Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

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Screenings and Immunizations

Staying up to date on your important health screenings and immunizations can help protect your health.

Screenings and Immunizations for Seniors (65 years and older) [Read/Print full article]

Recommended Lifestyle Practices

A healthy lifestyle can: 

  • Promote wellness 
  • Prevent disease 
  • Elevate your mood 
  • Help you recover more quickly from illness

These recommendations are for generally healthy people. If you have an ongoing health problem or special health needs or risks, or if certain conditions run in your family, your prevention plan may be different.

Alcohol and drugs

Don't drive after drinking or using drugs. If drinking or using drugs is causing problems for you or someone you know, we can help.

Diet and nutrition

Emphasize vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. Eat foods with healthy fats like those that come from fish, lean meat/poultry, nuts/seeds, beans/peas, soy products, or prepared with olive oil. Avoid unhealthy fats like butter, fried foods, or high-fat meats. Limit foods high in salt and sugar. 

Most adults 50 and older need 1,200 mg of calcium a day and 1,000 to 2,000 units of vitamin D a day from food and vitamin supplements.

Emotional health

Talk to your personal physician or other medical professional to get help if you're: 

  • Depressed 
  • Anxious 
  • Thinking of suicide 
  • Being threatened, abused, or hurt by someone


Be physically active for a minimum of 150 minutes a week. We recommend about 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every day. Walk the dog, dance, and take the stairs – it all counts! 

In addition, try to do strengthening activities on 2 days of the week, such as: 

  • Yoga 
  • Push-ups 
  • Squats 
  • Sit-ups 
  • Other exercises that build strength

For older adults, it's particularly important to do exercise to help with balance. Try to include balance training exercises in your routine. You can practice:

  • Walking sideways 
  • Balancing on your heels or your toes 
  • Standing up from a sitting position 

Tai chi, a form of martial arts, may also help with balance. 

Injury prevention

Wear your seat belt every time you drive or ride in a car, and buckle up children. Don't keep loaded firearms in the house. Wear a helmet when you are on a: 

  • Bike 
  • Motorcycle 
  • Skateboard 
  • Skates

Fall prevention

Preventing falls in and around your home is an important safety measure. You can: 

  • Exercise regularly to maintain your strength and balance. 
  • Make your home safe by installing handrails and nonslip surfaces. 
  • Get your eyes and ears checked regularly.

Life Care Planning

We encourage all adults to select a health care agent – someone to speak for them if they are unable to have a conversation about future health care wishes. You should also complete a written advance health care directive. 

For assistance go to or call or visit your local Health Education Department.

Sexual practices

Practice safer sex by using condoms to avoid sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Skin protection

Always protect your skin from the sun when outdoors. Wear a hat and sunscreen to reduce your risk of skin cancer.

Quit tobacco

Don't smoke or use tobacco. If you do, we can help you quit. Don't allow anyone to smoke around you or your family.

Health Screenings

Keeping up to date on important health screenings is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Manage your screenings and immunizations with our personalized online Preventive Health Reminders.

The following recommendations are for generally healthy people. If you have an ongoing health problem or special health needs or risks, or if certain conditions run in your family, your prevention plan may be different.

Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer (for women)

Breast cancer is a broad term used to refer to tumors that occur in the breast. There are many effective treatment options, but the most important tools in the fight against breast cancer are: 

  • Risk reduction 
  • Timely screening 
  • Early diagnosis

We recommend these screening guidelines:

Age 75 and over. Talk with your doctor about when to get screened. 

Age 50 to 74. Routine mammogram screening every 1 to 2 years 

Age 40 to 49. Women at average risk of developing breast cancer should consider the risks and benefits of routine mammogram screening before deciding. 

Age 39 and before. Routine mammogram screening is not recommended.


Cholesterol is a fat-like substance made by the body that is found naturally in animal-based foods. The levels in your blood are determined by family genetics and by your diet and lifestyle.

There are 2 types of cholesterol:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), often called "bad" cholesterol.
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL), often called "good" cholesterol.

When bad, or LDL, cholesterol levels are too high, or when good, or HDL, levels are too low, fats can build up on the blood vessels. This can decrease the flow of blood to vital organs such as your heart and brain. 

Your cholesterol should be checked every 5 years, or more often if its level is higher than normal.

Colorectal cancer

We recommend regular screening for colon cancer. The fecal immunochemical test (or FIT kit) is a quick test you do every year from the privacy and convenience of your home.


When you have diabetes, your body is not able to regulate blood sugar levels, so there is too much sugar in your blood. If you have diabetes, there are steps you can take to manage your condition. 

Especially without treatment, diabetes may lead to complications such as: 

  • Heart attack 
  • Stroke 
  • Damage to kidneys, eyes, feet, and nerves

Adults over 45 years of age should be tested for diabetes every 5 years.

HIV and other STDs

Get tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other STDs if you have had unprotected sex or have any other reason to think you may be at risk.


Hypertension means having higher than normal blood pressure. When you have hypertension, your heart has to work too hard to send blood throughout your body, and the high pressure progressively damages your blood vessels. By lowering your blood pressure, you can take some of this extra demand off your heart and blood vessels.

Have your blood pressure checked every 2 years. Your doctor or care team may want you to check it more often if you have certain conditions.


Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens bone. Healthy bone is very dense and has high concentrations of minerals like calcium and phosphate that keep your bones strong. However, people with osteoporosis, which means "porous bones," have low bone density.

Over time, the loss of bone density and essential minerals makes the bones: 

  • Brittle 
  • Weak 
  • More likely to fracture easily 

Early diagnosis and treatment of bone loss can reduce or eliminate the risk of fractures.

Women older than 65 and men older than 70 should have a bone mineral density (BMD) test.

Overweight and obesity

Body mass index (BMI) is a quick formula to understand a person's healthy weight range. BMI is a more useful measure than weight alone because it takes into account your height.

Have your body mass index (BMI) calculated every 1 to 2 years. In general, a healthy BMI range is between 19 and 24, but if you are older than 65, a slightly higher BMI between 25 and 27 may help protect you from osteoporosis.

Prostate cancer (for men)

Prostate cancer refers to a tumor that occurs in a man’s prostate gland. The most important tool in the fight against prostate cancer is regular screening and early diagnosis.

Men between the ages of 50 and 69 should talk to their doctor about the benefits and risks of screening.


Staying up to date on your immunizations is a great way to protect your health. Manage your screenings and immunizations with our personalized online Preventive Health Reminders.

The following recommendations are for generally healthy people. If you have an ongoing health problem or special health needs or risks, or if certain conditions run in your family, your prevention plan may be different.


The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that everyone over 6 months of age receive a yearly vaccine to protect against seasonal flu.


Get a pneumonia vaccine once after age 65 and check with your doctor about the right vaccine.

Pneumonia is a lung infection that may make it hard to breathe. Pneumonia can be caused by a number of different bacteria or viruses and may follow or accompany a cold, flu, or bronchitis.


Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox.

If you’re between 60 and 80 and have a normal immune system, you should get the shingles vaccine.

Additional References:

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If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder. This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.

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