Prevent Back Pain

The Basics
One of the best ways to prevent back pain is to keep your back muscles strong.

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Try a yoga class to help stretch and strengthen your back muscles.

Start Today: Small Steps

The Basics

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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:

Learn more about back pain.

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.  Find out when to call a doctor or nurse about back pain. External Links Disclaimer Logo

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. 

Find out about ways to treat back pain.

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:

Take Action!

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Take care of yourself to avoid back pain. Preventing back pain is easier than treating it.

Strengthen your back.

Physical activity can make your back stronger and lower your risk of back pain.

If you have an injury, health condition, or disability, ask your doctor or nurse which types of exercise are best for you. Get tips on staying active with a disability.

Focus on good posture.

Good posture can help prevent back pain.

Lift correctly.

Lift things with your legs, not your back. Keep your back straight and bend at your knees or hips. Get help if the load is too heavy for you to lift alone. Get more tips on safe lifting. External Links Disclaimer Logo 

Prevent back injuries at work.

Back injuries are the most common type of workplace injury. Staying safe at work can help you prevent injuries. 

Watch your weight.

Staying at a healthy weight lowers your risk of back pain. If you are overweight, losing weight in a healthy way can reduce the strain on your back. 

Get enough calcium and vitamin D.

Getting enough calcium and vitamin D can help keep your bones strong and prevent osteoporosis (“os-tee-oh-puh-ROH-sis”). Osteoporosis makes your bones weaker and more likely to fracture (break). 

Spine fractures from osteoporosis are a leading cause of back pain. 

Start Today: Small Steps

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