Caring for Your Back
- Lie on your back with your knees bent. Slowly pull your left knee to your chest.
- Press your lower back into the floor and hold for five seconds.
- Relax, then repeat the exercise with your right knee.
- Do 10 exercises for each leg, alternating legs.
- Plan ahead so you're not in a hurry when lifting heavy objects.
- Stand close to the object you are lifting.
- Your feet should be shoulder-width apart. This will give you a solid base of support.
- Bend at your knees and tighten your stomach muscles.
- Lift with your leg muscles as you stand.
- If the object is too heavy, get help.
- Hold your chest high, with your shoulders back and relaxed.
- Keep your feet parallel and balance your weight on both feet
- Pull your abdomen and buttocks in and hold your head straight.
- Choose a chair that allows you to keep your knees level with your hips and both feet flat on the floor.
- Relax your shoulders and keep your upper back and neck straight.
- Hold your head high, with your chin slightly tucked.
- Your back should be pressed firmly against the back of your chair. If you are sitting for long periods of time, you may want to place a small pillow or rolled towel behind your back.
- When driving, move the seat forward so you can reach the controls without leaning forward.
When Injury Occurs
- Goes down your leg below your knee
- Causes your leg, foot, or groin to feel numb
- Comes with fever, nausea, vomiting, weakness, or sweating
- Was caused by an injury
- Is so intense you cannot move around
- Is not getting better after 2-3 weeks
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.aaos.org
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Acute low back pain. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated November 22, 2013. Accessed March 25, 2014.
Chronic low back pain. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 7, 2014. Accessed March 25, 2014.
Information from your family doctor: low back pain. Am Fam Physician. 2003;67(10):2191-2192. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/0515/p2191.html. Accessed March 25, 2014.
Low back pain. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00311. Updated December 2013. Accessed March 25, 2014.
Preventing back pain at work and at home. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00175. Last updated March 2012. Accessed March 25, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 03/2014 -
- Update Date: 03/25/2014 -