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When something or someone bothers us, we call it “a pain in the neck.” The truth is, the most common pain is a pain in the back. If you’re one of the more than 31 million Americans who experience back pain at least occasionally, here are some tips that can help you manage it better:

CHILL OUT: Doctors recommend ice to help reduce inflammations. But keep in mind to wrap the ice/ice pack in a cloth or towel to help protect your skin. Also, apply it only in 20 minute intervals to give your skin a rest.

 

SOME LIKE IT HOT: Many of us also prefer warmth. While doctors say that warmth may increase inflammation, it can relax muscles, easing pain. If warmth works for you, then go for it. But as with cold, remember to give your skin a rest every 20 minutes.

KEEP MOVING: Not only can stretching help, but other types of activities such as walking, making the bed, or riding a bicycle can help keep your back loose. Just don’t overdo it. Remember this simple rule: If it hurts, stop.

EXERCISE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT “MUSCLE”: By that we mean to use your brain and design your workspace and living areas to make it easy on your back. Place your computer monitor so you don’t have to lean forward when viewing it. Use a back support pillow for chairs that do not provide lumbar support, and when sitting, try and kerep your feet firmly planted on the floor.

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