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Preventing BACK PAIN, the leading cause of disability

Tips to reduce your chances of a back injury occurring from the North American Spine Society:
  • When standing, position one foot in front of the other, knees slightly bent. This takes pressure off your lower back.
  • Sit with your knees slightly higher than your hips for good lower-back support.
  • Stand on a stool if you need to reach for something above shoulder level.
  • Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees to reduce pressure on your back. If you do sleep on your back, put a couple of pillows under your knees.
  • Push heavy items instead of pulling them. Use your arms and legs to start the push. If you must lift a heavy object, get someone to help you.
  • Keep within 10 pounds of your ideal weight. Added weight puts a strain on your back.
  • Don’t smoke. Nicotine from tobacco restricts the flow of blood to the disks that cushion your vertebrae.

Adapted from BlueCross BlueShield of North Dakota. Healthy Choices Third Quarter 2005.