What causes low back pain?
Most back pain is due to stress or strain from bad posture, awkward sleeping positions, and other lifestyle habits. Less than 1% is caused by something more serious, such as a fracture, spinal abnormality or a disease.
The pain may range from mild discomfort to severe pain that makes it difficult to move. Living a healthy lifestyle is the best way to cope with low back pain.
Here are some tips that may help ease your back pain.
Sleep smarter: Sleeping in an awkward position can cause you to be in pain from the moment you wake up. Here are the best sleeping positions to try if you have lower back pain.
- Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees,the pillow will keep your hips, pelvis, and spine in better alignment.
- Sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees. For some people, sleeping on your back may be the best position to relieve your back pain.
- Try not to sleep on your stomach, if you must, sleep with a pillow under your abdomen.
- Sleeping on a mattress that is too soft can also cause lower back pain. A firmer mattress is better.
Sit right: sit as little as possible, and only for short periods of time (10 to 15 minutes). Use a back support such as a cushion at the curve of your back. Keep your hips and knees at a right angle and your feet flat on the floor.
Use back support while driving: at the curve of your back and keep your knees at the same level or higher than your hips.
Don’t lift heavy objects: try to avoid lifting heavy objects. If you have to, it’s the way you lift that is important, not just the weight you are lifting.
- Try to be as close to the object as possible.
- Squat to make the lift.
- Keep your back straight and bend at your knees and hip, using your legs to lift.
- Don’t bend your waist while lifting.
Stay active: it is not true that bed rest is the best cure, while it can help an acute back strain or injury, remaining in bed for more than a day or two can actually make back pain worse. The best way to keep back pain at bay is to stay active, simple activities such as walking are best.
Straighten up: slumping and slouching are often a culprit in back pain symptoms, especially among overweight or obese women.
Wear shorter-heels: wearing high heels contributes to an unstable posture.
Exercise for back pain: lower back pain exercises can give you relief, but the wrong moves can leave you in even more agony. So a guided, mild exercise program is recommended. This often begins with gentle exercises that gradually increase in intensity. Low back strengthening exercises are an excellent way to prevent recurring low back pain. Stronger core muscles help increase stability, decrease your chances of getting injured, and improve function.
Lighten your bags: carrying an overstuffed purse, briefcase, or handbag can strain your low back. If you must carry a heavy load, consider using a wheeled briefcase instead so reducing the amount of pressure on your spine. Help keep your kids’ backs healthy by making sure their backpacks are not overloaded. A heavy backpack could mean future back pain for your little one.
Modify your daily activities: like squatting down to pick up items off the ground and also avoid stooping.
Consult a doctor
- If you have prolonged back pain longer than 72 hours
- If your back pain is severe and getting worse.
- If you have numbness or tingling in your legs.