Lower back pain is becoming more common. This week in clinic we have been approached by many people suffering from lower back pain. Because of this we feel a little public information may be beneficial.
Here are my top 5 tips for managing lower back pain
- Keep moving
Whilst pain makes us miserable, and we don’t want to do anything that can provoke further pain. There is considerable advantage to staying active. Now this doesn’t mean you continue to attend the gym to lift some huge weight, nor does it mean running a marathon that day is the best thing you can do. But staying gently active by going for a brisk walk, going on the bicycle for 20 minutes or by performing some gentle yoga or pilates movements will improve your chances of recovering!
That being said – nothing that produces severe pain or progressive pain should be continued.
- Align your spine!
We often find our patients suffer strong stiffness or sharp pains when standing from sitting. Improvements can be noted by simply sitting better! Lift the chest; stick the belly outwards; keep a forward facing curve in the lower back – whatever works best for you. Then support the spine in this position with cushions to help it maintain the posture.
- Spread the weight
People often find cooking, preparation of food, ironing and cleaning to be rather strenuous on the lower back. A simple change can help reduce the strain of these activities. Stand with your feet apart – front to back – like a boxer. This helps spread the load and when you get tired, simply switch legs.
- Keep the lower back warm
Using heat can make you feel more mobile and comfortable. A hot water bottle, a wheat bag or a hot shower/bath can all provide relief from lower back discomforts. Also if you work outside or near a draft – use thermal layers to protect any exposed areas!
The muscles of the back allow us to move, but also protect us from harmful movements. These muscles can become rather tight and achy from repeated or prolonged work. Stretching the low back muscles and gluteal muscles can relieve some of these discomforts and keep you feeling well!