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Back Problems and Injuries - Prevention

There is no clear evidence that you can prevent back pain. But there are some things you can do that may help prevent it. And they can prepare you for faster recovery if you do have back pain.

Exercises to avoid

Some exercises actually increase the chances of causing of low back pain. Avoid:

  • Straight-leg sit-ups.
  • Bent-leg sit-ups during acute back pain (may be safe if back is kept in neutral position).
  • Leg lifts (lifting both legs while lying on your back).
  • Lifting heavy weights above the waist (military press or biceps curls while standing).
  • Any stretching done while sitting with the legs in a V position.
  • Toe touches while standing.

Work comfort and design

Most back problems that occur in the workplace are caused by physical stress, such as being in an awkward position for a long time, making the same motions over and over, and simply using your back too much. These injuries can cause stress and strain on muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, blood vessels, or spinal discs.

Arrange your work to help prevent work-related injuries. It is important to position yourself so that you can sit comfortably and minimize stress on any one area of your body. Change your positions and tasks as often as possible, and match tools to your size and preferences. If you are doing a job or task that requires you to sit for long periods, get up and stretch and move around at least once an hour.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: May 23, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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