I've been having a lot of lower-back pain lately. I have an arch in my lower back when I sleep, so I tried changing my mattress to see if it would make things better. Unfortunately, it didn't help, and I continue to have discomfort. I attend a performing arts school during the day, and I'm on a dance team at night. I really want to get this back pain addressed so I can continue dancing. What do you think the issue could be?


Having daily back pain is a sign from your body that something is not right. Sleeping on too soft of a mattress is often a culprit, especially if you are a stomach sleeper. If you are a stomach sleeper, try shifting to your side and placing a large body pillow in front of you for your top arm and leg. Making that change can help your back, as well as chronic shoulder or neck discomfort. I actually sleep with pillows on both sides so I can easily flip sides throughout the night.

It's also possible you're straining your back from the dance-team choreography. I have seen hyperextension injuries happen from choreography with lots of back bends, jumps into arched positions, and even from having other people jump on your back. It's so important to support the lower back with core strength and efficient alignment.

If you can, notice if your back hurts while doing certain moves in class or rehearsal—that will help you know what to temporarily pull back from. If your back continues to bother you, please go get it checked out!

To your success,

Deborah Vogel

Director, The Body Series

Got a question for Deb? E-mail askdeb@dancemedia.com, and she may answer it in an upcoming web exclusive.

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