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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Best Exercises That Help Prevent Back Pain

Two little words that strike fear in the heart of many: back pain. Nearly 80% of Americans experience back pain at some point.  Here's more .  .

Most people know back pain can affect their quality of life. But, it can also take a toll on your wallet. According to a recent NY Times article, back pain sufferers spend $7000 per year on health care costs. Their non-suffering counterparts spend only about $4000 per year. This estimate doesn’t take into account the work-related costs of severe pain, like lost wages due to missing work.

So, if you think back pain sounds like a pain in the neck, there are some ways you can prevent it. One of the most important things you can do to prevent back pain is stand up straight! Correct posture means allowing your spine to maintain its natural curves. Your ears should be aligned over your shoulders; your shoulders should line up over your hips.

Good posture takes more than just mindfulness; you have to have the core strength to maintain proper alignment. Some classes like Pilates and Yoga will help you build up your core. There are also plenty of exercises you can do on your own without any equipment. Exercises like crunches, plank, and even just drawing your belly button towards your spine while sitting, will help you strengthen those abs.

Here are 3 great exercises that keep you strong and go a long way toward helping prevent back pain:

Plank on-the-ball for ab & back strength.

Reverse plank - advanced.

Bridge for back, glute, & hamstring strength.