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Preventing Lower Back Pain

If you have experienced lower back pain–as 80 percent of people do at some time in their lives–you know how hard it is to deal with. It may keep you from many activities. It may make you lose working time. You may find some relief by taking over-the-counter pain medication, but this is not a solution. There are steps you can take to relieve back pain and also keep it from returning. This article will give you tips on the relief and prevention of lower back pain.

A consultation with your doctor can lead to effective treatment. But you need to be prepared to give detailed information about what may have caused your back pain in the beginning. Think about the physical work you do, or the chair you sit in at work. How much exercise do you get? How strong are the abdominal and other muscles that support your back? Have you been in an accident or had a fall? All these can be factors in producing back pain. Your doctor may prescribe medications to bring you some relief from pain. However, long term relief will depend on your own efforts. An awareness of posture, both sitting and standing, is a starting point. Efforts to support your back better and also strengthen the muscles that support the spine can keep your lower back pain from returning. Once you have experienced lower back pain, you are highly motivated to prevent its return!

Ironically, one of the chief causes of lower back pain is the mattress you sleep on. If it does not give good support to your back, your time spent resting in bed can result in damage to your back instead of restorative rest. Experts advise sleeping on a firm or medium-firm mattress, never a soft one. When your body sinks into a soft mattress, your spine has no support. A firm mattress will help keep your spine straight and supported, not letting it curve out of shape. Also, how long has it been since you replaced your mattress? If it has been more than 5 or 6 years, it is probably time to buy a new one. Investing in a good quality, firm mattress is one of the best things you can do for your back.

Many of us lead a sedentary lifestyle. Your back needs strong abdominal and pelvic area muscles to keep its shape. A brisk walk daily, keeping your tummy muscles tucked in, can prevent back problems from developing. Stretching exercises such as those done in yoga can also help with this. But avoid acts that strain your back. Those acrobatic twists and turns you did while playing tennis in your teens may be something you need to avoid now. As we grow older, there is a gradual degradation of the cartilage discs in the spine. These are your spine’s shock absorbers. At 60 they will not tolerate the stress they used to survive when you were young.

These tips have given you a start in your efforts to relieve lower back pain and prevent it from becoming a chronic condition. Follow through on a good program to avoid stress and strengthen your back, and you can happily find relief from debilitating back pain.

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