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How to Prevent Back Pain

Learn how to prevent back pain from physical therapist Eric Sampson in this Howcast video.

Transcript

It's very, very difficult to prevent back pain. Unfortunately, we spend somewhere between one-half and two-thirds of our day-to-day in a sitting position for most people. Then you tack on the bending and the lifting and the carrying that goes on during any day.

Unfortunately, there is an imbalance of mechanical forces on the spine. Usually during the younger ages while this imbalance has started, we are unaware this is occurring. We are unaware that there is some tissue breakdown in our spine. Tissue only hurts when it meets a certain threshold, so it has to be positioned incorrectly long enough, it needs to be irritated long enough for there to be pain.

The point is that it's often too late. You're doing your daily tasks, you're not realizing you're doing them wrong and then "bam", there are going to be some problems. If we can learn how to adjust our day better with regards to standing more and stretching more during the work day if we're at a sitting job.

If we're exercising at the gym with a very good balance of sitting exercises, standing exercises, lying exercises, we might be able to prevent it, but it's a really hard chore to literally prevent the back pain. I think the largest population of people that don't have back pain, really it's a genetic component.

They're really, in a lesser sense, lucky that they were born into a family history that had a straight spine, a normal spine and that maybe their jobs require them to do a lot of different activities, not one sustained activity throughout the day.

By and large, it is very hard to prevent and you can do your best with exercising and stretching, but ultimately you may not be aware that something is going wrong until it's too late.

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