Tips to Avoid Back Pain
Lower back pain, sciatica, or lumbago, as it sometimes known, will affect almost all adults at some point in their working lives. This Back pain will interfere with all facets of their lives, from work or posture related conditions for example causing lower back pain in drivers, at a recreational level with say a high incidence of lumbar pain in golfers. Back pain or sciatica can indeed detrimentally affect physical relationships between partners.
Usually lower back pain or lumbar pain will ease after a few days, although some occurrences may take longer to subside or resolve and in these instances, it's wise to consult your GP to diagnose the condition and seek appropriate back pain treatment.
Rather than endure the misery of lower back problems in the first place or indeed avoid a repetition once you have recovered from the last bout, there are some simple steps or adjustments we can all make to reduce the risk of back pain. We often don't appreciate the loads and strains we put on our spines, going about our daily routines, tasks, and past times until something goes wrong, so it's well worthwhile to give some attention towards how we can maintain a healthier regime to reduce the risk of back problems now.
Here are some tips to look after your back and avoid lower back pain
This might be stating the obvious but a healthy balanced diet enables the body to maintain not only its normal function of for example joint lubrication, essential for a healthy back, but also its ability to allow 'self repair' when we do strain and overdo things such as the seasonal digging the garden over. It's advisable to drink plenty of water
Just watch drivers stretch, clutch, and massage their lower backs as they gingerly clamber out of their cars and lorries at the motorway service areas, long periods of driving are often a cause of lower back pain. Lumbar pain in drivers is a common back condition usually brought about by poor seating posture, remaining in the same position for extended periods, and whole body vibration (WBV, in particular where the lower back is subjected to this e.g. lorry drivers or special purpose vehicles)
The advice here is to ensure that your seat is correctly positioned to aid your posture, your lumbar is properly supported, and try to have frequent breaks from driving and doing some simple stretching exercises, and have a walk around.
You can often help back pain with exercise. Exercise is considered to be a both an effective back pain therapy, and as a useful means of lower back pain prevention. Aside from increasing the endorphins (or feel good factors), regular exercise helps to maintain healthy muscles joint mobility and flexibility, reducing the risk of strain through physical activity. If you are suffering from backache or sciatica already then speak to your health care professional for advice on exercises useful to reduce or prevent backache
Most of us at some time have received instruction in the do's and don'ts of correct lifting techniques to avoid backache but how often do we ignore the advice of the works 'Elf and safety zealots' in the workplace until it's too late. Applying common sense techniques can avoid lower back problems. Don't overstretch, lift heavy objects using and bending from the knees rather than your bending your back, don't overreach and ask for help rather than trying to lift too much, especially if you're dealing with an awkward shape object.
It's useful to consider the sort of bag you carry. If you are prone to back ache then Instead of carrying your laptop and work documents in a shoulder bag, think about using one of the airline style wheeled bags to avoid putting unbalanced loads on your back
Posture is often cited as a cause of backache. By slouching we are over time compressing the lumbar joints and increasing the propensity of back problems in the future. Think about how you sit in the workplace and how you use your telephone handset, either hold it in use or get a headset. Don't get into the habit of cradling the handset your shoulder and ear as this can cause poor posture or twisting occasionally leading to back pain.
Are you sitting properly at your workstation, or is your car or lorry seat in the correct position for you to maintain a correct and healthy posture in your back?
The way you sleep can sometimes lead to back ache. Poor sleeping posture will not help back pain. It's not considered a good idea to lie on your stomach which will put pressure or loads on your neck and back, that don't permit your spine to adopt a comfortable posture again potentially leading to back ache. It's essential to have a good mattress which offers support to your spine
Again, smoking will not help back pain. If there aren't already enough reasons for kicking the weed, then here's another. Smoking has the effect of reducing the blood's capacity to carry oxygen around the body, including to the intervertebral discs of the lumbar spine reducing the discs' ability to remain healthy and 'self repair' under strain. If the muscles and joints can't recover quickly from strains then this can lead to inflammation and lower back pain
Sports Warm Up
Most of us are not professional sports people with unlimited access to advice on technique, but maybe just get involved in sporting activity as a weekend pursuit or past time, often as a contrast to our increasingly sedentary occupations. It's important to carry out warm up and stretching exercises before starting to reduce the risks of back strains or injury (not just our backs though) which could lead to back pain.
A classic example would be lumbar pain in golfers often brought about by the unnatural loads put on the lumbar spine through the golf swing or indeed the very act of bending over around 150 times during the round to retrieve or position the ball. It's worthwhile asking your healthcare professional or expert in your field e.g. the club professional to provide a warm up routine to prevent lower back problems or to help back pain.
It's estimated that the average person can be around half an inch taller in the morning than the evening as a direct result of gravity having the effect of compressing the spine during the day and only recovering overnight whilst lying in bed. This daily downward pressure on the lumbar spine joints and discs can lead to back pain and back problems over time unless addressed. If you are in an occupation that requires constant standing e.g. hairdressing, then try to take the weight off your feet and sit down as and when you have the opportunity
Watch your weight
Excessive weight can cause back pain and back problems. Aside from the usual reasons and health issues surrounding obesity, it stands to reason that every addition pound overweight we are puts an additional strain on the body, and often the lower back's ability to carry it, thereby increasing the risk of causing long term back problems
Remember though. If you are suffering for more than a few days then always consult your GP to help back pain and prescribe a suitable back pain treatment
David Pegg from Manchester UK is a director with Lumbacurve International, manufacturers of LumbaCurve. LumbaCurve is a drug free lower back pain therapy device, designed to provide relief for sufferers of lower back pain. For more on LumbaCurve
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Exercises are helpful for decrease low back pain ... Live Well: pain; External links. NICE guidelines: low back pain (PDF, 436kb) Arthritis Research UK: back pain
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