Statistics show that 31 million Americans suffer from lower back pain. The symptoms and causes may vary, but the debilitating effects are shared in common. Lower back pain causes lost working days and inability to take part in activities of daily life. For many people, lower back pain is temporary and goes away after a few days. But for others it becomes a long-term disabling condition. This article will introduce you to some facts about lower back pain. It will also give some tips on what to do about it.
If your lower back pain lasts more than a few days, you should consult a physician and come up with a plan of action. Although the causes of back pain are notoriously difficult to diagnose, your doctor can use tools such as x-rays or an MRI to help identify the cause. Before your visit with the doctor, think back on what you might have done to strain your back. Did you lift something heavy or awkwardly twist your back? Or is it perhaps a condition that has developed gradually over a long period of time, until you could no longer ignore it? Be ready to give the physician as much information as possible. This will help identify a cause and lead to a treatment plan.
Lifting properly is something we should all know how to do. Many people strain their backs through improper lifting techniques or through repetitive motions that strain the back. When lifting an object from the floor, you should not bend over from the waist. You should bend your knees and squat. Keeping your back straight and abdominal muscles tightened, lift the object while keeping it close to your body. Avoid repetitive bending and stooping motions. If you have a job that needs lifting, you have probably heard all this before. But don’t forget to observe the same rules at home!
Another cause of lower back pain is sitting too long and not getting enough exercise. This may seem to not make sense. How can lack of exercise strain your back? But it does so for many people who sit all day at a desk. If your chair doesn’t give you proper support, your back will become strained. Your posture will slump, putting stress on the spine. Check to make sure your back is getting ergonomic support, whether in a chair at work or at home. Use a pillow or rolled up towel placed in the small your back to give support, if the chair lacks this feature. Also, lack of exercise leads to atrophy of the muscles that support the spine. One way to relieve lower back pain is to do exercises that strengthen your abdominal muscles and muscles in the pelvic area. When these are strengthened they will give support to the lower back, thus avoiding back pain.
This is just an introduction on how to deal with your lower back pain. Take advice from your physician and maintain a program of exercise and good back support. This can clear up your lower back pain and keep it from returning in the future.