Your lower back is susceptible to many problems due to its flexibility. And due to the many nerves running through your spine to the body, a problem in your lower back can cause issues like leg pain and hip problems. The good news is that you can protect your lower back by taking measures to avoid direct injury and controlling the progression of an issue that has already occurred. Below are some tips that your Samwell Institute for Pain Management specialist recommends to prevent and manage lower back pain.
Invest in an ergonomic office chair
Poor posture is the main culprit of lower back pain that you can easily avoid. Slouching while working at a desk exerts extra pressure on the discs in your lower back. As a result, disc degeneration begins earlier or accelerates. Therefore, you should support the natural curve in your lower spine by using an ergonomic chair that aligns and supports your back. You can also roll up a towel and place it on the small of your back for additional support. Use a stand-up desk for at least part of the day if you can. Set a time every 50 minutes to an hour to remind yourself to check your posture. Also, take a break to walk for a few minutes and stretch your lower back and leg muscles.
Muscles in your body, including your back muscles, are meant to move. Being inactive or having a sedentary lifestyle makes your muscles rigid and prone to injuries. Conversely, physical activity encourages strong and supportive muscles throughout the trunk of your body; this is vital for sine support. Examples of core-building exercises you may try include:
- Low-impact cardiovascular exercises, including brisk walking. This promotes blood flow to the spine and stretches your back muscles. Sufficient blood flow supplies healing nutrients and hydration to your lower back structures.
- Ball workouts such as sitting on a ball intermittently for 20 to 30 minutes can engage your core muscles.
- Water therapy. This offers a great range of motion due to the buoyancy of the water, especially in exercises that require leg lifting. Water also provides resistance which is vital for the strengthening and conditioning of an injured muscle. If you have chronic back pain and find it painful to exercise without the supportive effects of water, you may consider water therapy.
If you have been inactive for a while, make small goals to get yourself moving gradually. For example, you can walk down the street with your friend. A physical therapist or any other qualified health practitioner can help you get started and guide safety while exercising.
Use proper lifting techniques.
Lifting is a common cause of low back pain; simple activities like lifting your child or unloading grocery bags from your car cause lower back pain. The following lifting guidelines can help you prevent lower back injuries.
- Don’t twist your lower back while lifting. Instead, pivot your feet and hips.
- Bend at your knees, not your lower back, since a forward bent back is susceptible to ligament or disc injuries.
If you have chronic lower back pain, book an appointment with your provider at SamWell Institute for Pain Management for treatment to improve your quality of life.