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Tips to prevent back pain

X-ray graphic of spine and ribs with redness to indicate pain

Skagit Regional Health spine surgeons David Mourning, MD and R. Dylan Morris, DO, recommend five tips to maintain activity levels while preventing unwanted injuries that may result in back pain.

1. Increase flexibility
When you have tight hamstrings and hip flexors, it can pull the pelvis into flexion, which can alter the lower back and be a source of pain. Increasing your flexibility by regularly stretching your muscles, tendons and ligaments can help prevent back pain. 

2. Build a strong back and core muscles
Follow an exercise strengthening program at home or your local gym. YouTube has many options, including functional yoga videos to strengthen your core and lower back. 

3. Minimize sitting for long periods of time 
In the workplace, take frequent breaks to get a drink of water, use the restroom or stretch. Have your workstation evaluated for proper ergonomics. Invest in a standing desk that can be used throughout the day, allowing a break from sitting. Keeping your back straight, shoulders back and hamstrings from tightening while sitting can also help. Whenever possible, avoid sitting for long periods.

4. Follow safe lifting practices
Whether at home or in the workplace, help prevent lifting injuries by remembering to:

  • Keep your back straight
  • Bend your knees
  • Lift mostly with your legs

5. Maintain a healthy lifestyle 
Eating healthy will help reduce inflammation, which is a root cause of many types of chronic pain. Managing stress and getting adequate sleep help our bodies heal. 

Following these prevention tips is highly recommended, but in some cases, even the strongest back may need repair. If spine surgery is needed, Skagit Regional Health’s team of spine experts, including David Mourning, MD and R. Dylan Morris, DO, use advanced technologies, including the Globus ExcelsiusGPS® Robotic Navigation system to provide patients with the best outcome for an active and functional life. 

For more information about the services available at Skagit Regional Health – Mount Vernon Surgery Center, call 360-814-2663.