Reduce Your Risk for Low Back Pain
Lifting heavy objects is not the only thing that can cause back pain. Many other factors can affect your back.
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.
If you don’t exercise, you’re less flexible and you have weaker muscles. This can cause or worsen back pain. 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.
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. Even a couple of 10-minute or 15-minute walks a day can make a difference.
Smokers are almost 3 times more likely to develop low back pain than nonsmokers. By using proven quit-smoking treatments, such as FDA-approved medications and individual, group, or phone counseling, you can double your chance of quitting successfully. Talk with your doctor about the best way for you to stop smoking.
- Kolbus, Karin, RN, DNP, COHN-S
- MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician