Chuck Pellegrini had a problem. Terrible pain in his ankle and a fear of seeking medical treatment threatened to keep him from participating in his youngest daughter's wedding.Read More
Acute back pain is one of the most common reasons people visit the doctor, with four out of five people experiencing it at some point in their lives. Most people are able to pinpoint the activity that caused their pain––too many boxes on moving day, a weekend spent bent over in the garden, a long day at a physically demanding job––but some back pain or injury can result from seemingly innocuous movements.
In some cases, preventing back pain may have to do with your posture throughout the day. Most people don’t pay any mind to their posture when they’re sitting, standing, driving, walking or even sleeping, but it can impact how their back feels. Here are some best practices to protect your back from aches and pains that can slow you down.
When you’re sleeping: Situate yourself in a position that helps you maintain the curve in your back. Putting a pillow under your knees and another one under your lower back encourages this position. Sleeping on your stomach is especially hard for your back.
The surface you’re sleeping on also plays a huge role in how you’ll feel when you wake up. Mattresses that are too soft or saggy can cause back strain and do a poor job at supporting your neck. Select a firm mattress that will keep you comfortable and well supported throughout the night.
When you’re driving: Whether it’s a long work commute or a series of short errand trips, poor posture when in the driver’s seat can cause abrupt back pain. Adjust your seat position to make sure your knees are at the same level or higher than your hips. A lumbar roll placed at the curve of your back encourages the correct position.
When you’re sitting: Working a desk job can mean sitting for hours at a time, which can lead to back pain if you have poor posture. Choose a high-back, firm chair with arm rests. While plush chairs may feel more comfortable, they don’t support the curve of your back and tend to make you round your back.
When seated, your hips and knees should be at a right angle, your legs should be uncrossed, and you should keep your feet planted flat on the floor. Try placing a rolled towel or small pillow behind your lower back to support your back’s curve. Take a short break once an hour to get up and move around so you’re not sitting in the same position for too long.