Lower back pain is one of the most common health issues in the world, with at least 80 percent of people experiencing at least one episode in their lives. Whether you’ve had a sport injury, a muscle spasm or just non-specific pain, you’re not alone in your search for lower back pain relief. While there are countless back pain causes, there are plenty of preventable steps you can take. Here are five quick tips for a healthy back and improved spinal health.
5 Tips for Lower Back Pain Relief
- Maintain proper posture. Hunching or slouching contributes to neck and back fatigue, which leads to weakness in the spine, and can potentially develop into a painful back or neck condition. Pay attention to how you stand. Proper standing position doesn’t mean you have to stand ramrod straight. In order to nurture the natural curve to the spine, you should stand tall, erect and distribute your weight evenly. When sitting, avoid slouching and sit tall. Imagine a string is coming from the top of your head and stretching your head away from your hips. Pull your stomach in, and keep your shoulders back and down.
- Watch your weight. When you’re wondering how to prevent lower back pain, think about your diet. The combined effect of eating leaner meals and doing regular physical activity can help control your body weight, placing less pressure on your spine. Less pressure means less strain, which can help to avoid back pain. If you’ve recently suffered a sport injury, be sure to stay active in some way to avoid weight gain. Nothing provides lower back pain relief like a lighter load.
- Nurture your nutrition. Did you know nutrition can affect your spine? In between each pair of bones is a disc of soft tissue, made primarily of collagen. Certain nutrients and minerals are directly responsible for supporting soft tissue growth and healing, including glucosamine sulfate, antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, sulfur-rich foods, anti-inflammatories, soy products and fiber. If you eat a daily diet of fresh foods rich in these nutrients, you can boost the health of soft tissue in your body and prevent those back pain causes.
- Lift and turn properly. Your spine is designed to bear reasonable strain and twisting. But taking on too much, and having imbalance, can even lead to a painful herniated or bulging disc, sciatica leg pain or muscle spasm. When bending to lift something heavy, bend your knees and straighten your back. Grab the load securely and make sure your legs are carrying the bulk of the weight. When turning, be mindful of your feet. If you turn with them planted firmly, your lower back is taking on stress and you can easily damage your spinal disc. Take a step in the direction you want to turn first, then turn your body in that direction.
- Stay on top of strength and flexibility. The muscles in your abdomen and lower back support your spine and help it to stay strong. Exercise like yoga can be helpful for targeting and strengthening these core muscles. And when it comes to lower back pain relief, exercise is the best medicine.
From sport injury to poor posture to being overweight, there are a wide variety of back pain causes. If you’re wondering how to prevent lower back pain or you’re looking for lower back pain relief, start with these simple steps and then consider the help of a chiropractor or physical therapist. You don’t have to live with pain!