Avoiding Back Pain

Avoiding Back Pain
Low Back Pain is a common problem that affect as much as 80% of the population some time in their lives.  This intense, and often chronic pain can be caused by injury, overwork or disease.  Management of the pain and disability commonly includes physical therapy or other medical specialist in order to reduce the pain and symptoms.  There are, however, some simple techniques and tips to prevent back issues from occurring. Avoiding Back Pain

Exercise Avoiding Back Pain

Exercise may be the last thing mind when you are in pain, but exercise is the most important component to pain management therapy and is a great preventative measure too.  A consistent exercise program keeps back muscles flexible and strong to stabilize the spine. Exercise increases blood flow and helps reduce inflammation. Stretching before and after physical activity is key: without stretching the muscles can become strained and can increase pain/stiffness rather than lessen it.


Another important aspect of pain control is to maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight changes the center of gravity of the body and places more stress in to the structures of the low back.  This can increase the stress on the back and exacerbate symptoms.

Posture Avoiding Back Pain

A cause of chronic pain is when a patients are required to sit for extended periods throughout the day.  Sitting for long periods of time actually place more strain on the back.  Sitting causes compression of the vertebral disks and causes them to lose fluid.  Ensure you sit up straight and use a chair that provides good lumbar support. Place your feet flat on the floor at a height where the knees slightly above the hips reduces stress. Lastly, take frequent breaks and walk around regularly to ease stress on the spine and back muscles.


Sleeping in the proper position is as important as maintaining good posture. A physician or other medical professional can suggest the best position for the specific origins of various types of pain; however, there are some general guidelines to follow as well. A side position with the knees slightly raised may be ideal for people with lower back pain, but some people prefer to sleep on their backs. If so, using a pillow to support the lower back and the knees may lessen the symptoms. Sleeping on the stomach is particularly hard on pain, but if need be, patients can place a pillow under the hips to lessen the strain.

Proper Lifting

Lifting properly can prevent back pain and allow patients to complete household and functional tasks.  Bending from the waist can cause serious back problems.  A safer option is to bend at the knees and use the leg muscles to provide the lifting while holding the item close to the body. Keep the item close to your body, avoiding twisting, and also remember light objects can cause just as much damage as heavy ones if not lifted properly.

Wear Proper Shoes

Wearing comfortable, low-heeled shoes will also lessen pain. Shoes with heels higher than one inch can cause stress on the muscles and mis-align the bones in the spine, which will increase pain. If high heels are to be worn, limit the amount of time worn and bring lower heeled shoes to change into.  Don’t forget to stretch after wearing them!
Need more help with low back pain?  Download our breakthrough Back Pain Report HERE!

About the Author

Andrew Vertson

Andrew received his Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from California State University, Fresno in 1991. He then earned his Master’s degree of Physical Therapy in 1996 and his Doctorate degree of Physical Therapy in 2002 from Loma Linda University. In 1996 he also earned his Certification as an Athletic Trainer. He has also completed extensive post-graduate course work in orthopedic manual therapy through Kaiser-West Los Angeles and the Ola Grimsby Institute.

He has more than fifteen years of clinical experience, and extensive continued education in outpatient orthopedic and athletic settings. During that time, he worked with professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball, in addition to numerous Olympic gold medalists and movie & television personalities.

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