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Healthy facts about sleeping

The facts about aching backs

Low back pain strikes 80 percent of adults sometime during their working years. Men and women experience back pain at similar rates.

The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says low back pain is second only to the common cold as a cause of lost work days. Too many people wake up in pain.

What causes the pain? Back pain is most often caused by improper bending, twisting or lifting followed by improper care, such as sleeping on the wrong bed.

When upright, your spine can support your body without actually using the back muscles. But you pay a price for this luxury. The supporting muscles remain weak from inactivity. They don't develop enough to provide support when you need it, such as when your spine is fighting a bad bed to maintain its natural alignment.

7 Steps to Preventing the Pain

1. Unlock and bend the knees when lifting or leaning forward. Keep objects close to your body and directly in front of you.

2. Avoid excessive reaching in front of you or overhead. Use a step-stool.

3. Stop smoking, especially if you have smoker's cough. Coughing puts pressure on the spinal discs.

4. Take a standing and walking break every 30 minutes when sitting for long periods. And shift position often when standing for long periods.

5. Keep your chair as close as possible to desks and tables.

6. Eat right and exercise.

7. Sleep on a mattress that lets low back muscles relax such as Select Comfort's adjustable firmness air sleep system.
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