Banishing Back Pain

Pain and rehabilitation specialist Dr. Blair Lamb of Burlington, Ont., the creator of the Lamb medically based stretching programs ( shares how he remains free of back pain.


Q: What’s your preventative medicine?

A: I perform various exercises from my stretching system once,perhaps twice a day. I add some additional aerobic and resistance training one or two times a week. If I’m very sore, I’ll jump in the hot tub for 15 to 20 minutes to warm up the joints prior to stretching to make the stretching even more effective. For restful sleep, I use a thin feather pillow that I can shape to the form I find most comfortable, and I try to maintain specific body positions — on my sides, left and right, or on my back — to minimize injury while sleeping.

Q: Do you take supplements?

A: I take Celadrin, an easily absorbed blend of fatty acids to prevent and reduce inflammation in the joints, a general multivitamin supplement, vitamin D, calcium and vitamin B complex.

Q: What advice would you give to women for maintaining a healthy back?

A: Women are more likely to experience neck and upper back pain due to sexual differences in structure (breasts can place a significant load on the neck and upper back), and high heels and heavy handbags alter normal spinal forces. Keep stress levels down, stretch your spine and limbs, and be aware of your body position at work, home and while sleeping. Back pain is a warning there may be a significant spinal problem that requires attention. Don’t ignore it — talk to your health-care professional.