Back pain, in general, is something experienced by roughly 90 percent of the population at one time or another. One of the areas often affected is the lower back, which is especially susceptible to added stress and strain from lower body movements.
While it’s not realistic to avoid every possible instance of lower back pain, there are some things you can do to manage it or, in some cases, get it rid of it entirely if you’re already having issues with recurring lower spine discomfort. Below, we offer some tips that could help you focus less on your lower back and more on the things most important in your life.
Watch Your Posture
Poor posture places added pressure on the soft tissues and other parts that support your lower back in some way. Your spine’s alignment can also be thrown off if you’re not mindful of how you position yourself why sitting and standing. Strive to keep your head and shoulders aligned as you sit, and avoid excess leaning and slouching while standing.
Improve Your Sleep Habits
How you sleep and what you sleep on can affect your lower back. A lack of consistent sleep, for instance, reduces the time your body has to naturally heal itself, which could leave you with lingering LBP when you get up. Also with sleep, your lower back will thank you if you make an effort to:
- Sleep in a position that maintains your spine’s natural alignment
- Use pillows for support between your knees if you sleep on your side to keep your spine aligned
- Choose a mattress that comfortably supports your lower back
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule to increase your odds of getting enough quality sleep
Find Ways to Exercise Regularly
The muscles that support your lower back need to be stimulated to remain strong and healthy. Regular exercise is an effective way to accomplish goal. Physical activity also helps your lower back by improving flexibility and boosting the release of “feel good” hormones called endorphins that act as natural pain-relievers. It’s best to avoid overly-strenuous exercise if you already have issues with lower back pain. However, gentler forms of exercise, such as walking, swimming, yoga, and stationary bike use, can be just as beneficial.
Common Causes of Lower Back Pain
Let’s take a moment to briefly discuss some of the more common causes of lower back pain. Having a better understanding of what’s likely to contribute to LBP can help you be more cautious and proactive.
Common lower back pain causes include:
- Muscle strain
- Age-related spinal disc wear, referred to as degenerative disc disease
- Spinal abnormalities
- Osteoarthritis and other forms of arthritis that can affect spinal bones and tissues
- Compression fractures
- Sudden trauma
Improper lifting can be a reason why your lower back pain keeps coming back or getting worse, especially if you need to lift things on a regular basis for work or at home. For times when you need to do some lifting, only bend at your hips and knees. Also, hold what you’re lifting aa close to your body as possible, and avoid excessive twisting or turning.
Make Healthy Food Choices
A common reason for lower back pain is nerve irritation, which is often caused by inflamed tissues around the spine. The sciatic nerve, for instance, that starts in the lower back and moves downward is often affected by inflammation.
One way to fight inflammation naturally is to opt for healthy foods that naturally ease tissue swelling, a list that includes:
- Green, leafy veggies
- Salmon, sardines, tuna, and other fatty fish
- Berries and bright-hued fruits like oranges
- Almonds and walnuts
Use Supportive Devices for Your Lower Back
Lower back pain can also be kept in check if your lumbar spine is supported in a way that retains optimal alignment. One way to do this, especially if you normally do a lot of physical movements involving your lower spine, is to use supportive devices. Options include lumbar support belts and adjustable posture braces.
Try Physical Therapy
From therapeutic exercises to massage therapy, there are many physical therapy routines and techniques that may help you get rid of lower back pain. A chiropractor or physical therapist can help you develop a routine that’s appropriate and safe for you.
We’re Here to Help
If you’re experiencing issues with lower back pain, keeping the tips mentioned here in mind can certainly be a step in the right direction. We also invite you to contact us to explore the chiropractic treatment options we offer to increase your odds of experiencing meaningful relief. Give us a call today at 205-637-1363 to schedule an appointment.