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(HealthDay News) — The muscles in your back bear the brunt of your body weight as you walk, run and lift, so they’re vulnerable to sprains and strains.

The Cleveland Clinic suggests these tips to protect your back:

  • Make sure your diet is nutritious and balanced.
  • Maintain a healthy body weight to help reduce muscle strain.
  • Stretch and exercise regularly.
  • Reduce your risk of falls by wearing properly fitting, sturdy shoes and making sure that stairs and walkways are clear of clutter.
  • Practice proper body mechanics when you sit, stand and lift. That means practicing good posture and lifting with your knees, not your back.
  • Don’t twist or over-reach when lifting.
  • Don’t smoke. Nicotine can affect blood flow to your muscles.

— Diana Kohnle

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