Top Five Back Pain Prevention Tips

back pain prevention tips

Art, Bud and I have all struggled with back pain at various times in our lives.  I have arthritis in my sacroiliac joints.  Art has a pinched nerve that plagues him on and off.  Bud has suffered the aches and pains that come with being an active teenager and young adult.

Through advice from our doctors, tips from friends, family, and the internet, and lots of trial and error, we have picked our favorite back pain prevention tips.  Here they are:

Top Five Back Prevention Tips

    • Maintain (or gain) core strength.

      Core muscles include your hips, abdominals and back.  A few really good exercises to keep your core strong are crunches, planks and pushups.  Even if you’re not big on exercising, one important thing you can do to help maintain core strength is to keep your abdominal muscles pulled in as much as possible.

back pain prevention

Attribution Some rights reserved by jen_hobbs on Flickr Creative Commons

 If he can do it, you can do it!!!

  • Maintain a healthy weight.

    The more weight you carry, the more pressure you are putting on your spine.  If you are overweight, losing even just a few pounds could make a significant difference in your back pain.

  • Get regular aerobic exercise.

    Low impact aerobic exercises like walking, swimming, cycling, elliptical and stepping can help condition your back, as well as releasing endorphins that aid in both pain relief and elevating your mood.

  • Learn (and use) proper posture and bending techniques.back pain prevention

    When standing – Your feet should be roughly shoulder width apart. Your knees and hips should be in line with the middle of your feet. Your torso should be balanced over your hips neither leaning forward nor backwards. Your shoulders should be back and your chest held out. Your head should be upright with your chin slightly elevated.
    When sitting – Your feet should be flat on the floor with your knees at a right angle.  Your shoulders (if possible) and butt should stay against the back of the seat.  Your back and neck should be in line with your pelvis.
    When bending –  Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees, but keep your back straight. Keep your abdominal muscles pulled in and if you are lifting, lift with your legs.

  • Stretch regularly

    Try some of the exercises at

Of course if you experience any sharp or long-term back pain, please consult your doctor.

What are your tips for preventing back pain?  Please leave your comments below.

Crunchy Creamy Tuna Casserole

tuna casserole

One of my all time favorite dinners, growing up, was tuna noodle casserole. I’m sure many people my age have their own favorite version of this classic dish. My mom made the one with lots of peas inside and crushed potato chips on top.

Now that I’m a grown up (most days, anyway 😉 I still love a good tuna casserole. It’s comfort food, don’t you think? However, I don’t keep canned peas in the house, and I thought there had to be a more gourmet way to replicate the crunchy goodness of crushed potato chips.  Let me tell you that panko really does the trick.

The main difference between panko and regular breadcrumbs is that panko are large flakes, rather than just little crumbs. This textural difference means that panko absorbs less grease and cooks up lighter and crisper than your run-of-the-mill breadcrumb.

Crunchy Creamy Tuna Casserole


2 cans (10.5 oz each) condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 cup milk

2 cups frozen country style mixed vegetables (the one without the peas)

2 cans (10 oz. each) tuna in water, drained

4 cups hot, cooked extra wide egg noodles

1 cup shredded Mexican four cheese blend, divided

2 Tbsp. panko breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp. butter, melted


Stir soup, milk, mixed veggies, noodles, and half the cheese in a 3 qt. casserole dish.

Bake at 400F for 30 minutes or until hot.

Mix panko with butter in a bowl and sprinkle over tuna mixture. Top with the remaining cheese.

Bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until golden brown. If mixture is already hot and bubbly, turn the oven to low broil for one minute to brown the panko/cheese mixture more quickly.

tuna casserole