Chronic back pain is a common problem and can affect your work, family and general activities. While there is not always a specific cure for lower back pain, there are some steps you can take now to start managing the symptoms.
Check your reflection in the mirror from time to time to check for alignment, then…
1. Stop Slouching. One of the most common causes of lower back pain is poor sitting posture. The strain on the back while sitting in a slouched position can cause excessive pressure on the joints and muscles and, can cause pain. Learn to maintain that posture at all times to help decrease or eliminate your lower back pain.
2. Stop avoiding exercise. It may feel uncomfortable getting started, but exercise is proven to be beneficial for most lower back pain. It helps keep your core muscles strong, provides increased circulation to your joints and discs and it gives you a sense of well-being. Plus, being a couch potato can really put your lower back in a poor position by tucking your tail bone (see above).
Core muscles and gluts can be strengthened, a common weakness in most people.
3. Stop searching for a miracle cure. We’ve all seen the advertisements that promise a miracle cure for your lower back pain, but the evidence indicates that many of these miracle cures are not beneficial.
4. Stop focusing on a specific diagnosis. Up to 85% of lower back pain can be classified as “non-specific”. This means that the origin of your pain cannot be localized to one specific structure or problem. While x-rays, or a MRI can show the bones, joints, soft tissue (vertebrae) and discs with great detail, no test can reveal the exact cause of your pain with 100% accuracy.
5. Stop lifting heavy things. One of the top causes of lower back pain is frequent heavy lifting. If you must lift things, get someone to help you. Or learn the proper form, using your upper thigh muscles and core.
6. Stop repetitive bending. Another common cause of lower back pain is frequent forward bending. Bending forward a lot can cause increased pressure on the discs in the back and can lead to muscle aches and pains. Limit your forward bending, and be sure to perform mild backward bending to help offset the repetitive forward bending.
7. Stop listening to other people’s horror stories. You know the scenario: You are bent over in obvious pain, waiting to see the doctor, and the person next to you tells you a 10-minute tale of how their Uncle Sam had lower back pain that required surgery. But the pain still didn’t go away. Stop listening to these terrible stories. Most lower back pain is short-lived and can be managed quite effectively with exercise and postural correction. Of course, some lower back conditions are serious and require surgery, but that is a conversation you should have with your doctor, not the guy in the waiting room.
8. Stop trying passive treatments. Passive treatments like heat or ice may feel good, but their effect is usually only temporary. Most research indicates that active self-care exercise and postural correction is an effective remedy for lower back pain. A visit to your physical therapist can help determine which exercises are best for your specific condition.
9. Stop smoking. If you smoke, you have probably heard of the negative effects that it can have on your health. Some studies indicate that smoking can also increase your chance of having lower back pain.
10. Stop waiting for your pain to go away. If you have experienced pain for more than a week or two, see your doctor or physical therapist. While it is noble to try to manage the pain yourself, the earlier you start treatment, the better your chances are of making a smooth recovery and quickly returning to normal function.
Don’t wait until it is too late! We have been working with individuals with various muscular conditions since 2006 (longer if you include some of our trainers’ experience). Even if you do not suffer from any chronic condition that curtails your life….contact us for an assessment or just conversation to be sure you are on the right track. You can reach us at www.lorimichielfitness.com or call us at 818-620-1442 today.
We see fitness differently!
Disclaimer: Not all exercise programs are suitable for everyone and this or any exercise program may result in injury. Consult with your doctor before embarking on this or any other exercise program. The instruction and advice presented herein are in no way intended to be a substitute for medical counseling.