Our lower back has incredible flexibility and strength. This is great for us, but it also means we can easily develop countless problems. The spine has numerous nerves that are affected in this part of the body and any lower back problem can lead to developing hip problems, leg pain, and so much more.
We all need to protect our lower backs. This is done by taking active measures to prevent indirect trauma, avoid injury, and control progression for problems we already have.
Fortunately for all of us, there are different things we can do to protect our lower back and stabilize it. Here are some that you absolutely need to know.
Strengthen Core Muscles Every Day
Supportive and strong muscles in this part of the body are vital for spine support. You make these muscles strong with core-building exercises. Some options to consider are:
- Cardiovascular Exercise (Low-Impact) – Something as simple as brisk walking can easily lead to increased blood flow in the spine area. Also, your muscles are stretched and you need adequate blood flow so that healing nutrients can reach the lower back.
- Water Therapy – This offers a very high motion range because of water buoyancy. It is particularly effective when you need to work out your legs a little.
- Exercise Ball Workouts – When you use exercise balls for exercises and stretches, your core muscles are engaged.
When exercising is too difficult for you, make some smaller goals. This will help you to stick to your routines.
Buy A Quality Ergonomic Office Chair
When you stay at your desk for long periods of time, there is a pretty good possibility you will slouch forward. This puts huge pressure on the lower back’s discs, which can lead to huge problems like disc degeneration. You want to support the lower spine’s natural curve with a good ergonomic office chair. This will help you to support the back and align it with your thighs.
When the chair is not an option, at least use some rolled-up towels in your lower back area to get some extra support. Also, whenever possible, the standup desk is a great investment.
Protect Your Back When Lifting Weights
Lower back pain often appears due to improper weight lifting position. During common daily activities like lifting a child or unloading your grocery bags, you can be faced with these inappropriate positions.
When you lift while you twist and you lift while your back is bent, a sudden lower back injury can always appear just like repetitive injuries. Prevent back injuries with these lifting tips:
- Bend your body at the level of the knees, not the lower back. When you bend your back forward, you can easily end up with a disc or ligament injury.
- As you strengthen the spine, hold what you lift as close to the chest as possible.
- Pivot your hips and feet. Do not twist at the lower back level.
Lifting is something we do practically every single day. But when your job involves lifting particularly heavy items, lower back problems become very common.
Rest Your Back After Long Times Of Bending
As you bend forward for too long (like when weeding the garden), your ligaments and discs can be negatively affected. While the negative effect just lasts a few minutes, spine stability is drastically reduced. Joints can quickly become stiff.
The lower back can easily sustain an injury after tissue changes. Make sure that you do not exert too much stress on the back right after, like lifting soil after weeding or bending for a very long time.
The best thing you can do is to stand upright following strenuous activity. This allows tissues around your spine to reshape and recover. Only after recovering, you should do more.
Tight hamstrings often lead to low back pain. The problem is that few people know this can happen. Fortunately, very simple hamstring stretching can decrease pressure felt on the pelvis while also offering relief in your low back. There are also some hamstring stretches capable of relieving the leg pain associated with some low back pains like sciatica.
The problem is that you cannot simply do random hamstring stretches and expect benefits for back conditions. You should always discuss with a doctor or physical therapist to see exactly what exercise modifications are perfect in your case.
Protect Discs Right After Waking Up
When you sleep, pressure inside the discs go up by a huge 240%. This is when discs are hydrated and are at a high herniation risk if subjected to lifting or bending forces. You need to maintain your back straight for around two hours after you wake up. This helps the discs to regain normal pressure. Also, it will help to effectively withstand loads throughout the day.
Improve Your Overall Health
Improving one’s general health and overall physical level is something else you need to consider since it will positively impact your lower back region. There are some very simple measures that will help prevent chronicity, flaring, and even development of lower back pain. Some examples are:
- Keeping active.
- Minimizing alcohol consumption.
- Consuming more water.
- Consuming a controlled anti-inflammatory diet.
- Sleeping as much as the body requires.
- Completely removing smoking from daily activities together with all nicotine intake.
- Using therapies to manage psychological and mental stress.
Remember that damaging a tissue in your body can lead to serious biomechanical changes that do affect various other structures. Basically, something that does not work well in your body might be causing the lower back pain you feel.
Your lower back is so much more important for you than you might think. Those that feel the pain can easily tell you how debilitating it can be. But when you follow the advice above, you will surely feel a lot better. Your back will be more protected and it will be painful less often.
The last thing we should say is that when you feel low back pain, it is important to work with specialists that can help you. It is vital that you first figure out why you feel the pain. Then, you need to figure out what the best course of action is to protect this vulnerable part of your body.