As we age, all of us will experience some type of back pain. The focus, then, is how do we reduce our risk of incurring a serious back injury. Many injuries are related to inappropriately lifting heavy objects. Here are some steps to prevent injury.

*slowly stretch your back and lower extremity 15 minutes every day, preferably first thing in the morning

*when lifting heavy objects, make sure you bend adequately at the knees and that you’re standing close to the object

*avoid sudden, jerky movements

*maintain proper posture while seated: keep head and shoulders erect and lower back is supported by the chair; stand and stretch at least once an hour

*don’t ignore stress: use good coping mechanisms such as deep-breathing exercises and relaxing physical activity to handle the stress in a healthy way