If you have chronic back pain, see your doctor to rule out a medical cause, such as degenerative disc disease, or a disease such as multiple sclerosis. But many cases of back pain, says Miller, stem from a simpler cause: improper posture. Slouching on the sofa, hunching at your desk, jutting your head forward when you drive, carrying a child or baby on one hip and slinging a heavy bag over one shoulder create imbalances that can set you up for back pain. You lean over and feel a twinge and then shooting pain as a vertebra shifts. You may not even have bent over improperly, but poor habits have weakened your back. “It’s a pain waiting to happen,” says Miller.