Back pain is one of the most common ailments and among the top reasons for missing workdays. A particularly sensitive part of the backbone is the lower back as it supports the weight of the upper part and absorbs a lot of pressure and stress whether you’re sitting on a bad chair or lifting heavy objects at work.
Lower back pain may be caused by the wear and tear of aging, arthritis, intense physical activity or a sudden injury, but whatever the cause may be, it’s essential you find a way to relieve the pain and prevent any future problems.
Maintain correct posture during all activities
The first step in protecting your lower back from injury is maintaining correct posture during physical activities, especially if it’s sports of physical labor. It’s also important to make an effort to avoid slouching and keep your back erect. When lifting heavy objects, lift from the knees as if you’re squatting and not from the waist and if you need to move the weight to the side, rotate your hips.
If you have a desk job, it’s crucial you maintain a proper position when sitting. Keep your feet fully on the floor and use a good-quality desk chair that supports the lower back. Avoid tilting your body forward to see closer or to reach too much to use the keyboard and the mouse.
Stretch your muscles
One of the best ways to relieve acute and chronic back pain and to prevent any future issues is to stretch your muscles. As your back muscles extend in different directions, it’s necessary to do a variety of stretching poses. Just make sure you’re lying on a firm surface and following the instructions regarding the correct positions and breathing patterns. In addition to stretching, another way to relax the sore muscles and relieve the tension in the lower back area is a massage.
Maintain an active lifestyle
If you’re experiencing back pain, it’s important to get out of bed and stay active. Gentle stretching exercises and moving, in general, can help you heal faster but you must be careful as to what extent you can push yourself so you don’t cause more pain and discomfort. Doing regular physical exercises and strength training that activates your core area can help a great deal in reducing the risk of back-related injuries. Try to incorporate ab and back strengthening exercises into your workout routine at least twice a week to make your back stronger and more flexible.
Wearing high-quality, supportive footwear during your workout is also very imperative as they increase your stability and lower back injury risks. Moreover, maintain your optimal weight is also helpful as excess body weight also puts extra strain on your lower back so an active lifestyle combined with proper diet and exercise is the best way to stay healthy and have a strong back.
Consider surgery as an option
In case you have a more serious back condition that isn’t responsive to pain management or physical therapy, especially if it involves injured discs and nerve problems, surgery might be the best option. Undergoing any type of surgery always involves some risk so it’s recommended you do some research and turn to lead experts in Australia such as the renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Timothy Steel whose specialty includes meticulous individual patient care and improving their quality of life.
Turn to over-the-counter pain medication
If you’re lucky enough to avoid back surgery, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medication proves to be very helpful in reducing swelling and relieving back pain. To maximize their effect, you need to take your therapy round-the-clock for several days when you’re in pain, but these medications do involve certain risks and aren’t safe for everyone, so make sure you consult your doctor before you start taking them.
Use ice or heat
Immediately after a lower back injury, applying ice can help ease the pain and reduce the swelling and often, switching to heat after helps tighten the muscles. Heat can also be helpful in chronic back pain that doesn’t result from an injury.
Invest in a quality mattress
Sleeping on a high-quality medium-firm mattress can provide many benefits to people suffering from back pain but it’s also necessary to take into account the preferred sleeping position when choosing the mattress. For instance, side sleepers should pick a softer mattress whereas stomach and back sleepers should opt for a firmer one. In general, with lower back pain, you should avoid sleeping on your stomach.
Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, eating a balanced diet and watching your back as you work and exercise can help you live a good life free from any back pain.