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Reducing Your Risk of Low Back Pain and Sciatica

Easing stress on the back can lower the risk of getting low back pain and sciatica. Here are some things that can help:
Use caution when lifting heavy objects. It can put extra stress on the back. Objects should be moved with another person. They should be lifted using the leg muscles and not the back muscles.
Avoid long periods of standing and sitting. These can also put extra stress on the back. Take breaks, especially when driving for a long time.
Poor posture and slouching can put more pressure on the back. Stand and sit upright as much as possible.
Excess weight puts extra pressure on the back. Reach or maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
Exercise regularly to strengthen back muscles. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. Low-impact activities are a good choice. Some options are swimming, walking, or biking.
Smoking can cause disks in the spine to break down. People who smoke should talk to their doctors about ways to quit.
Stress can increase muscle tension and lead to pain. Relaxation methods like deep breathing and meditation can help to ease stress. A therapist can help a person learn how to use these methods.


Acute low back pain. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/acute-low-back-pain. Accessed May 5, 2022.
Chronic low back pain. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-low-back-pain. Accessed May 5, 2022.
Low back pain. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at:https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/low-back-pain. Accessed May 5, 2022.
Sciatica. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12792-sciatica. Accessed May 5, 2022.
Sciatica. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/sciatica. Accessed May 5, 2022.

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