Spine Health

Tips to Decrease Your Risk of Low Back Pain

Sitting in A Chair

Draw yourself up and accentuate the curve of your back as far as possible. Hold for a few seconds. Release the position slightly (about 10 degrees). “Bend your knees at a right angle. Keep your knees even with or slightly higher than your hips. (use a footrest or stool if necessary). Your legs should not be crossed.

Keep your body weight evenly on both hips, and feet flat on the floor.

Adjust your chair height and workstation so you can sit up close to your work and tilt it up at you. Rest your elbows and arms on your chair or desk,  keeping your shoulders relaxed. Get up and move around every 1-2 hours. When standing up from the sitting position, move to the front of the seat of your chair, lean forward, and push with your feet to straighten your legs.


Use a lumbar roll for the curve of the back. Knees should be at the same level or higher than your hips. Move the seat close to the steering wheel to support the curve of your back, keeping your knees slightly bent.

Correct Lifting Posture

Before you lift a heavy object, make sure you have firm footing.

To pick up an object that is lower than your waist, keep your back straight and bend at your knees and hips. Do not bend forward at the waist with your knees straight.

Keep a wide stance close to the object you are trying to pick up and keep your feet firm on the ground. Tighten your stomach muscles and lift the object using your leg muscles. Straighten your knees in a steady motion. Don’t jerk the object up to your body.

Move your feet when you turn, do not lift and twist your upper body.

If you are lifting an object from a table, slide it to the edge of the table so that you can hold it close to your body. Bend your knees so that you are close to the object. Use your legs to lift the object and come to a standing position.

Hold packages close to your body with your arms bent. Keep your stomach muscles tight. Take small steps and go slowly.

What is the best position for sleeping and lying down?

Try to sleep in a position that helps you maintain the curve in your back (such as on your back with a pillow under your knees or a lumbar roll under your lower back; or on your side with your knees slightly bent). You may want to avoid sleeping on your stomach since this can be uncomfortable for your neck. Select a firm mattress and box spring set that does not sag.

If you’ve always slept on a soft surface, it may be more difficult to change to a hard surface; ask your therapist for direction. When standing up from the lying position, turn on your side, draw up both knees, and swing your legs on the side of the bed. Sit up by pushing yourself up with your hands.