Can back pain be prevented?

There are several measures you can take throughout your day to reduce the likelihood of lower back pain.

1. Maintain correct posture in sitting and standing positions.

  • Be sure to sit in a chair with lumbar support (lower back support).
  • Always have your computer monitor at eye level and keyboard in front of your body.

2. Lift heavy objects with proper body mechanics.

  • Avoid bending down with twisting motions.
  • Always bend through your knees and slightly hinge at the waist.

3. Avoid repetitive lifting of weights and take breaks as needed.

  • Overtime, repetitive lifting of weights will cause a stress injury to the spine. This could lead to a disc bulge (herniated disc) and spinal degeneration.

4. Perform core strengthening exercises regularly.

  • Avoid excessive sit-ups because it puts heavy strain on the lumbar spine.
  • Avoid back extension exercises.

Example of a Basic Core Strengthening Exercise

  1. Lay on your back with your spine flat on the surface.
  2. Squeeze your stomach muscles down toward the surface to flatten your back (Note: Try not to hold your breath during this part).
  3. Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat.
  • To help achieve the correct contraction, pretend you are putting on a tight pair of jeans and squeezing your stomach muscles to fasten the zipper.
  • This exercise is strengthening the Transversus Abdominus muscle.

Transversus Abdominus Contraction

Can sport injuries be prevented?

There are several measures you can take throughout your day to reduce the likelihood of sport-related injuries.

  1. Before playing any sport, be sure to warm up the muscles you will be using.
  2. If you are playing a sport that requires all of your body’s muscles, it is recommended that you take a 5 minute walk, while moving your arms in circular motions to the front and side of your body.
  3. While playing any sport, be sure to start slowly and work up to 100% of your effort.  For example, if playing tennis, start by playing at half the court distance with less effort per swing.  Then, progress to the baseline with your shots as you increase your effort of hitting the tennis ball.
  4. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids; dehydration can lead to muscle cramping, lethargy and dizziness.
  5. Wear proper footwear; do not play sports in sandals or bare feet unless specific to that sport.
  6. Stretch after your sporting activity.  Studies have shown that it is beneficial to stretch afterwards to prevent injury.

Examples of Basic Stretching Exercises

(To find out which muscle the below exercise is targeting, simply drag your mouse over the image)

Shoulder_Stretch Wrist_Flexion_Extension hamstring_stretch Quadricep_Stretch calf-stretch