Many people struggle with lower back pain. Sometimes, it comes in the form of short, agonizing spurts after lifting a heavy object or twisting too quickly. Other times, people live with chronic low back pain that gets in the way of enjoying routine daily activities. Because our lower backs are responsible for supporting our entire upper bodies, they are prone to injury if not properly cared for. Here are five simple ways you can support lower back strength and health to prevent pain from occurring or recurring.
- Strengthen Your Core: Stronger core muscles will provide more support for your spine and upper body. Your core includes both the front and back sides of your abdomen, so try targeted exercises that engage the entire region, like yoga or pilates.
- Stretch: Lower back pain can sometimes be caused by tight muscles in other areas of your body, such as the hamstrings. Get into the habit of practicing full body stretches, perhaps first thing in the morning or to wind down before bed.
- Mind Your Posture: If you sit at a desk all day or spend a lot of time traveling by car, make sure to practice good posture whenever you can. Take frequent breaks to stand up or walk around, as sudden movements after long periods of sitting could leave you more susceptible to injury.
- Lift With Care: Even very strong people can easily throw out their backs from improperly lifting heavy objects, sending them to the nearest walk in clinic or after hours urgent care. Use proper form and lift from your legs, not your back, when moving heavy things.
- Improve Your Health: Better physical health overall can also reduce your risk of lower back pain. Some 40% of people with long-term back problems never see a doctor or physical therapist, but doing so can help you find ways to incorporate more healthy habits into your daily routine. Simple changes like eating better, drinking more water, and finding ways to relieve or reduce stress can improve your back health and total well-being.
Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to lower back problems at any stage in life.