Monday, 3 April 2017

7 Easy Ways To Relieve Low Back Pain

80% of the population will experience low back pain at some stage in their lives.

16% of Australians reported experiencing back pain in 2014/2015. That's a massive 3.7 million people.

Have you recently suffered with low back pain?

As a qualified physiotherapist I can tell you that chronic low back pain is one of THE most common reasons patients seek physio treatment.

This blog post details seven relatively easy ways to relieve aching low back pain. These are all methods I have used myself to help me relieve my own low back pain, as well as that of my patients.

Please note that this blog post does not deal with acute severe back pain which needs to be treated differently. This blog post is intended to be general information only. If your pain is acute, persists or worsens then obviously seek medical attention to address your specific individual needs.



1. Maintain Correct Posture
Poor posture is one of the most common causes of chronic back pain.

By correcting poor posture a large percentage of low back pain problems can be fixed.

Looking at the spine from the side you can see that it's shaped like a modified S-shape. It curves in at our neck and also at our low back. 

Modified S-Shape of Spine

Maintaining this modified S-shape when you're sitting, standing and moving is the basis of good posture.

When we maintain our spine in this 'ideal' position we reduce the wear and tear on our spinal discs and joints and our muscles are balanced with minimum tension.

Moving out of this modified S-shape increases the work our muscles need to do to keep us upright and increases the forces on our spine.

A couple of things can help us maintain this ideal posture. 

Firstly when sitting make sure your chair has adequate support for your low back. Why make your back muscles do all the work, let the chair support your back while you are sitting. 

If your chair doesn't have adequate lumbar support you can use a rolled up towel or a lumbar roll cushion positioned in the small of your back whilst you are seated. You can also use these when driving too. Avoid soft, squishy chairs with no low back support.

Lumbar Roll Cushion

When you are experiencing low back pain I highly recommend wearing supportive shoes such as these FRANKiE4 Footwear ELLiE shoes.

Not only does the silver look absolutely amazing but they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn and are perfect for wearing when you have low back pain! 


FRANKiE4 Footwear ELLiE Shoes

I know not everyone shares my obsessive love of all things metallic so let me tell you the Ellie also comes in black, beige and red

I'm thinking the black ones would be good to wear when I'm on my feet at work for long periods of time.

I can't resist sharing with you however that another FRANKiE4 flat shoe, the JENNi, comes in a swoon-worthy tin gold! Thanks to FRANKiE4 there is absolutely no need to forgo style for comfort.

FRANKiE4 footwear is podiatrist and physiotherapist designed. All their enclosed footwear has a functional footbed with heel support, arch support and forefoot cushioning.

What this means is that it is designed to improve your foot, ankle and lower limb alignment. This in turn helps ensure your spine is also well aligned and thus your muscles are better balanced.


FRANKiE4 Footwear Functional Footbed
Source: FRANKiE4 Footwear

The FRANKiE4 sole is also specially designed to provide a great foundation for standing and walking.

Another fabulous feature of FRANKiE4 footwear is their custom fit. Every pair comes with a custom fit pack, containing interchangeable footbed cushions that you can add or remove within the shoe depending on whether you have a narrow, regular or wide foot. 

This system is wonderful for people who may have one foot slightly bigger than their other foot as you can wear different footbed cushions on each foot depending on your individual needs.

FRANKiE4 Footwear Custom Fit

This custom fit system also gives you confidence when buying FRANKiE4 footwear over the internet knowing they fit such a variety of foot widths. 

It's also good to know that when you buy FRANKiE4 footwear Australian standard shipping is free and you have 30 days from the date of purchase to exchange or return the shoes as long as they are in as-new condition. FRANKiE4 Footwear also covers the cost of return shipping if required. How good is that! I wish all companies did this.

To view the FRANKiE4 Footwear range click HERE

2. Stretch Your Back

All day most of us do activities positioned in front of us. By the end of the day our shoulders and back tend to hunch and slump forwards and our head tends to poke forwards. To help obtain the correct posture again it is important to gently do stretches in the opposite direction.


Low Back Stretch

3. Heat 
Heat does wonders in relaxing muscle spasms which in turn will relieve your low back pain symptoms. 

4. Massage
Gentle massage is also beneficial in relieving muscle spasms and thus low back pain.

One method of combining heat and massage is to use your balled fists to gentle massage your low back in a warm shower.

It's not always practicable to pop into the shower however so my preferred alternative option to apply heat and massage is to use the HoMedics Shiatsu Massage Pillow.  

