Tips for Preventing Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common reasons for a visit to the doctor. There is an 80 percent chance you will suffer back pain during your lifetime. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) back pain is the leading cause of disability and missed work in the United States and results in $50 billion annually in costs. Common causes of back pain are due to joint problems, muscle spasm, pinched nerve, bulging disc,and herniated disc.  Symptoms include pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, cramping and loss of coordination.  With healthy habits and proper care, the frequency of back pain could be decreased.

With today's growing emphasis on reducing costs for back pain treatment, prevention is most cost effective. Following these top tips can help prevent back pain:

  1. Maintain a healthy diet and weight
  2. Remain physically active
  3. Avoid prolonged periods of inactivity or bed rest
  4. Warm up or stretch before exercising or other physical activities, such as gardening
  5. Maintain good posture
  6. Wear comfortable low-heeled shoes
  7. Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimize any curve in your spine
  8. Lift with your legs, keep the object close to your body, and do not twist when lifting.
  9. Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, depriving the spinal tissues of oxygen and nutrients
  10. Ensure that your computer workstation is ergonomically correct.

Source: American Chiropractic Association. Tips for back pain prevention.

If you still have back pain after following these tips, a visit to your doctor of chiropractic is recommended for proper evaluation and spine manipulation may be necessary.