When you are experiencing severe lower back pain, all you can think about is how to stop the pain and feel better. I know this because I have experienced lower back pain myself, but also because I have been treating patients with lower back pain for over 15 years. In fact, I have helped thousands of people just like you stop their lower back pain and live a pain free life.
But knowing how to stop lower back pain, requires knowing how it starts.
What Causes of Low Back Pain When Symptoms Develop Gradually?
Your lower back carries a lot of weight – your upper body, your arms, and that big brain of yours too. That’s a lot of pressure for a relatively small body area. Add to that, the fact that the pressure is on the spine, a set of relatively small bones (compared to those in the legs, for example) that work together with the surrounding muscles to keep you upright. Over time, you may start to develop discomfort and even pain.
And did you know? For women with osteoporosis it is possible to experience a spinal fracture without being aware of it because it can develop gradually.
But most often, gradual lower-back pain is the result of a lack of muscle strength and/or being overweight.
The Causes of Sudden Onset of Low Back Pain
When you suddenly feel lower back pain, it is likely that you have suffered an injury. And while you might think you’ve “pulled a muscle,” it may also be that you have suffered injury to one of your spinal discs. This is particularly true for older people.
Your discs wear and tear as you age; so, an injury can cause a sudden onset of pain you may not have had when you were younger. Your discs can also slip out of position and cause a pain that radiates down one or both legs (as known as sciatica pain).
It is important to note that if you are experiencing other symptoms, such as numbness, problems urinating, weakness, or throbbing, you should see your General Practitioner as soon as possible.
Stop Your Low Back Pain with These 5 Simple Steps
There are many ways you can work to prevent lower back pain, and most are easy to undertake.
1. Increase Core Muscle Strength
An important and effective way to prevent back pain is to increase your core muscle strength. Core muscle strength refers to the strength of your core muscles, the abdominal muscles, back muscles, pelvic muscles and chest muscles.
Some examples of great core strength exercises include:
- Push-ups (if you can’t do a full push up, do a upper-body one, where your legs remain on the floor)
- Knee-fold tucks (sitting on the floor, knees bent, raise your knees upwards so your feet leave the ground, hold and then lower)
- Oblique crunches (rather than raising your upper body forward, you do it to one side)
- See how we can help!
2. See a Chiropractor
A licensed chiropractor will adjust your body to improve your alignment, ease your pain, and restore your movement in the spine or joints. This is called spinal adjustment. Recent research shows that it can work as well to relieve pain and discomfort as drugs and surgery, and it is far safer, and easier on your body.
3. Lift Carefully
By far the most common way people injure their lower backs is while lifting heavy objects.
Never bend from the hips to pick something up but always bend your knees first. That way you use your whole back and your leg muscles to lift rather than just your upper body.
4. Deal with Stress
How was your 2020? If it was anything like mine, it was full of stress. After-all, we all have stressors in life, the key is in how you respond to them and treat the symptoms. By far the best way to reduce stress is to exercise and release your endorphins.
One exercise nearly all of us can do in one way or another swim. A study conducted by research company MORI found that 74% of people who went swimming found it helped release stress and tension. Swimming is also easy on the joints and rarely causes injury, so head to your local pool for the best possible de-stressing type of exercise!
5. Sitting and Standing Best Practices
You would think that sitting down puts less pressure on your back than standing, but quite the opposite is true.
Make sure you take regular breaks while witting for long periods of time to ease the pressure on your back. If you cannot get up, then try sitting back a little, avoid slouching, and instead lean back into your chair back to allow it to support your weight.
That said, if you are a busy-bee type who is always on their feet, make sure to take time out to rest your back too. Take time for a bath, or rest on the sofa, or simply stretch. Being active is great but your body needs time to rest too.
Remember, a well-rounded approach to health will end your lower back pain faster and keep you pain-free longer!