HoMedics Shiatsu Massage Pillow

This massage pillow feels amazing! It has three settings allowing you to choose between a Shiatsu massage action, a vibration massage or a combined Shiatsu and vibration massage action. 

It also has a soothing heat option which you can choose to activate in conjunction with the massage action.

It is ABSOLUTE HEAVEN! 

I feel like I'm floating after using it, my low back feels that relaxed!

Although this HoMedics Shiatsu Massage Pillow is designed to be used on your neck, back and shoulders it also works well on other body areas too.      

I've been using this massage pillow on a daily basis on my low back since receiving it and I can honestly say that I can't remember my low back muscles ever having felt this free and relaxed!

It also feels amazing when I use it around my shoulder blades and neck region!

Note: this HoMedics Shiatsu Massage Pillow is currently $20 off HERE.

Stockists include The Shaver Shop, Myer, Good Guys, Betta Electrical and good retailers.


HoMedics Shiatsu Massage Pillow In Use

5. Maintain A Healthy Weight
Increased weight especially around your middle places a lot more strain on your lower back pulling your low back forwards and causing pain. Maintaining a healthy weight can make a huge difference to your low back pain levels.

6. Strengthen Your Core Muscles
Pilates, yoga and swimming are all beneficial in strengthening your core abdominal muscles which in turn will help protect your low back.

7. Gentle Exercise
Finally contrary to what some people believe it is better not to just lie down and rest all day when you have low back pain. It is better to continue moving around. Walking, swimming and gentle stretches can all help you recover quicker. If any of these activities increases your back pain then ease up or stop doing that particular activity on that day.


Do you suffer with low back pain?


Sharing Is Caring!
I'd love you to share this post on your social media accounts to help your friends and followers who may be suffering with low back pain. 

The share buttons are on the left hand side of this post.


It may also be beneficial to save this post to Pinterest for your own future reference.

xxx
Ingrid.

You can also find Fabulous and Fun Life on:

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The above FRANKiE4 Footwear ELLiE shoes & HoMedics Shiatsu Massage Pillow were kindly gifted to me for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own. Full disclosure policy here.

76 comments:

  1. What great tips here. I get a sore neck but that is all from working on my laptop. When my lower back get sore, it means I have not moved in hours and time to get my butt out of the seat.

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    1. The human body is definitely not designed to sit for long periods of time. Regular breaks from sitting to walk around and stretch work wonders!

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  2. Great tips here. I didn't realise you were a physio! Awesome!

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    1. Thanks Amy! I normally keep the various different parts of my life ie family, work & blogging separate but having experienced a bout of low bavk pain myself recently motivated me to write this past using my professional qualifications. If readers like it I may do some more occasional health based posts. I'll see how this post goes first however.

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  3. I am in love with my Frankies and now proudly own 3 pairs. I have had trouble with my lower back over the years, but find now through exercise, stretching and regular chiro visits, I have a happy back :)

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    1. I'm happy you've found the right preventative measures to achieving a happy back :)

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  4. The gentle exercise tip is one I know from experience - I keep telling the hubster this, as he suffers a lot from lower back pain, and often has to get out of bed earlier than he would like as it keeps him awake. But when do men ever listen to their wives LOL?!

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    1. The Aqua Aerobics exercise class you blogged about today is great for helping with low back pain. You should teach your hubby some of the exercises you do there and get him to a pool too!

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  5. The Frankie4 shoes look SO comfortable. Love the silver, too!

    Di from Max The Unicorn

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    1. They're as comfortable as they look Di! And I'm totally in love with the silver, together with the black & white stripey laces!

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  6. Great list, Ingrid. I've been wanting a pari of Frankie4 shoes for ages to help with my plantar fasciitis.
    #teamIBOT

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    1. FRANKiE4 shoes are amazing shoes as you've no doubt heard before. Designed by a podiatrist/physiotherapist I don't think you could find anything better for your plantar fasciitis than these!

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  7. Great post Ingrid - didn't realise you were a physio either! I'm lucky in that I don't really experience lower back pain anymore (well, not since I started seeing a chiro & also started stretching of a morning), but I know that any kind of pain is debilitating. I love my black reptile JENNi's from FRANKiE4, but next time I'm going up a size (mine are a tad short length wise)...and getting the tin gold pair...amongst a whole bunch of their other shoes...

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    1. Yep, I'm qualified as a physio and also as an ergonomist.

      It's amazing the difference that doing regular stretches each day makes to preventing back pain.

