"Cardiovascular and strength training are good basic prevention to keep your back healthy," says Harvard back pain expert Dr. Zacharia Isaac. "Because of the brain's involvement with back pain, maintaining a good sleep cycle and good emotional state are also very important."
Important steps to better back health include:
- When backaches strike, stay as active as possible; inactivity can make things worse.
- Shrinking from physical activity for fear of back injury can start a downward spiral leading to more backaches.
- Get enough sleep; lack of restorative slumber can make back pain worse.
- Stay positive and relax; people who are depressed and anxious have more back problems.
Read the full-length article: "Physical and mental fitness are essential for maintaining back health"
Also in the March 2014 issue of the Harvard Men's Health Watch:
- Do memory supplements work?
- Maintaining maximum muscle over the years
- New benefits of Mediterranean-style eating
The Harvard Men's Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at www.health.harvard.edu/mens or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).
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