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    Low Back Pain - Living With Low Back Pain

    Manage your weight

    Extra body weight, especially around the waist, may put strain on your back.

    If you want to get to a healthy weight and stay there, lifestyle changes will work better than dieting.

    Here are the three steps to reaching a healthy weight:

    • Eat ahealthy diethealthy diet.
    • Get moving. Try to make physical activity a regular part of your day, just like brushing your teeth. Start small, and build up over time. Moderate activity is safe for most people, but it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program.
    • Change your thinking. Our thoughts have a lot to do with how we feel and what we do. If you can stop your brain from telling you discouraging things and have it start encouraging you instead, you may be surprised at how much healthier you'll be-in mind and body.
      actionset.gif Weight Management: Stop Negative Thoughts

    Quit smoking

    People who smoke take longer to heal-from any injury, not just back pain. If you stop smoking, you may feel better sooner.

    People who smoke are also much more likely to have back pain than people who don't smoke. This is because the nicotine and other toxins from smoking can keep spinal discs from getting all the nutrients they need from the blood, making disc injury more likely. These discs cushion the bones in your spine. An injured disc can cause low back pain.

    Smoking also increases your risk of bone loss (osteoporosis).

    Interactive Tool: Are You Ready to Quit Smoking?
    actionset.gif Quitting Smoking: Getting Support

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    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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