      You better watch out, I suspect buying FRANKiE4 shoes is addictive. They are so comfortable and have such a great range! Have you seen the new range of FRANKiE4 winter boots?

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  8. I never knew you were a physio Ingrid! What great tips, I will pass on the tips to my husband, but I think he will draw the line at wearing silver shoes!

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    1. I'm divulging my secrets now aren't I, Barbe!

      What do you mean he wouldn't wear silver shoes?!!! Tell him the laces are stripey! Surely that will sway him - LOL! Unfortunately I don't think FRANKiE4 make men's shoes at this stage.

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  9. I suffer with back pain from a car accident I was involved in 9 years ago. I practice all of these and would also suggest weight training. Building strenghth in other areas of my body and around my back muscles as well has allowed me to deal with the pain so much better.

    xx

    Tahana
    www.tahanalee.com

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    1. Sorry to hear about your car accident but it's good you have worked out strategies to deal with the pain.

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  10. Great tips Ingrid - what a big secret reveal from you too! No wonder your advice is so good!
    PS. Frankie4 shoes and boots are simply the BEST

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    1. Thanks Bev! I totally agree with your statement that FRANKiE4 shoes and boots are simply the BEST,

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  11. These are really good tips to start doing! It's great sitting down, but at a desk all day can be really uncomfortable!
    Isabella | www.digyhu.com

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    1. It's best to regularly change our posture between sitting, standing and walking etc rather than sitting all day!

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  12. Great recommendations! I've been having some lower back pain from working out more regularly. I'll have to give some of these a go x

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    1. Give them a go. I hope they help. I'd also check your technique at the gym, it shouldn't be causing you back pain.

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  13. I definitely found yoga helped mine. It made me so much stronger

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    1. Yoga is great for strengthening your core muscles! It definitely makes them stronger and thus you become much less likely to experience low back pain.

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  14. You've given some greet tips here. I'm definitely going to try some of these out!

    Bec | Beauty With Bec

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    1. I'm glad you've found these tips helpful!

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  15. I do suffer from lower back pain occasionally and normally employ all of these strategies to alleviate the pain. I love my wheat bag that I heat up and put on my back. It takes the pain away instantly. I think shoes are a biggie as well. I almost always wear supportive shoes now. :) #TeamLovinLife

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    1. Wheat bags are great! I need to buy a new one from the markets next weekend. My previous one started getting a bit smelly from years of use!

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  16. Thanks for these Ingrid. I suffer a lot from lower back pain - & es, am carrying way too much around my middle. I'm especially keen in looking at those Frankie shoes... #teamlovinlife

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    1. I struggle with too much weight around my middle too and have started on a mission to lose it or at least reduce it.

      Buying the FRANKiE4 shoes is a lot easier - lol! They are amazing!

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  17. Fantastic tips Ingrid - thankyou! Would you believe I have really bad back pain right now - except mine is mid-back. I LOVE the Frankie4 shoes and getting myself a pair is high on my wish list. I have a massage machine thingy similar to the one you've featured here. I will be digging that out today in the hope it will help alleviate some of my pain. I'll also take note of your other tips - thanks again! #TeamLovinLife

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    1. Thanks Min. I'm sorry to hear that you're suffering with a bad back right now. Definitely give your massage pillow a go and see if it helps alleviate some of your pain.

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  18. We are on the same wavelength today Ingrid as I've posted about correct posture and it's affect on our health especially as we age. I suffer from lower back pain and since I've been doing daily yoga it has improved not only the pain but my posture as well. Thanks so much for the tips.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

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    1. I'll head over to your blog now for a read!

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  19. I always wondered what you did! I love my Physios. They've helped me a lot over the years. And stylish yet comfortable supportive shoes are my daily saviour!

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    1. It's often a mystery what bloggers do when not blogging - lol! I'm glad to hear your physios have been helpful to you. And I totally agree comfortable supportive shoes are a saviour!

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  20. Especially for us bloggers...sitting at a computer can be hazardous to our health. I do slide a pillow behind my back when I'm typing/sitting!! But I also need to get up regularly and stretch! Thanks for sharing this!
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. We often automatically do things to relieve our back pain like sliding a pillow behind our low back and stretching.

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  21. Timely post for me, I've been slowly reintroducing yoga into my routine and am already feeling the benefits in my back.

    SSG xxx

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    1. I'm glad to hear it's having a positive effect on your back already.

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  22. Great tips - I couldn't live without my lumbar pillow, my well made supportive shoes, and watching my posture. Slumping will bring fast!

