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Protect Your Own 'Six'

Care for your back throughout the day

A Veteran stretching at homeAlmost everyone experiences back pain now and then. But there are simple things you can do every day to ease your pain.

Whether mild or severe, pain can change your daily life. Taking care of your back now will help you lower the chances of feeling back pain later. We have a few tips to help you ease the pain and protect your back:

  • Warm-up for the day: Do a few slow, cat-like stretches before starting your day.

  • Shift positions often: At work and home, change positions often. If you can, get up and move every 30 minutes.

  • Walk each day: A daily walk keeps your back and thigh muscles stretched and strong.

Create healthy habits

  • Keep a healthy weight. When you weigh too much, your back is under the excess strain.

  • Try not to overeat. Watch your serving sizes.

  • Handle minor aches with cold and heat. Apply cold the first 24-48 hours. Use heat after that. Always place a thin cloth between your skin and the source of cold or heat.

  • Take medications as directed. This helps keep pain under control. Always read labels and talk to your health care team if you have any questions.

Remember: you may need extra help with learning how to adjust. Talk to your doctor using Secure Messaging (sign in required) to determine which approach works best for you.

Please vote in our unscientific poll. All responses are anonymous.

Read more

Understanding Acute and Chronic Pain

Pain Management (VA)

Living With...Back & Neck Pain (Veterans Health Library)

Updated January 12, 2021