Sadly, something which is extremely common, especially now that most people are sitting more for work rather than moving, is all degrees of lower back pain! Unfortunately, these will often only present themselves after years of unknowingly doing the wrong thing. This can range from picking something up the wrong way, to standing with the wrong muscles engaged, to simply sitting with bad posture. The good news though, is that through a couple of simple habits that can be built into your daily routine, you can reduce and sometimes even completely remove lower back pains! And this doesn’t include the too-often used “self-management” strategies like sitting differently or regularly taking pain killers!
To kick things off with these simple habits, we are going to start with your posture! This is generally the most common cause of pain around the lower back, with incorrect posture both sitting and standing. And a lot for the time this this bad habit starts when we are kids and becomes the normal. As a result of doing this over years and years, your muscle balance actually changes to compensate, which in turn leads to them pulling on areas that they shouldn’t be, and not supporting the areas they should be. The simple truth here is that focusing on maintaining a good posture is vital to correcting this. If you have been set in your ways for a number of years, this can take time, and in some cases effort. However, in almost all cases it is worth the effort!
The second point here, which I have already mentioned, is the lack of activity that todays society has, compared to what we were like 50 or 100 years ago. Sadly, these days a regular exercise routine isn’t even a habit that most people have. Now, to be clear here, any movement is good. Getting up from your chair at work once every hour or 2 and moving around goes a VERY long way! If you didn’t see it, here is another post that I did recently that is full of different things you can do, without even leaving your office!
I often here as well that a lot of people just don’t feel motivated to exercise regularly. They find it boring, and they give up after a short time. For these people, I can always recommend finding a group of like-minded people, and training together!
The third point here, which is aimed more at the people that have been putting up with pains for a longer time, is avoiding the “self-management” strategies that I spoke about earlier. All these are doing is putting your body further and further in the wrong direction, and while they may alleviate the pains you are going through while you do them, they wont in the long run. The best thing to do is to always seek help from a health professional. This usually starts with seeing a doctor, and then moving onto a physiotherapist. From here, the best recommendation I can give is to follow both of these up with an Exercise Physiologist, or a Personal Trainer with a Health/Anatomy based higher education. These people will be able to continue improving things for you that the doctor and physio were initially able to discover and work on.
These are just some of the ways in which you can help to reduce lower back pain, and none of them involve taking medication or doing anything weird! If you are suffering from lower back pain, give them a try, and you will be surprised at the result!