In an interview with the Health Channel, Dr. Georgiy Brosuvanik, a Spine Surgeon with Baptist Health South Florida, talks about habits you can create in your day to day to prevent back pain.
Dr. Brosuvanik starts off by explaining how to lift properly. He jokes that most people have probably heard from their PE coach to lift with their legs, not their back, which he affirms is true. He explains that if you lean forward to lift something, even if you are in a seated position, it puts more pressure on your discs and increases the risk of a herniation occurring. With children, proper lifting is not as big of a concern since they are less likely to get injured doing it, but adults and especially the elderly need to pay attention to how they lift things.
The interviewer asks Dr. Brosuvanik, what is the best posture for sitting? Dr. Brosuvanik replies that the spine sits in a forward flexed, kyphotic posture, so a little bit of slouching is okay since it is more comfortable. Though, if you are sitting for prolonged periods of time, no amount of good posture can prevent you from getting some back pain. Dr. Brosuvanik recommends that people who have to sit for long eight hour work days should try to get up and stretch frequently to maintain a healthy blood flow.
The interviewer asks the doctor if there is a specific posture that is best for sleeping. Dr. Brosuvanik replies that even if there was a perfect sleeping posture, there is no way to consistently control how you sleep. Whether you think you sleep on your back or front, most people end up sleeping in fetal position, which involves curling your arms in and flexing your back forwards.
Dr. Brosuvanik also recommends that people exercise regularly, at least one activity a day, to avoid back pain. While being overweight seems like it could cause back pain, Dr. Brosuvanik says that he does not always find that to be true. He says that most of his overweight patients have been overweight most of their lives, so when they suddenly start suffering from back pain it does not seem to correlate to their weight, which has not changed. Reducing stress also helps to alleviate back pain.
Watch the full segment of Dr. Georgiy Brosuvanik giving tips on how to prevent back pain, here: https://youtu.be/nD9axCp52s0