Dr. Bradley Jones

Did you know that around 554 million people around worldwide suffer from back discomfort as they age? October. 16, is World Spine Day to bring attention to the worldwide burden of spinal diseases and to bring attention to the many challenges faced by those suffering from severe to moderate back pain.

Based on The Cleveland Clinic, back pain is among the top reasons why people seek out health professionals around 88% of patients struggling with lower back pain at one moment during their lifetime. Back back pain can result from many factors, including weight, age and genetics, work or lifestyle, as well as general health. In certain instances it is easily treated or even eliminated. Since I am an orthopedic doctor I am constantly aware of how having back pain can drastically impact those I treat. I try to assist patients ease their symptoms by providing treatments or lifestyle changes.

For certain, back pain can be due to injuries from sports and physical trauma, degenerative illnesses as well as other issues. The positive side is that lifestyle modifications such as being physically active and adhering to an appropriate diet are among the most effective strategies to not only heal from, but even prevent spinal issues. Exercise helps strengthen the muscles that safeguard the spine and, when combined with a healthy and balanced diet this can help to prevent weight gain, which puts more stress upon your back. When lifting or exercising, be sure to lift the weight, make sure you lift using your knees, not your back and refrain from turning and twisting. Apart from ensuring an appropriate diet, smoking cigarettes must also be avoided since it can alter the flow of blood and decreases the amount of nutrients present in blood. This could cause back discomfort and spine problems.

The dramatic increase in the number of individuals working at home has resulted in increasing sedentary lives and people are no longer walking to meetings, waking up for lunch, or taking public transport as they might have done previously working in an office. Long periods of sitting for a long time may be associated with various health issues that include back issues. A good posture, whether you’re standing or sitting, helps keep your joints aligned to avoid back issues. Beware of slouching your shoulders, and consider investing in a comfortable office chair if likely to sit for extended lengths of time. I would also suggest setting a timer that reminds yourself to stand taller throughout the day.

A mattress that is firm can help align your spine and reduce back pain when you’re asleep. In accordance with your preferred sleep position, think about using pillows to further to align your spine and alleviate tension from joints. Your shoes also play an important part and the most effective way to keep your posture is to put on comfy, low-heeled and comfortable shoes.

While not everyone is able to prevent spinal discomfort There are many ways to look after your back. When we celebrate World Spine Day, let us be mindful to take proper lifestyle steps to keep our spines as fit as they can so we all can maintain healthy strong bodies.

– Dr. Bradley Jones is an orthopedic spine surgeon at Mercy Medical Center in Redding.