a ridiculously heavy handbag, or walking long distances in high heels. But the list contained some information that surprised me, including that very firm mattresses can worsen back pain, as can holding a grudge and doing too many sit-ups or crunches.

Correcting some of these bad habits should be fairly effortless. Prevention is always easier than rehabilitation.

The full article can be found here.

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