Recurring back pain resulting from improper body mechanics may be prevented by avoiding movements that jolt or strains the back, lifting objects properly and maintaining correct posture. Many work-related injuries are caused or aggravated by stressors such repetitive motion, heavy lifting, vibration and awkward posture.
Below are a few things to keep one’s back healthy:
- Exercise regularly to keep muscles strong and flexible. Consult a doctor for a list of low-impact, age-appropriate exercises that are specifically targeted to strengthening lower back and abdominal muscles.
- Maintain a healthy weight and eat a nutritious diet with sufficient daily intake of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D to promote bone strength and bone growth.
- Use ergonomically designed furniture and equipment at home and work. Make sure work surfaces are at a comfortable height.
- Switch sitting positions often and periodically, walk around the office or gently stretch muscles to relieve tension. A pillow or rolled-up towel placed behind the back can provide some lumbar support. Put your feet on a low stool when sitting for a long time.
- Wear comfortable, low-healed shoes.
- Don’t try to lift objects that are too heavy. If you can manage to lift an object lift from the knees, pull the stomach muscle in and keep the head down and in line with a straight back. When lifting, keep the object close to the body. Do not twist when lifting.
- Quit smoking. Smoking reduced blood flow to the lower spine and can contribute to spinal disc degeneration. Coughing due to heavy smoking may cause back pain.