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    Exercise for a healthy back
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    • Did you know?
      FACT: Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on low back pain, the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work.
      — National Institute o...
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      Did you know?
      FACT: Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on low back pain, the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work.

      — National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

      FACT: A 1996 Finnish study found that persons who continued their activities without bed rest following onset of low back pain had better back flexibility than those who rested in bed for a week. Other studies suggest that bed rest alone may make back pain worse and can lead to secondary complications such as decreased muscle tone and blood clots in the legs.

      FACT: At night or during rest, people with low-back pain should lie on one side, with a pillow between the knees. Some doctors suggest resting on the back and putting a pillow beneath the knees.

      FACT: Thirty-one million Americans have low back pain at any given time
  • The most common question I hear is, “How do I stop this nagging back pain?”
    In most cases, simple exercise and weight reduction should relieve your pain. With serious back pain or injury, consult a doctor first.
    Here are some suggestions to soothe your back:
    First of all, walk — on a treadmill if you own one, or around your neighborhood or office. Walking is a safe and natural way to build up weakened lower erector muscles. Twenty minutes a day will do. Monitor your breathing while walking.
    Next comes the most important part of any exercise program for the back: stretching.
    For lower-back pain, try these three stretches: