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Body Insight's top five tips to prevent back pain

Be Neutral

Keeping a "neutral spine position" means maintaining the natural arch in the small of your back. Sitting, standing or performing activities out of the neutral zone means not only having bad posture, but also placing increased stress on the spine as well.

Walk With a Big Stick

Imagine you have a long pole glued to your back, from your tailbone to the top of your head. This means you can only hinge at your hips rather than flexing your spine to bend over (such as when you brush your teeth, pick something up off the floor etc).

This little trick keeps your back in the "neutral spine position" and decreases the everyday wear and tear to your vertebral column.

Get Deep

Research shows that drawing in the belly button towards your spine strengthens your deep abdominal muscles and forms a corset of support around the lower back. You can pull in the abdominals while checking your e-mail, standing in line at the bank or while doing the dishes. Practice tightening your abdominals as often as possible and you will be 9 times less likely to have another episode of back pain.

Don't Smoke

People who smoke are 2.7 times more likely to develop low back pain. Nicotine causes a thickening of the blood vessel walls which, in turn, decreases blood flow and oxygen to muscles, bones and ligaments.

Stretch

Tight hip flexor and hamstring muscles will pull on the spine and pelvis and prevent you from being able to maintain a comfortable neutral spine position. Check out the BACK STRETCHES pages on this site for pictures and instructions on how to stretch these two important muscles.

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