Dog lying on sand with straight spinal alignment

Doc! My back hurts, what can I do so this doesn’t happen again?

Here’s a question I get every day:

Doc! My back hurts what can I do so this doesn’t happen again?

  1. Learn what good posture is
  2. Learn what you are doing that isn’t good posture.
  3. Correct your posture. Keep correcting. I correct my posture probably hundreds of times in a day. Just. Keep. Correcting. And keep learning it.
  4. Learn to activate your core. It is your natural, built in back brace.
  5. Use your core to stabilize your spine. Learn to do this in all sorts of activities from lifting children, to your Amazon box, to brushing your teeth. See videos below.
  6. Learn to keep your spine straight and do your bending at your hips, knees and ankles. Click here for more.
  7. Get stronger. Eat more protein to build muscle and bone. Do weight training. With free weights if possible, it also helps your balance and sense of where your body is in space.
  8. Do the McGill’s Big 3 exercises!
  9. Here’s a few great books and YouTube videos links that show you who and how:


Stuart McGill, PhD. (There’s a video interview with him at the end of this post). His book takes you, step by step, explaining how you can control your back pain:

Esther Gokhale’s book has excellent illustrations, and many useful ideas to minimize strain and pain long term. If you’ve been in my clinic we may have talked about some of the things in this book.

Here’s a quick 2 page PDF preview of the information in Esther Gokhale’s book:

If you’ve been to my clinic for a consult, I might have showed you some of the principles in her book, that you can apply to your every day life. I do.


McGill’s Big 3 demonstration (short) video:

There is no replacement for learning good body mechanics and then actually doing good body mechanics. Here’s a free-on-the-internet physical therapy session with some golden nuggets for preventing back pain:

This video shows you some GREAT video examples of how people get this WRONG. Hope he didn’t hurt himself after doing this video!

Stuart McGill’s interview (The guy with the mustache), and his fabulous explanation about back pain video (this is a long video). I love his story of helping an elderly woman be able to stay in her own home :

If you are a weight lifter, I HIGHLY recommend this: