Next to headaches, back aches are probably the next most common ailment we encounter. This often occurs to people in the age range of 30 to 50 years old. Most back pains are caused by injuries or trauma to the back from heavy work around the house or lifting objects that are too heavy. Other factors that may contribute to your back pain are: irritation to joints and discs, congenital abnormalities in the spine, degenerative conditions (arthritis or disc disease, osteoporosis or other bone diseases), obesity, weight gain during pregnancy, stress, smoking, posture, poor sleeping position, and poor physical condition.

Back ache may be treated with analgesics that help reduce the inflammation. However, if pain and inflammation is not relieved after 72 hours its best to see your doctor. If other symptoms like fever, loss of bowel or bladder control, pain when coughing, and progressive weakness in the legs accompany your back pain consult you doctor immediately.

Here are a few pointers to help us care for our back to minimize or avoid back aches.

Get an exercise routine. For those who have sedentary lifestyles, start with a simple and low-impact exercise like walking, swimming or biking then gradually move to more complex routines.

Watch your posture. Avoid slouching when you are standing or sitting. A good posture lets your back support your weight easily.

Go ergonomic. Make sure that your work furniture allows you to work comfortably and easily. Check the position of you chair and make sure it is set at the right height where you can work without slouching.

You’ve got to move it. If your job requires you to sit at long periods of time, you may change sitting positions or gently stretch your muscles from time to time. A short walk around the office or to the water station can also help.

Check your mattress. If you are prone to back aches, it’s best to have a firm mattress to support your back while sleeping. It will also help if you sleep on your side.

Watch your weight. Excessive weight particularly in the tummy area puts additional pressure on your back. Keep a well balanced diet with daily intakes of calcium, phosphorous and Vitamin D.