Lower back pain is often debilitating. Pain in this region of the spine can really rock your world! This is why it's truly important to prevent pain before it occurs.
There are a few simple things you can do to help maintain the integrity of the spinal column and keep it functioning at an optimum. These suggestions pertain to anyone with a history of chronic back pain.
Everyone knows that posture is important. Yet sometimes we find ourselves slouching in our chairs or lifting things the wrong way. Prevention is often overlooked because of keeping up with busy schedules.
Most low back pain is triggered by a combination of overuse, muscle strain, and injury to the muscles, ligaments, and discs that support the spine. Many experts believe that over time muscle strain can lead to an overall imbalance in the spinal structure. This can lead to constant tension on the muscles, ligaments, bones, and discs, making the back more prone to pain.
The causes of pain in the lumbo-sacral region tend to have a domino effect. For example, after straining muscles, you are likely to walk or move in different ways to avoid pain or to use muscles that aren't sore. This can cause you to strain other muscles that aren't usually affected. Those muscles get strained and you use other muscles and the chain reaction ensues.
The most common causes of low back pain are:
Injury or overuse of muscles, ligaments, and joints. (especially the sacroiliac joints).
Pressure on nerve roots in the spinal canal.
Whatever the cause of your back pain, you should seek some relief. If you aren't feeling pain right now, there are a few simple ways to prevent low back pain.
Prevention of Lower Back Pain
#1) Desk Job - Stand Up Often
If you work at a desk all day, you should stand up as often as possible. Ultimately you should either stand up or lay down when you’re not sitting. Don’t go sit down again after you’ve been sitting at a desk all day!!! Move around or just stand.
#2) Stand Like a Penguin
Here’s what to do: When you stand up, hold one hand in the other in the small of your back. This stance forces your lower lumbar region to bend forward. When you get the opportunity to stand, stand just like that to prevent lower back pain.
I’ve used this technique and it feels great. It really helps remind you bend your lower back and keep the natural curvature of your spinal column.
#3) Straddle Your Legs When You Sit
If you want to prevent lower back pain you should really try and sit this way as often as possible. It might look a little strange, but it’s worth trying.
Do this: Sit near the edge of your chair, straddle your legs and place your feet as flat to the floor as possible. Push your belly button forward. This position also forces your lower lumbar region forward and your butt out. It strengthens CORE muscles which help hold you upright. Try it and see if it doesn’t feel good to you!
#4) Stretch Out the Pain
There’s a lot to be said for good old fashioned stretching. See if you can't find one that works for you here. Anytime you gently pull muscles away from bone helps relieve pain.
#5) Use a Bolster or Pillow
If you get back pain from sleeping on your back or side, use a very soft pillow between your knees (side sleepers) or a small bolster underneath your knees. (back sleepers). When you're on your back and you lift your knees, you take a LOT of strain off of your lower back. Similarly, inserting a small pillow between the knees, works in the same manner. Your lower back pain will be a lot less frequent PLUS you will sleep much better too!
#6) Strengthen Your Core
Whether you have a desk job or you stand on your feet for limitless hours, you can improve your core muscles just by tightening them. In fact, you can activate core abdominal muscles when you're doing just about anything! When I was taking micro-physiology and anatomy class, our teacher told us she had a girlfriend driving up to North Carolina from Florida, who was staying with her for a few days. Our teacher told us she served dinner to her guest but her guest declined the offer. Why? Because she had been holding her abdominal muscles the entire trip and her stomach muscles hurt too much to eat! (Ouch!)
This example is kinda extreme so tone it back a bit! The fact is that strengthening core muscles can improve the way you hold your body, which ultimately prevents lower back pain.
#7) Take Off Extra Pounds
If you're carrying around a lot of excess weight, especially belly fat, it puts a tremendous strain on your back and can cause low back pain fast. When you shed a few pounds, you reduce chronic pain in your joints, muscles, and tendons and prevent the ill consequences!
Gentle Rotator Stretch to Prevent and Reduce Lower Back Pain
Ultimately, everyone experiences low back pain occasionally. If you find yourself feeling the pain of it all, try this stretch to prevent a greater degree of back pain later.
They say that it's the little things that sometimes mean the most. Amazing to me that something as simple as standing a particular way can really help you! Try these simple enhancements to prevent lower back pain before it happens. You’ll be glad you did!
Cost to Sit or Stand? Zilch!
Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.