When your back feels good, life is good. Here are some effective, everyday strategies for keeping it that way.

  1. Standing: Keeping one foot forward of the other, with knees slightly bent, takes the pressure off your low back.
  2. Sitting: Sitting with your knees slightly higher than your hips provides good low back support.
  3. Reaching: Stand on a stool to reach things that are above shoulder level.
  4. Moving heavy items: Pushing is easier on your back than pulling. Use your arms and legs to start the push. If you must lift a heavy item, get someone to help you.
  5. Lifting: Kneel down on one knee with the other foot flat on the floor as near as possible to the item you are lifting. Lift with your legs, not your back, keeping the object close to your body at all times.
  6. Carrying: Two small objects (one in either hand) may be easier to handle than one large one. If you must carry one large object, keep it close to your body.
  7. Sleeping: Sleeping on your back puts a lot of pressure on your back. Put a pillow or two under your knees to cut the pressure in half. Lying on your side with a pillow between your knees also helps.

Feeling minor back pain? Treat it with anti-inflammatory and gentle stretching, followed by an ice pack.

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Founded in 1998 on the premise that providers armed with complete data and evidence-based guidelines can produce the best clinical outcomes, UPMC Health Plan has become one of the most innovative insurance plans in the nation. Owned by UPMC, a world-renowned health provider, we aim to provide our members the highest-quality care at the most affordable price. Our award-winning wellness programs and health tracking tools help consumers manage their health daily, including those with chronic conditions such as heart disease, asthma, and diabetes.