Published: Sept. 24, 2009
Updated: Feb. 24, 2011
Duke Medical Minutes are produced by local sports radio affiliates and allow Duke specialists to give a brief snapshot into health offerings at Duke.
In this episode, Karyn Rahn, MD, explains potential causes and cures for low back pain.
Announcer: And we're speaking with Dr. Karyn Westin Rahn, clinical associate of adult spine here at Duke. Occupational hazards -- we talk about sports constantly, but these type of injuries can happen at the workplace as well.
Rahn: This is the most hazardous place that
we can think of when it comes to low back issues. Not just
repetitive motion injuries, lifting objects over and over, but
just sitting at a desk for hours at a time is very toxic for
the low back.
Announcer: You talked about sitting at the desk. Is there anything you can do at the workplace.
Rahn: The recommendations are actually to not sit in a static position for more than about an hour at a time. Some recommendations are to get up as early as 20 minutes of sitting.
Announcer: And as far as weight goes. It’s something that everybody deals with, but I guess eating right, exercising, that will go a long way to preventing back pain.
Rahn: Statistics are that about 65 percent of all American adults are overweight, so this would be a great area to target in terms of helping to prevent and treat low back issues.
I don't necessarily feel that being overweight is a direct cause of low back pain. But once somebody starts to have back problems, weight loss can be a very effective way to help counter their symptoms and to prevent future problems.