Reduce Your Risk for Low Back Pain

Lifting heavy objects is not the only thing that can cause back pain. Many other factors may contribute to low back pain. Some risks you can't control, such as your age and family health history.

Reduce weight

Overweight people have a higher chance of getting back pain. This is mainly true for people with extra weight around the waist, which pulls the pelvis forward, causing stress on the lower back. Keeping a healthy weight through diet and exercise doesn’t only reduce existing back pain. It can also help prevent certain types of back problems in the future.

Increase activity

If you don’t exercise, you’re less flexible and you have weaker muscles. This can cause back pain or make it worse. If you take part in a regular exercise program, you can help heal existing back problems and prevent future ones. A good program includes stretching, strengthening, and low-impact aerobic conditioning at least 2 times a week.

Ease stress

Most people who are stressed tend to sleep poorly, have a poor diet, and get little exercise. If stress-related muscle tightness gets added to the mix, back problems can result. To reduce stress, it’s helpful to do relaxation and breathing exercises. Also make time to exercise.

Quit smoking

Smokers are more likely to develop low back pain than nonsmokers. By using proven quit-smoking treatments, such as FDA-approved medicines and individual, group, or phone counseling, you may greatly improve your chances of quitting successfully. Talk with your healthcare provider about the best way for you to stop smoking.

Keep good posture

Keeping your back in an awkward position for long periods can put you at risk for back pain. Make sure you have the correct back support and use correct methods for lifting to reduce your risk for back pain.

Online Medical Reviewer: Joseph Campellone MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2023
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