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Watch Your Back

Back pain can strike anyone at virtually any time, but seniors in particular are vulnerable, sometimes just from a lifetime of improper body mechanics, like poor posture and bending over, rather than bending at the knees. Back pain should be evaluated by your doctor; additionally, there are simple improvements you can make in daily habits to avoid aggravating your back. Always envision your spine as a big letter “S” and focus on maintaining that curve whenever possible. When standing, practice keeping your ears, shoulders and hips aligned by imagining a straight line connecting them on your left and right sides. When sitting, be sure your thighs and your back form a 90-degree angle, but keep the curve in your lower lumbar spine with a lumbar pillow or other support. When lying down, if you sleep on your back, a pillow or rolled up towel under your knees will help, but a better position might be on one side, with the top knee bent and raised to hip height with a pillow or foam wedge under it.