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Prevent Back Pain

When it comes to preventing back pain, chances are you’ve already heard the usual advice: Lift with your knees, not your back. Stand up straight; don’t slouch. Back pain is one of the most common health problems, and these tips actually can help you avoid back injuries.

Backaches can happen to anyone, but they’re more common in older adults, people who are overweight or in poor physical health, and people whose jobs put strain on their backs. Some people may also be more vulnerable to back pain due to genetic factors or other health conditions.

Protect Your Back

  • Exercise. Stay active, and strengthen the muscles that support your spine.

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts strain on your back. If you’re carrying extra pounds, talk with your doctor about developing a healthy weight loss plan.

  • Practice good posture. Sit and stand up straight.

  • Be careful when lifting. Bend at the knees, and keep your back straight. If an object is too heavy, don’t try to lift it on your own.

  • Consider wellness resources. Many of our members have access to wellness programs, including health coaching for back care. To see what’s available through your specific plan, log into My Health Toolkit® and look under the “Wellness” tab.

When Back Pain Strikes

If you suffer from lower back pain, talk with your doctor. He or she may recommend over-the-counter or prescription medication. Physical therapy is another treatment option. A physical therapist may use heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and muscle-release techniques to reduce pain.

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