If you are reading this, you probably stumbled upon this by doing a search for lower back pain , mainly because you’re looking for help. And if your reading this pain free, never had a lower back problem, I’ve got news for you, you are probably going to at some point in your life. In fact it’s reported that Eighty percent of the population of the United States, at some point in their life, is going to have lower back pain. Lower back pain can happen doing anything, at anytime.
So what exactly is lower back pain? One form comes from straining muscles of your lumbar area(lower back )The stretching incident results in microscopic tears in the muscles . Lumbar strain is considered one of the most common causes of low back pain. The injury can occur because of overuse, improper use, or trauma.
So how does this occur?
One major contributor to back pain, is sitting all day! As human being our bodies were not designed to be sedentary. When you sit for long periods of time, its puts pressure on the disks and vertebrae in your lumbar area, as well as stretches the muscles in an unnatural position if you’re not seated with perfect posture .Solution? Sit up straight keeping the normal S curve of your spine .Get up and move every hour an half or so. Walk around for a minute reach down and touch your toes, march in place while on the phone, just do something.
Now on the flip side, jobs that require lots of lifting, twisting, pushing and pulling, are also highly susceptible to lower back injuries. So how do we prevent it ? No matter how awkward the object is ALWAYS LIFT WITH YOUR LEGS and keep the object as close to your body as possible. If you can’t lift it with your legs, get someone to help you.
Another reason for lower back pain is that you ignore or over work your core. For a more in-depth look at your core , CLICK HERE ). Having a strong core is important. If you neglect working your core you leave yourself more susceptible to the above type injuries. But as with anything, you can also have too much of a good thing . As with all the muscles of your body, your core is susceptible to overuse injuries, which , in my experience ,manifest themselves as lower back injuries.
Now there are other things that can be the cause of your lower back pain such as smoking, stress and a bad mattress. But the above are most easily correctable. If you are having shooting pain see a doctor, as you may have a more serious problem like a herniated disk or other spine related problems. (I also have had a herniated disk , not as easy to get past as a lumbar strain, but most certainly can be helped.)
Now here is the good news, One-third of aches due to a strain or a sprain improve in a week without medical intervention.
Here are some tips to get you back moving again:
Worst thing you can do is BABY it. Depending on the severity of your pain, you need to move, as soon as possible. Walking is a lower back’s best friend, as it helps to improve blood flow to the affected area. If you choose to baby it, the sourness and stiffness will actually make it feel worse than it really is. A 20 – 30 minute walk can do your back wonders. And some cases if you have access to a fitness center with a pool, walking in a pool is also great lower back rehab.
Now to go along with your walking, follow it up with some stretching. I recommend keeping your legs straight and reaching down and attempting to touch your toes, followed by lying down and drawing one knee to your chest and holding it while the other leg is straight. Although there is no official recommendation, I personally say hold the stretch for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. While holding the stretch take nice long deep breaths, and stretch to a point of discomfort, not pain.
Now if all this is tolerable, begin some light re strengthening exercises. Start easy, with crunches and glute bridges. If you regularly train your core , move on to planks and super mans . Don’t push it , if you feel pain while doing any of these exercises , STOP .
If you have access to one , using a foam roller on your back also helps the healing process. I d recommend depending on the severity of your lumbar strain 1 two sets of rolling your mid back lower back, butt and hamstrings. This video perfectly illustrates how to do the above exercises. click here
Other things you can do to help in addition to exercise are to get a massage, as well as alternating between heat and ice on your lower back .
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons reports that more than 65 million Americans suffer from low-back pain every year and that back pain is the second most common reason for visits to doctors’ offices. As a fitness professional, as well as someone has worked through lower back issues, I felt compelled to write about this topic. The above recommendations are based on facts , what’s has worked for me , as well as clients I’ve worked with over the years, but with that being said , everyone is different , and no one can predict how fast or how you personally will respond to any treatment of your back injury.
Till next time
You Stay Fit, America
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