1. Your Back Holds Up Your Body
- The spinal column, which is an s-shaped group of bones called vertebrae, bears most of the body's weight.
- Cartilage pads called discs separate and cushion vertebrae.
- Ligaments connect the vertebrae.
- Muscles attached to the spine, plus the stomach muscles, keep the spinal column in place and the back strong.
2. One Wrong Move or Built-Up Stress on Weak Muscles Can Injure the Back.
- Strain results from overused or overstretched muscles.
- Sprain occurs when sudden movements stretch/twist ligaments.
- Muscle spasm can result from tension or stress.
- Slipped or herniated disc occurs when tears, fluid leakage, or other damage makes the disc lose its cushioning effect. That puts painful pressure on spinal nerves.
3. Be Aware of Acts and Habits That Strain or Weaken the Back.
- Posture: Poor sitting or standing posture puts painful stress on the back.
- Physical condition: Regular exercise keeps back muscles strong and flexible enough to hold up your back and let it move properly.
- Weight: The more you weigh, the more your back has to hold up. A potbelly puts special strain on the back.
- Stress: Tension makes your muscles tense up.
- Overdoing: Lifting or otherwise taking on more than you can safely handle makes injury more likely.
- Staying in one position: It strains the back when you sit or stand for too long in one position.
- Awkward movements: Reaching, bending, or twisting forces your body, including your back, into unnatural positions.
4. Stand and Move in Ways That Protect Your Back.
- Let your muscles do the work and reduce strain on the vertebrae in your lower back.
- Practice regular exercise to strengthen your back. (But check with a doctor first.)
- If your back hurts, stop what you're doing. Rest, don't move, and get medical attention.