The answer is prophylaxis (prevention)! What other things are best treated with prophylaxis? Cold, flu, heart attack, diabetes type 2, blood clot, stroke, HIV, lung cancer, etc. Prevention is the easiest and best way to approach low back pain, so whether you have pain or not, this applies to you!
What factors put you at risk for low back pain (LBP)?
1. Prior episode of low back pain.
2. Repetitive lifting (with incorrect body mechanics).
3. Repetitive vibration at work or leisure (example: truck driving).
4. Repetitive forward bending and twisting of the low back.
5. Repetitive poor posture.
What are the components of low back pain prevention?
1. Staying fit/exercising consistently.
2. Progressing your fitness program slowly and with caution.
3. Keeping your back flexible.
4. Maintaining good POSTURE!
5. Changing positions frequently.
6. Standing frequently between longer bouts of sitting.
7. Standing and bending backwards (5-10 reps, 1-2x/day). (Note, this exercise is contraindicated for some individuals, so please consult your physician).
Reference: McKenzie, Robin. Mechanical Diagnosis & Therapy: Lumbar Spine. 2009: The McKenzie Institute International, Part A, pages 126-127.