Tricia Frye is always looking for ways to beat back pain. Her lower spine is her trouble-spot.
“I would work 12 hour shifts. And you would maybe be lucky if you got off your seat for half an hour if that, to get up and walk around,” Frye says.
Being sedentary is a big back no-no. Especially when coupled with slumping, slouching and poor posture. If your spine could talk, it might ask for a makeover.
“If you’ve experienced back pain, the first thing you should do is visit your doctor so you know it’s a mechanical problem and not pain coming from within your organs,” says Kath Kinross, PhD, a physical therapist with Lee Memorial Health System.
She works with spine patients at the Lee Center for Rehabilitation and Wellness.
“Assuming it’s a mechanical back pain problem, the next best place is a physical therapist visit because then we can assess which muscles or which joints or what posture type problems are creating this back pain and then we can design a treatment plan to treat that.”
Soothing back pain doesn’t come easy. You may have to learn how to sit and stand properly. And practice it enough until it becomes second nature.
“For most of us, just correcting of posture can make a huge impact. Just the way we sit in a chair, the way we unload the dishwasher, the way we do the yard work,” says Kinross. “I mean little changes that we make to our lifestyle can take a big impact on back pain.”
Adding exercise provides extra strength and helps you hold your body in a strong position. Something Tricia works on.
“I do the classes here, stretching, they have a back class. I do the treadmill. That's a lot of strengthening your core.”
So give your back a break and create healthy habits. Before you know it they will become the new normal.