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Back pain is often caused by overuse, strain, or injury. For example, people often hurt their backs playing sports or working in the yard, being jolted in a car crash, or lifting something too heavy.
Aging plays a part too. Your bones and muscles tend to lose strength as you age, which makes injury more likely. The spongy discs between the bones of the spine (vertebrae) may suffer from wear and tear and no longer provide enough cushion between the bones. A disc that bulges or breaks open (herniated disc) can press on nerves, causing back pain.
In some people, back pain is the result of arthritis, broken vertebrae caused by bone loss (osteoporosis), illness, or a spine problem.
Although most people have back pain at one time or another, there are steps you can take to make it less likely.
Reduce stress on your back through good posture
Slumping or slouching alone may not cause low back pain, but after the back has been strained or injured, bad posture can make pain worse.
Reduce stress on your back through careful lifting
Exercise and stretch your back
Lead a healthy lifestyle
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Current as of: September 20, 2018
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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