Bad posture, being overweight, and not getting sufficient physical exercise slowly cause our spine to deteriorate. An estimated 80 percent of the population in developed countries have backache problems at some time in their life.  The Spanish Kovacs Clinic, which specializes in spinal problems, recommends the following simple tips on how to take care of your backache:

1. Sleep on your side with the spine straight.

2. When seated, support your back against the back of the chair.

3. At a computer, keep your shoulders in their natural position.

4. If you have to bend down, bend your knees rather than your back.

5. If you have to stand still for a long time, put weight on one leg while resting your other foot on a stool or step.

6. Exercises like walking, swimming, and bicycling, such exercise should be done while keeping the back upright.

7. Controlling one’s weight is another important step towards relieving backache as excess weight greatly increases the stress on soft back tissues.

8. Those with sedentary occupations should take a break to stand up every hour. Soft cushioned seats should be avoided and position should be changed as often as possible.

9. Persons with back problems should sleep on a firm mattress on their sides with knees bent at right angles to the torso.

10. Vitamin C has proved helpful in relieving low-back pain and averting spinal disc operations.

11. Hot fomentation, alternate sponging, or application of radiant heat to the back will also give immediate relief.

12. Patients should avoid fatty, spicy, and fried foods, curd, sweetmeats, sugar, and condiments as well as tea and coffee. Those who smoke and take tobacco in any form should give it up completely.

13. The diet of those suffering from backache should consist of a salad of raw vegetables such as tomato, carrot, cabbage, cucumber, radish, lettuce and at least two steamed or lightly cooked vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, carrot, spinach, and plenty of fruits, all except bananas. The patients should have four meals daily. They may take fruits and milk during breakfast, steamed vegetables and whole-wheat chapattis during lunch, fresh fruits or fruit juice in the evening, and a bowl of raw salad and sprouts during dinner.

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