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Healthy Backs with Wanda

Martha Stewart Living Television

Tens of millions of Americans experience back pain, an affliction often induced by inactivity or stress, but fortunately, there are several ways in which to alleviate such discomfort, says chiropractor Wanda Lopez. When standing, keep a bamboo foot bar close by. The bar, which is simply a piece of bamboo split in half lengthwise, when stood upon, helps the body distribute weight from the lower back into the legs. If a foot bar is unavailable, try a substitute; for example, while washing dishes, open your cabinet door, and rest your foot on the ledge. Wanda also endorses periodic stretches such as forward bends and side twists.

Bad habits can also lead to back pain; wearing high heels too often, crossing your legs while sitting, slouching, and even holding the phone improperly can cause discomfort. Wanda says it's essential to sit properly and to remove any clutter from beneath your desk (allowing you to stretch out). In addition, you should routinely stretch your muscles by moving your arms to expand and contract your chest, rotating your neck, crossing one ankle over your knee and letting your hands drop toward the floor, and extending your legs under your desk. Wanda says that, if you have a large, heavy handbag, switching to a backpack can help to prevent back pain.

Special Thanks
Wanda Lopez, Chiropractor
120 East 56th Street, Suite 830
New York, NY 10022
Phone: 212-319-3433
Fax: 212-838-1531