Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms serious signs Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care back exercises pain in adults pain in children warning signs Prevention exercises proper lifting proper posture Underlying Cause Anatomy

Acute Back Pain Proper Posture

Maintaining good posture helps prevent and treat back pain.

A chair with low back support helps protect your back while sitting. Try to keep your back straight, rather than slouching. Do not sit at the edge of your chair while working. Sit close to your work so that you do not have to lean over your desk. Sit in a chair that allows you to place both feet on the floor.

While standing, rest one foot on a small step: switch feet every 10-20 minutes. Do not stand with your knees locked or your stomach relaxed. The abdominal muscles support the lower back and spine.

Your work surface should not force you to bend over at the waist. Raise the work surface, so that you do not have to slouch. Do not wear high-heels, hard-heels, or platform shoes.

Reaching and twisting
Arrange the work place, so that you do not have to reach or twist the body. Move your entire body toward an object, rather than reaching or twisting with your arms extended.

Kneel down on one knee when you pick up small objects. Place one hand on the floor and support your upper body with one arm. Bend your knees and hips when you lift objects; do not bend your back.

Remember: lifting a 10 pound object while your knees are straight, and your back is bent, places 120 pounds of force on your lower back. Use the powerful muscles in your legs to lift.

Continue to Acute Back Pain Underlying Cause

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Acute Back Pain References
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  3. Hayden J, Tulder M, Malmivaara A, Koes B. Exercise therapy for treatment of non-specific low back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Jul 20;(3):CD000335. [16034851]
  4. King HA. Back pain in children. Orthop Clin North Am. 1999 Jul;30(3):467-74, ix. [10393768]
  5. Marriott A, Newman NM, et al: Improving the evaluation of benign low back pain. Spine 1999 May 15; 24(10): 952-60. [10332784]
  6. van Tulder MW, Koes BW, Bouter LM: Conservative treatment of acute and chronic nonspecific low back pain. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials of the most common interventions. Spine 1997 Sep 15; 22(18): 2128-56. [9322325]
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