Lower back pain isn’t trivial. Americans spend billions each year on medications and treatments for back issues yet they are not changing their daily habits to naturally minimize their pain.
If you suffer from lower back pain, the first steps to relief may be minimal changes to your daily habits.
Furnish a Footrest
Lower back pain is sometimes the result of back curvature issues. When people curve their hips too far inward, they put too much weight on the lower back, leading to pain. By putting your feet on a footrest while sitting so that your knees and hips form a right angle, you can reduce lower back pressure. See our Desk Ergonomics Blogfor a great example of using a footrest at work.
Another way to reduce the pressure on your spine and associated back pain is to adjust your posture in bed. If you sleep lying on your back, place a pillow underneath your knees; if you lie on your side, place it between your knees. This will reduce pressure on your spinal joints. Make sure that you are sleeping on a flat surface, as uneven surfaces can throw the alignment of your lower back off from the rest of your body.
A Solution in Stretching
Daily stretching can also help you deal with back pain, but only if you’re careful not to overextend your joints. Only stretch when you’re on a sturdy, clean surface with enough room to move around freely. Perform each stretch slowly, and never contort your body into a painful position. Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, which is long enough to loosen the joints and muscles involved. YMCA of Oklahoma City Certified Personal Trainer, Sandy Sienkiewicz, models the correct form for lower back pain stretches below:
Wall Hamstring Stretch
Lie on the floor with your back flat, place your rear against the wall, put your foot up against the wall, and push your knee out straight. This will extend your hamstring muscles, giving your pelvis more flexibility to take pressure off your lower back. Scoot closer to the wall for a deeper stretch.
Lie on your back, place both of your heels on the floor, and bend your knees. Place both of your hands behind one knee and then bring it to your chest. This will make your lower back more supple and mobile.
This exercise strengthens your buttocks and hips, making it easier for them to support your lower back. Lie on your back, cross one of your legs over the other one, and pull your knee toward your chest. Make sure you pull behind your knee and not on top of your kneecap to prevent injury.
This exercise will strengthen lower back muscles and stretch hip flexors. Lie on your back with your feet flat to the floor, knees bent. Drive hips toward the ceiling and squeeze your glutes. Go to your full range of motion.
If pain persists despite these behavioral changes, you may need a back brace for full relief. Lower back provide support during daily activities. By supporting the affected area, it allows your discs to decompress and can provide pain relief. To determine if a back brace is right for you, talk to your doctor about this option.
This article was written by Oklahoma Pain Management.