Back pain is a common problem that will affect nearly all adults at one time or another. Back pain can be caused by trauma, such as a fall or a car accident. However, in most cases, back pain is the result of an everyday activity done incorrectly — activities as common as twisting to reach or lift an object, sitting at a computer in the same position for hours, bending over to vacuum, and carrying shopping bags. Fortunately, preventing pain is actually quite simple. It’s all about relieving pressure, reducing strain, protecting the spine, and strengthening the muscles. Changing a few daily habits could make the difference in maintaining a healthy, pain-free back.

Follow these guidelines to keep your spine pain free:

The spine is designed for motion. In fact, movement is required for healthy disk (the shock absorbers between your spine’s vertebrae). The disks have no blood supply, so they rely on movement to get nutrients. Staying active also lubricates joints and keeps muscles strong.

Eat Healthy
If you make an effort to maintain good eating habits, you not only will maintain a healthy weight, but you also will not put unnecessary stress on your body. Extra pounds, especially in your midsection, can make back pain worse by shifting your center of gravity and putting strain on your lower back.

Maintain Good Posture
Make sure to work at an ergonomically correct workstation, both at the office and at home. Make an effort to break up long periods in front of the computer with stretching exercises. If you practice good posture, you will maintain the natural curves of your back and help keep it strong.

Be Mindful When Lifting
Do not bend over from the waist to lift heavy objects. Instead, bend your knees and squat, pulling in your stomach muscles and holding the object close to your body as you stand up. Also, avoid twisting your body while lifting.

Put out that Cigarette
We all know already that smoking raises your risk for heart disease and cancer, but many people may not be aware that smoking also can be a cause of persistent back pain. Research also shows smoking can make existing back pain worse.

By following these guidelines, you can reduce your risk for back pain. However, if you should experience back pain, do not ignore it. Schedule an appointment today to start your road to recovery!