spine
  • Don’t try to lift objects too heavy for you. Lift by bending your knees, not your back; keep your back straight and your head down and in line with your back. Keep the object close to your body, and don’t twist when lifting.
  • Regular, low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, or stationary bike riding 30 minutes a day can increase muscle strength and flexibility. Yoga can also help stretch and strengthen muscles and improve posture. Always stretch before exercise or other strenuous physical activity to prevent back injury.
  • Try to practice good posture. Your back supports your weight most easily when it is straight. Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes. When standing, keep your weight balanced on both feet. Keep your shoulders back and don’t slouch.
  • When sitting, try to use a chair with good lower back support. A pillow or rolled-up towel placed behind the small of your back might help. Make sure your work surfaces, like your keyboard, are at a comfortable height. If you have to sit for a long period of time, rest your feet on a low stool or a stack of books. Switch sitting positions often, and walk around the office and gently stretch your muscles every so often to relieve tension.
  • Sleeping on a firm surface on your side helps your back.
  • Eat a healthy diet with enough calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D to help promote new bone growth.
  • Keep extra weight off your waistline, where it can strain your lower back.
  • If you smoke, quit; smoking reduces blood flow to the lower spine and causes the spinal discs to degenerate.

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