Low back pain is the leading cause of disability according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Low back pain is also the number one reason for absenteeism in the workplace in America. Low back pain has many causes. There are some things that the medical community knows about low back pain. But there are some things we don’t know as well. In general, the biggest consensus amongst medical professionals who are staying within the recommended guidelines is that low back pain is extremely difficult to diagnose.
Current guidelines recommend moving someone with low back pain away from passive modalities and toward exercises and movement-based treatment plans. We also know that there can be a large psychological component to low back pain as well.
This article will explore some of the things we know about low back pain and how to prevent it to help you improve your overall health and wellness. Here are 5 tips to help prevent low back pain based on our knowledge.
This is the most important thing to help prevent low back pain. You are going to see this tip show up in almost all the other tips to follow, but the general rule of thumb is that keeping your body moving and not sitting in one place for extended periods of time is the key to success when it comes to low back pain:
• Get away from your desk
• Go for a walk a few times a day
• Get on your rowing machine a few times a day
• Avoid sitting for extended periods of time in one place
• Set timers every hour to go for a 5-minute walk, then sit back down
Our bodies are adaptation machines! Which means that they are constantly adapting to the stimulus you are providing. I’m going to repeat that. Your body responds to whatever stimulus you do OR DON’T provide. If you sit most of the day and don’t move, your body will adapt to that stimulus or lack thereof.
Maintaining a healthy back requires regular exercise. Exercise can help improve your posture, increase flexibility, and strengthen your back muscles. When your back muscles are strong, they can better support your spine and prevent injury.
There are several exercises you can do to strengthen your back muscles, including:
• Bird Dogs
It is necessary to make sure to allude to the fact that you should consult with a trained professional before exercising intensely. Not having proper training and trying to do some of the exercises listed here can cause injury. If you need help with how to do them, reach out to us, we would be happy to help get you started.
Lifting objects is a common cause of low back pain. Lifting objects can put extra strain on your back muscles and cause pain and discomfort. The conversation needs to shift toward PREPARING To lift objects properly. By this, I mean strengthening and exposing your back to different types of positions so that when someone bends down to pick up that penny or tie their shoe, their back is not unprepared for that activity and thus vulnerable to injury. Just as you would strengthen your hamstrings to prepare for sprinting, you should prepare your back to prepare for lifting objects.
That being said, until you get to the point where your back is prepared, these are general tips to help prevent injury.
• Bend at the knees, not at the waist
• Keep your back upright
• Hold the object close to your body
• Avoid twisting your back while lifting
• Use your leg muscles to lift the object
Obesity or being overweight can place additional stress on your back muscles, resulting in pain and discomfort. Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the strain on your back muscles and prevent low back pain. To maintain a healthy weight, you should:
• Eat a balanced diet
• Exercise regularly
• Get enough sleep
• Limit your intake of alcohol and tobacco
Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the strain on your back muscles and prevent low back pain.
Keeping your body well hydrated can also help prevent low back pain. This is just as simple as it sounds, but people in America still struggle with it daily. You should aim to drink about 8 – 13 cups of water daily. Here are a few tips to help make staying hydrated easier:
• Keep a large water bottle
• Keep your water bottle near you at all times
• Set timers on your phone as reminders to drink water
• Keep your water bottle in places that you commonly visit in your home as a reminder
For those who simply don’t want to drink water, IV therapy has become a popular alternative. At Optimum Wellness, we have a trusted referral partner who administers mobile IV therapy to all our clients struggling with staying hydrated. If you have any questions about IV therapy, reach out to us. By taking breaks from sitting, you can reduce the strain on your back muscles and prevent low back pain.
Low back pain has the potential to impair your daily life significantly. However, following these five tips can prevent low back pain and maintain a healthy back. Practicing good posture, exercising regularly, lifting objects properly, maintaining a healthy weight, and taking breaks from sitting are simple and effective ways to keep your back healthy and pain-free.
Remember, preventing low back pain is always better than fixing it after it has already occurred. Adopting these suggestions into your everyday practice can lower your risk of low back discomfort and enhance your overall health. It’s critical to seek medical guidance if you currently have low back pain to identify the underlying reason and receive the proper care.
Don’t let low back pain control your life. Instead, take control of your back health today by following these simple tips. Your back will thank you for it!