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The difference between healthy and sick people is that healthy people know the difference between "normal" and "common." Cancer is common, but it’s not a normal body function. Same with high blood pressure, diabetes, and arthritis: all these are common in the population, but they’re the farthest thing from normal bodily functions.

Back pain is certainly no exception. According to the World Health Organization, low back pain is a leading cause of disability and usually ranks high (often the first) as a cause of inability to work, interference in the quality of life, and as a reason for medical consultation. Not only does it affect work productivity , but also affects the person’s overall ability to stay healthy. The American Academy of Pain Medicine states that adults with low back pain are often in worse physical and mental health than people who do not have low back pain.

As common as it may be, it’s not a guaranteed result of aging. It’s a completely preventable condition, and one you can avoid by paying attention to daily habits that you didn’t know could lead to future back problems. If you’re one of millions who already suffer from back pain, don’t fret—even small changes to bad back habits can provide great relief to your aches and, with proper guidance from a trained expert and support of your loved ones, even increase recovery time.

Browse through the gallery for ways to break your bad back habits.

(Photo by Bhumika Bhatia via Flickr Creative Commons)

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