At Spine Institute of Arizona, we give helpful tips on how you can prevent your back pain so you can live a pain-free life. This week, we are sharing information on the basics for preventing back pain. Stay tuned for part 2 next week on how you can take action.
One of the best ways to prevent back pain is to keep your back muscles strong. Follow these steps to help protect your back and prevent back pain:
- Do back-strengthening and stretching exercises at least 2 days a week.
- Stand and sit up straight.
- Avoid heavy lifting. If you do lift something heavy, bend your knees and keep your back straight. This way, your leg muscles will do most of the work.
- Get active and eat a balanced diet. Being overweight can strain your back. Getting active and eating healthy can help you stay at a healthy weight.
There are different types of back pain.
Back pain can be acute (short term) or chronic (long term). It can feel like a sudden, sharp pain or a dull, constant ache.
Acute back pain lasts from a few days to a few weeks. It’s often caused by an accident, fall, or lifting something that’s too heavy. Acute back pain usually gets better on its own, without any treatment.
Chronic back pain lasts for more than 3 months. It’s much less common than acute back pain. Most chronic back pain can be treated without surgery.
Who gets back pain?
Most people have back pain at some point in their lives. It’s one of the most common reasons people visit a doctor or nurse. You are more likely to experience back pain as you get older.
Many people hurt their backs when they lift, push, or pull something that’s too heavy.
You may also be at risk for back pain if you:
- Are pregnant
- Have poor posture (don’t stand and sit up straight)
- Aren’t physically active
- Are overweight
- Fall or have an accident
- Have a health problem that can cause back pain (like arthritis or cancer)