Move with care
How you perform everyday tasks from loading or unloading the dishwasher to carrying shopping bags to taking out the trash can have a significant effect on how your back feels. Every motion has to have proper biomechanics, says Alpiner. Anything you can do to put your body in a better biomechanical alignment and reduce stress on your body will help your back. In other words, don’t twist your spine while standing or sitting for long periods (this strains the back), and be sure to always bend from the knees and hips, rather than the waist, when lifting something. If anyone knows the value of this advice, it’s Patti Oakland, 52, a mother of three grown children and a jewelry designer in Kalamazoo, Michigan, who has had recurring backaches since 2002, despite having two back surgeries. “I’ve continued to have back pain so I’ve had to make some lifestyle changes in order to move more comfortably”, she says. One thing that made a difference was reorganizing my cupboards and cabinets, placing the things I use most at a level where I don’t have to bend or reach. I also use the golfer’s pick-up: When I drop something on the floor, I put one leg out and bend from the hips, keeping my spine straight as I reach for the floor.