Back Pain

01 December 2014

Stand-up advice for preventing back pain

Reduce your risk of back injury and discomfort with these back pain tips.


Age-related wear and tear of the spine is a common cause of back pain, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk of back injury and discomfort, an expert says.

"Many people with lower backaches say symptoms disrupt their daily routines; however, everyday habits may be the factors causing the pain," said Dr. Michael Gleiber, an orthopaedic spine surgeon and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons spokesman.

"It's important to identify some of those behaviours, avoid them and adapt healthy ones," he said in an academy news release.

Back pain tips

Do regular exercise to strengthen your back and core muscles. If you have acute back pain, don't do strenuous exercise, but get up and move around, Gleiber said. Being in bed or inactive for too long could cause your back pain symptoms to get worse.

Try to avoid lifting heavy objects. If you have to do heavy lifting, use proper technique. Do not bend over. Keep your back straight and bend at your knees, he advised.

Maintain a healthy body weight. Being overweight or obese places added stress on your lower back, research shows.

Read: Managing back pain

Watch your posture. Your ears should be in line with the top of your shoulders, and your shoulders in line with your hips. Your upper arms should hang relaxed and close to your body, and your hands should be in line with your lower arms.

More than 65.8 million American adults reported having low back pain, according to a 2012 National Health Interview Survey.

Read more:

How to get on top of back pain
What type of back pain is the most common?
Yoga may help for back pain

Image: Backache from Shutterstock

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Susan qualified as a Physiotherapist in 1990, and completed her master’s degree in Physiotherapy in 2013 at the University of Pretoria. She has a special interest in human biomechanics, as well as the interaction between domestic and work-related ergonomics.

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