5 Tips for lower back pain
By Nick Quinn APAM
1. Keep moving.
Most people’s initial reaction when they have a back issue is to stay still and rest. Typically this is the last thing you should do. The less you move the more your back will view movement as a threat. The key is not to push yourself too much but to do as much of what you can tolerate. Going for a short walk or a swim are often a good place to start.
2. Understand that pain is not equivalent to damage.
In the vast majority of cases back pain is not the result of major damage to the back. Pain that has lasted less than 72 hours and does not cause numbness or tingling down the leg is almost certainly not going to be related to any structural damage in the back. Doesn’t mean the cause is simple but generally it does mean that your back isn’t broken, doesn’t need to be fixed, (disc not slipped) and some modifications in your lifestyle should be enough to vastly improve your symptoms.
3. Sitting is often the key factor.
In modern society we tend to sit for days and days on end. This tends to put a fair degree of stress on our spines, sitting tends to be associated with two times body weight loads through the back. This also tends to stiffen your lower back as it is a fairly static position.
4. Being overweight can be a contributing factor.
The increased weight that often finds itself in the front of the stomach can cause an excess of curvature in the spine. This is associated with an increase in Lx pain. Amongst all the other positive health reasons to lose weight if you constantly have lower back pain losing weight has been shown to significantly reduce the severity and regularity of your back pain flare ups.
For me the biggest common thread in my patients with lower back pain is that they are going through a period of acute or chronic stress. Stress fires up the entirety of the body. Increases your pain response and reduces your healing potential. On top of that stress tends to be associated for most of us in a dropping of our positive habits. We tend to exercise and sleep less, all of which tend to increase our incidence and severity of lower back pain. Most of the time what people with a sore back need is a bit of a break or to double down on some me time, eat well and ensure they are getting the right amount of sleep.