Managing neck and back pain

Be aware of how much time you’re spending at your computer. Gentle stretching can help with managing back and neck pain. Photo: Getty Images.
Be aware of how much time you’re spending at your computer. Gentle stretching can help with managing back and neck pain. Photo: Getty Images.
If you’ve never experienced back or neck pain, there’s a good chance that, at some point, you will.

“As humans, we’re susceptible to neck and back pain because of the way we walk upright,” said Dr. J. Alex Sielatycki, a spine surgeon in Steamboat Springs and a member of the medical staff at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center. “Almost every adult at some point in their life will have some sort of neck or back pain.”

But that doesn’t mean you have to live with chronic pain. By maximizing spine health, staying nimble and mobile, and intervening when necessary, you can help lessen and address issues.

Stay mobile to prevent back and neck pain
Some issues are unavoidable due to genetics or trauma, but regular exercise, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy body weight all play a role in prevention. Sielatycki also stresses the importance of one specific type of exercise.

“I tell patients across the board that regular, low-impact aerobic exercise is one of the best things you can do,” Sielatycki said. “That, in combination with maintaining good flexibility by warming up and doing gentle stretching, can do a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to preventing back problems later in life.”

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