Tips keep back pain from being chronic

As your back gets older, occasional aches can turn into chronic, perhaps disabling, pain. In the March issue of Harvard Men’s Health Watch, Zachariah Isaac, a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, offers suggestions aimed at making sure that doesn’t happen. His list:

  • Don’t baby your aching back. Cutting back on activity because of temporary pain can lead to muscle weakness.
  • Keep up a regular program of “core” exercises because those muscles are the ones that support your lower spine.
  • Stay limber, because tight muscles can increase pain.
  • Watch posture. Focus on standing upright, and don’t slouch when you sit.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Stay positive and relax. Isaac notes that the spine’s close relationship to the brain means that a good emotional state can have physical benefits.


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