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We asked FirstHealth’s Dr. Lauren Sylvester what we should avoid doing now to protect ourselves against back pain later. Turns out, everything your mother said was true. Here’s what to stop doing immediately:

You never know when you might be made an example of in your company’s training video.

1. Lifting With Your Back.

Chances are you already lift with your legs, but your kids don’t. They should, especially if they carry a bag bigger than they are. Habits learned now will stay with them for life, just like your mom’s words that randomly pop out of your mouth.

Oh, and we know you’re strong, bro. But showing off now isn’t worth a herniated disk. Just ask someone with a herniated disk.

Doesn’t everyone sit like this at work?

2. Slouching.

We know you’re guilty of The Slouch. But what does it hurt, really? Melting into your office chair just proves you’re flexible, right?

Eh, wrong. Turns out, all that slouching leads to degeneration of the muscles that were meant to support your spine. That’s only helpful if you want to look extra fit in that Quasimodo costume you got on clearance after last Halloween.

So what is sitting right? Easy: Back straight, feet on floor.
Tell kids whose feet can’t touch the floor to let them dangle, and not sit on the edge of their seats and curve their spine forward. If they complain, tell them you don’t make the rules — Dr. Sylvester does.

Not all back pain is avoidable. If you need Dr. Sylvester to take a look, call 910-715-1794 or visit www.firsthealth.org/pain.

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