Lower back pain is very common and one of the tops reasons for days off work. That’s because the lower back supports the weight of the upper body and is subject to a great deal of stress and strain. Especially is this the case, during everyday movements like lifting, twisting even maintaining normal balance.
Many things typically cause lower back pain. Here are just 5 of them, there are many more!
- Sudden injury
- wear and tear from aging
- prolonged physical activity
- participation in extreme sports
No matter the cause of your lower back pain, here are 5 recommendations that can help you to relieve it and prevent any future problems.
Have the Correct Posture.
To protect your lower back from injury, it’s important to maintain a proper posture when doing physical activities. Especially is this the case, if you play sports or have a job that requires a repetitive movement.
When lifting, bend and straighten, always be conscious to use the knees, and not the waist. Avoid slouching as much as possible and aim to keep your spine as straight as possible.
Be Careful when Sitting
You can avoid lower back pain by maintaining proper posture when sitting. If you have a desk job, keep your feet on the floor and use an ergonomic chair that provides lower back support.
Avoid hunching forward to see your computer screen. Be aware of not being too far from your desk and having to stretch out to use your mouse or keyboard. Be comfortable.
Use Ice or Heat
If you’ve experienced a lower back injury, applying ice within the first 24-48 hours afterword can help ease pain and reduce swelling. After that, you will need to switch to heat to help relax tight muscles. Be careful not to use it for more than 20 minutes at a time. This will help prevent skin damage.
Stretch your Muscles
Stretching is a great way to relieve chronic and acute lower back pain and thus prevents future lower back problems.
Because the muscles in the back extend in so many different directions, it’s important to do a variety of stretches, to allow for this. Basic lower back stretches include:
- Spinal Twist. Lying flat on your back with your arms outstretched in a “T” position, bending one knee and twisting in the direction of your straight leg while trying to touch your bent knee to the floor.
- The Superman. Lying on your stomach with your arms stretched overhead and lifting your chest and/or legs off the floor.
- Lying flat on your back and pulling your knees to your chest.
Wear Proper Footwear.
Believe it or not, supportive footwear can improve your overall posture, this then increase your stability and decreases your risk of suffering from lower back pain.
Make sure you wear the appropriate footwear for the activity you are performing. This would include sports shoes for running or exercising, they are designed for a reason. Likewise, Steel toecap boots for construction work.
Although occasionally wearing unsupportive shoes such as flip flops or high heels is unlikely to cause lower back problems, extended or frequent use can put undue and unnecessary pressure on your lower spine.
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