Ram is one of the healthiest guys I know. He eats well, runs regularly, and takes good care of himself in general. However, over the last three years, Ram has thrown out his back four or five times. Each time, he is crippled with pain that keeps him on the couch gulping pain killers like they were candy. It seems like every time he injures himself, Ram can’t remember doing anything strenuous. One time he was turning to reach for soap in the shower, and another, he was picking up a slip of paper from the floor—neither activities that would seem to trigger the kind of back pain he was experiencing. Visits to the doctor haven’t revealed anything dramatically wrong with Ram’s back; it just seems to go out from time to time.
If you’re like Ram, or if you’ve ever injured your back, you’re not alone. At one time or another 80 percent of Indians will experience some kind of back pain, and chances are that at one time or another, you will be among them. Whether your pain is a nagging ache in your low back or stabbing pain and spasms that make even the slightest movement painful, there are some things that you can do to prevent the pain from occurring in the first place. Among them: