I've had back pain now for six months. It's time to do something and get out of this fix. Where do I start?
Good question. Start with your doctor. Make sure you don't have a serious health condition. If you get the go ahead, most experts agree lifestyle changes are in order.

If you are overweight, seek help for gradual, sustained weight loss. Programs that emphasize exercise and good nutrition are advised. Quick weight loss methods without changes in your eating habits don't usually work in the long-run.

Increase your activity. Walking, biking, and/or swimming are the easiest ways to improve your overall health and fitness. Burning a few extra calories each day will help you achieve your weight loss goal. Studies have shown over and over there is a benefit in regular, daily exercise for chronic low back pain.

Monitor your thoughts. If you find yourself saying things like, I can't do that, my back won't let me, then you may need some help changing your belief systems. A psychologist and/or a physical therapist trained in cognitive behavioral therapy can help you identify some of these thought patterns. They can guide you in breaking out of this fear-avoidance behavior (FAB).

The therapist can also help you monitor your posture and body mechanics. Setting goals and learning pacing and stress reduction are often part of the PT program for chronic LBP patients.