Risk factors you can
change with lifestyle changes
Not getting regular exercise
Doing a job or other activity that requires long periods of sitting, heavy
lifting, bending or twisting, repetitive motions, or constant vibration, such
as using a jackhammer or driving certain types of heavy equipment
Smoking. People who smoke are more likely than people who don't smoke to
have low back pain.
Being overweight. Excess body weight, especially
around the waist, may put strain on your back, although this has not been
proved. But being overweight often also means being in poor physical condition,
with weaker muscles and less flexibility. These can lead to low back pain.
Having poor posture.
Slumping or slouching on its own may not cause low back pain. But after the
back has been strained or injured, bad posture can make pain worse. "Good
posture" generally means your ears, shoulders, and hips are in a straight line.
If this posture causes pain, you may have another condition such as a problem
with a disc or bones in your back.
Being under stress. Stress and other
emotional factors are believed to play a major role in low back pain,
particularly chronic low back pain. Many people unconsciously tighten their
back muscles when they are under stress.
Risk factors you might change with medical treatment
Having long periods of depression
Using medicines long-term
that weaken bones, such as corticosteroids
Having an illness or disease
that causes chronic
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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