80% of human beings will experience low back pain during their lifetime. And 80% of that eighty percent will have reoccurring back pain throughout their life. It is the leading cause of absenteeism in the work place and it affects our ability to show up in our lives in the way we wish.
As a person who had her first episode of back pain at age 16, I can attest to the fear and anxiety it can cause as well as how it can prevent me from doing the activities I love. So as a sufferer of recurring low back pain and a physiotherapist, here are my top strategies to prevent low back pain.
Humans, by nature, appear to be more reactive than proactive. Should we choose the latter over the former, we stand to be happier and healthier.
Health is the new wealth so read on and join me in a proactive revolution against back pain!
1. Optimize your posture.
We are designed to have three curves in our spine: two ingoing curves- one in the low back and one in the neck; and a slightly outgoing curve in the midback. When these curves are maintained throughout the better part of a day, we reduce the chance of irritating our spine.
How do we do this Lisa?
I am so glad you asked! My personal favorite way that maintains all three curves is a lumbar roll to support the ingoing curve in our low back which then corrects the curves above. Furthermore, with such a support in place, we are free to concentrate at whatever task at hand, such as
- our favorite program or hobby.
Your muscles get a break too and you will prevent them from getting tired unnecessarily.
Most of us humans in the 21st century are spending a lot of time sitting. So all the more reason to use a lumbar roll!
But this is also a great reason to stretch backwards!
The good news is the investment of time is literally 10 seconds every 1-2 hours during your day. Because sitting and bending forward stress our discs, we need to give them a break and do the opposite arching backwards.
The bonus of this movement is that it stimulates our facet joints at back of our spine, allowing the joints to become lubricated and get adequate nutrition. You know what that means?? You got it! Your joints will be happy and you will prevent the onset of stiffness.
3. Use your big muscle groups to lift.
Lifting is not harmful if done properly. Bending at our knees and hips to lower ourselves to pick up heavier objects, reduces the stress on your spine. Doing the golfer’s pick up for light objects is great at protecting your spine also.
Do you hold your breath sometimes when you lift or open a heavy door?
When we breathe, expanding our rib cage and bellies, our brain recruits our core musculature which supports our spine. When our spine receives adequate support, we reduce the risk of injury.
5. Stay active!
Even a 15-30 minute moderate paced walk engages our core muscles, especially when we swing our arms.
A 10-15 minute yoga session will help keep your muscles flexible and your joints stimulated.
2-3 sets of 10-15 squats every other day will strengthen your legs and core. Start small and keep it simple and joyful!
There are no guarantees in life but when I make use of these tips, I feel so much better and I don’t miss out on my life!
Hope you find this helpful and if ever you become a statistic there’s help and hope! Donald Physio can help just give us a call!