Prevent back injuries

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) Sometimes we make things more complicated than they need to be, including how we treat our own bodies.

Eighty percent of the adult population will experience back pain at some point in their life. And 80% of musculoskeletal injuries are due to personal habits, not accidents or injury.

One way to get back to basics and get a better understanding of your spine is by concentrating on your posture. Dr. Marilyn Gates, a neurosurgeon with the Spectrum Health Medical Group, shows us how.

Common Causes of Back and Neck Pain

  • Poor posture or body mechanics
  • Overuse, strenuous activity, or improper use
  • Trauma, injury or fracture
  • Muscle tension or spasm
  • Joint problems
  • Protruding or herniated disk and pinched nerve


Preventing back and neck pain

  • Maintain correct posture while sitting, standing, and sleeping
  • Practice safe body mechanics
  • Stay active with regular exercise such as walking
  • Avoid smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduce emotional stress which may cause muscle tension 


Check your standing posture

  • Breathe deeply
  • Relax your shoulders, hips and knees
  • Adjust your body to ‘connect’ your ears, shoulders, hips and ankles in a straight line
  • Tuck your buttocks in if needed

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