You can reduce lower back pain or avoid the recurrence of lower back pain with the following strategies:
• Strengthen your core
One way to avoid lower back pain is to exercise to strengthen your core. Strong core muscles offer optimum support for the lower back and help avoid any injury. Exercises that help strengthen your core include cardiovascular exercises like walking, running or jogging. These exercises improve blood flow to the vertebrae and deliver nutrients needed to heal the different structures of the lower back. Aside from walking and running, you may also walk up and down the stairs for 3 times or you may sit on an exercise ball for a good 20 minutes.
• Improve your posture
Slouching or a hunched back places pressure on the lower back and this can lead to very painful degenerated discs. One way to correct posture is by using an ergonomic chair. You can set the timer on your phone to remind you to constantly check on your posture as you sit throughout the day. You must walk around at least once every half hour when you work or you may also stand as you work to improve your posture.
Lifting heavy objects at home or at work could lead to low back pain if you are not lifting correctly. And it does not matter if you are strong or young either. Take note of proper strategies when lifting and to use tools or machines to help you lift objects.
– Keep your chest forward
Bend at the hips and not from your lower back and push your chest out. Avoid twisting your shoulders.
– Lead with your hips and not with your shoulders
Your shoulders should be in line with the hips to avoid twisting. If you need to change directions, move your hips first so the shoulders can follow suit.
– Keep the object to be lifted closer to your body
Hold the object that you need to lift closer to your body to reduce back pain. It is surely easier to carry things this way; grocery bags filled with items should be carried closer to the body rather than carrying it with the arms outstretched.
• Maintain good physical health
Spine health reflects the overall health of the body. According to some of the top osteopaths in London (http://www.nwlondonosteopaths.co.uk) Therefore you must do all you can to improve spine health such as eating healthy food, avoiding alcohol and smoking, using an anti-inflammatory diet and drinking adequate amounts of water in a day will all help improve your overall state of health.
• Travel posture smart
Seating on a plane or driving for longer periods can lead to lower back pain. Here are some techniques to avoid lower back pain especially when lifting heavy luggage or packages when travelling.
– When lifting heavy objects, bend at the knees. Use your legs than your back when lifting
– Don’t twist the lower back as you lift: pivot with your feet
– When carrying heavy objects, put the item as close to the body as possible
– If carrying a shoulder bag, switch shoulders to prevent stressing only one side of the back.
– Distribute weight on each side of the body.
When travelling on a plane or in a bus for long distances, bring your own back support. One of the most common back supports is a lumbar support pillow which is available in online and offline stores. You may also use a rolled up sweater or jacket on your lower back.
Supporting the lower back includes leverage from the feet. Resting your feet on an irregular surface as you sit for a long period of time could put pressure on your lower back. Use a footrest when your seat is too high. Rest both feet on the floor when driving or opt to use cruise control when you drive
When travelling, pack light to avoid lower back pain. A heavy bag, aside from a backpack will strain the joints and muscles. Suitcases with wheels will reduce strain on the back but sooner or later, you may need to pick it up or carry it which will eventually strain your lower back. Therefore, the best practice is to bring only the things that you really need.
• Move as much as you can
Prevent a stiff and painful lower back by moving as much as possible. When you are seated at work or you are travelling in a car, train or plane, try to get up and stretch. Do this every 20 to 30 minutes. You need to do this because movement stimulates blood flow. Improved blood flow increases oxygen and nutrient distribution to the different tissues. Movement also prevents the formation of blood clots in the lower legs which could be fatal.
• Stretch your hamstrings
Sitting for a long period of time can lead to low back pain or worsening low back pain. One way to prevent this is to stretch your hamstrings which are the muscles that are found at the back of the thighs. Stretching the hamstrings will strengthen it and avoid strain.
– A standing hamstring stretch is performed by initially bending forward at the waist and keeping your legs very straight. Touch your toes and try to hold this position for a long period of time.
– A sitting hamstring stretch is done by sitting at the edge of a chair and straightening one leg in front as the heel of the foot is on the floor. Afterwards, sit up straight. Try to push your navel towards the thigh by arching your back. Do not lean forward. Hold this for 30 seconds and then repeat the exercise on the other leg.