If you have lower back pain, it is an experience shared with 21 million other Americans. The problem is widespread. There are many causes of back pain, and the symptoms vary from one person to another. But the disabling consequences of this malady are common to all. Chronic lower back pain can keep you from doing many activities and affect your ability to work. It can become a nagging injury that frustrates your best intentions to accomplish things. If this describes you, it is time to take the problem in hand. There are actions that can relieve lower back pain and return you to a more active life. This article will describe some of the steps you can take to improve this debilitating condition.
One cause of lower back pain is simply being overweight. Extra weight carried in the middle of the body, the classic pot belly that many of us develop as we age, can cause lower back pain. Why? Because this weight is carried by the back. It places a distorting pressure on the spine, causing compression and stress. Chronic back pain results from damage to the spinal column. The compressed discs may pinch a nerve, producing excruciating pain. So the first effort to relieve back pain, if your are overweight, is to lose the extra weight and flatten your stomach and abdomen.
In addition, it is necessary to strengthen muscles that have become flaccid during overweight and inactivity. One of the best exercises is simply walking. As you walk, tighten the abdominal muscles. If possible, do sit-ups also. Strong muscles here will relieve pressure on the back, which in turn will relieve the pain.
The other essential activity is to do regular stretching exercises. These will help your back come into the right alignment. Ask your osteopath or physical therapist for exercises you can do at home to accomplish this. Always stretch muscles in both directions, as is done in yoga exercises. Balance is the goal, rather than producing strong muscles one way and weak ones the opposite way. Stretching exercises can relieve pressure on the spine. Compression of the discs that separate the vertebrae needs to be relieved. When it is, pain will go away.
Experts also emphasize the importance of maintaining good posture. An upright posture is one of the keys to relieving back pain and avoiding it in the future. Exercise, weight loss and stretching will make it easier for you keep good posture. But to overcome back pain, you will need to keep an awareness of your posture both sitting and standing. Catch yourself when you begin to slump in your chair. Straighten up. It is worth buying an ergonomic chair designed to support your back. But you can make a chair better by placing a rolled up towel behind the small your back. Don’t allow your shoulders to slump forward and lean over your desk for hours. Sitting this way will gradually build about pressure and compression in you spine, and bring on back pain.
Follow these tips and you will be able to make a good start at relieving your chronic lower back pain. Consult your physician and follow his advice. You will find that it is indeed possible to conquer back pain.