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    1. I actually have three lumbar pillows. One on my dining room chair, one in my car and one on my chair at work. They make a huge difference to me. Supportive shoes, especially on days I'm mainly on my feet make a huge difference too! Sounds like you have it all sorted!

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  23. The bf has this lumbar thing with spikes that you lie on, which can help sometimes too.

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    1. Oh I haven't heard of a spiked lumbar roll before. I'll have to keep my eye out for one of those.

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  24. Wow. Great tips. I sit quite a bit at wok and these sure will come in handy

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    1. I'm glad you've found these tips handy!

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  25. Haha, you immediately made me sit up straight! Yep, long term sufferer of back pain here, these tips are excellent reminders.

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    1. Glad to provide you with these reminder tips!

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  26. Great tips - especially the one about supportive shoes! :)

    I had a lot of back pain in pregnancy so I used to bounce on an exercise ball to help with the pain. I think it helps your posture which helps, as well as distracting from the pain! :) Luckily I don't have many problems when I'm not pregnant.

    Hope you're having a wonderful weekend.

    Away From The Blue Blog

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    1. Thanks Mica.

      Not surprisingly pregnancy is a notorious time for women to experience low back pain! I'm glad to hear you don't have many problems when you're not pregnant.

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  27. So many good tips! I definitely need to stretch more throughout the day. And those shoes are so cute, I need to look into them!

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    1. Thanks for reading Jess! Definitely do regular stretches throughout the day and check out the FRANKiE4 shoes! They are so supportive yet still cute!

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  28. Awesome tips! I don't know why I never thought of adding a lumbar to my desk chair, I think tomorrow I will. Thanks!

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    1. Glad to have provided you with a tip you can use!

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  29. I'm back again! I've already commented but saw your post on #Lifethisweek. I've shared on my Sizzling Toward 60 & Beyond Facebook page. Have a great week!

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing Sue! It is much appreciated. Hopefully your Facebook followers will find it helpful!

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  30. I'm hopeless with my posture, so I tend to get a fair bit of pain, particularly when I am writing assignments! Heat works wonders for me, and if all else fails I convince the partner to give me a massage haha but I might have to invest in some of these!!

    Laura || www.thelifeoflaura.com.au xx

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    1. Try a rolled up towel or lumbar roll cushion on your chair in the small of your back whilst you're writing your assignments. Hopefully that will help you.

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  31. I was actually wondering if I could fit in an appointment with my physio today as my lower back has been hurting. I'm blaming it on the tree I had to clear thanks to Debbie. Back and leg hurt dragging giant branches out of my driveway.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear your back is hurting you.

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  32. Thanks for this informative post, my back pain is getting worse as I age, but your tips are really very helpful.

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    1. Check your posture. Your back doesn't have to hurt more as you age.

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  33. Terrific tips...I've suffered for years and go to my chiro once a month and have a massage once a fortnight. My scoliosis means it's an ongoing thing. Building up my core strength helped a great deal, and my heat pack is always on hand!!

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    1. Sounds like you have your strategies for managing your back condition all worked out.

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  34. I have terrible posture most of the time, and have to correct myself when I catch myself slouching! I have noticed as I've gottne older the appreciation for a comfy shoe!

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    1. Comfy and supportive shoes have become more important to me as I've become older too! It's amazing what a difference they make!

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  35. Good grief, I had no idea you were a physiotherapist Ingrid! How utterly awesome, and what a brilliant post this is. I'm fortunate to not have experienced any chronic back pain in my life, and I've bookmarked this page so that I never do ♥♥♥

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    1. Thanks Kats! I'm glad you haven't had any back pain in your life! There are not too many people that can make that claim! Well done!

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  36. Great tips! Maintaining core strength is crucial. Visiting from #overthemoon

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  37. Why do backs have to hurt so much? Mine gives me grief. Sigh.
    #teamlovinlife

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  38. Great post! I'm so terrible with my posture and slouch all the time. I def need to stop but it's a hard habit to break. xo

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  39. I have suffered with lower back pain for years. Yoga helped to alleviate a lot of it. Recently, I have had to remain glued to a computer for the majority of the day and find that the pain is returning. Will have to invest in a lumbar support and make more of an effort to stretch. Thanks for the suggestions.

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  40. I do suffer with back pain but unfortunately mine is thanks to scoliosis... but luckily a lot of these methods to help to keep pain to a minimum! I need that chair massager hehe xx

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  41. For me a good mattress is also imperative to the health of my back. I recently stayed with a relative for two nights and after sleeping on their couch, it took my back a few weeks to recuperate.
    Good tips!

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