Age-related wear and tear of the spine is a common cause of back pain, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk of back injury and discomfort, an expert says.

“Many people with lower backaches say symptoms disrupt their daily routines; however, everyday habits may be the factors causing the pain,” said Dr. Michael Gleiber, an American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons spokesman.

“It’s important to identify some of those behaviors, avoid them and adapt healthy ones,” he said in an academy news release.

Do regular exercise to strengthen your back and core muscles. If you have acute back pain, don’t do strenuous exercise, but get up and move around, Gleiber said. Being in bed or inactive too long could cause your back pain symptoms to get worse.

shutterstock_216399928Try to avoid lifting heavy objects. If you have to do heavy lifting, use proper technique. Do not bend over. Keep your back straight and bend at your knees, he advised.

Maintain a healthy body weight. Being overweight or obese places added stress on your lower back, research shows.

Watch your posture. Your ears should be in line with the top of your shoulders, and your shoulders in line with your hips. Your upper arms should hang relaxed and close to your body, and your hands should be in line with your lower arms.

More than 65.8 million American adults reported having low back pain, according to a 2012 National Health Interview Survey.

Source:; Robert Preidt; December 8, 2014.