5 tips to help reduce low back pain
Did you know that 85% of the population experiences low back pain at some stage in their life? 90% of these cases will resolve over 3 months, although 50% will have at least one recurring episode.
Living with low back pain can be tremendously frustrating both physically and mentally as it limits one in their daily activities as well as causing great emotional stress when trying to cope with pain. There are however ways that we can help reduce symptoms, prevent reoccurrence, optimise functional abilities, and increase Quality of life.
Here are 5 tips research has highlighted being helpful in alleviating low back pain:
1.Participation in low impact exercise and stretching such as walking, swimming, cycling, hydrotherapy, and yoga. It’s important to stay physically active and maintain the strength and flexibility in the muscles that are supporting your spine. The activities suggested allows that without adding any further stress to the area.
2. Addressing posture to reduce abnormal curvature and excessive loading on the spine. Try avoiding slouching and focus on strengthening your postural muscles as this will reduce the loading on your lumbar spine and work wonders in relieving pain.
3. Adopt healthy diet and lifestyle habits to maintain a healthy body weight.
Excess weight contributes to additional stress on the spine and connective tissues, which may be a factor to ongoing back pain. Take the steps to change your habits to achieve a healthy body weight, and you’ll notice that pain reduction will follow. There are plenty of good health practitioners out there that can guide you through this. Don’t be afraid to seek help if you need it.
4. Build a strong support network and participate in enjoyable activities to battle poor mental health as this often accompanies chronic pain. Chronic pain sufferers are more likely to develop psychological challenges that will interfere with day-to-day life. It can be a struggle to cope with lifestyle changes brought on by low back pain, while also juggling other responsibilities. Finding ways to manage and prevent depression through good support and following appropriate pain management techniques should therefore be highly prioritised.
5. Be mindful of avoiding certain activities that increases the risk of mechanical stress on the spine and exacerbates pain. We are not always aware of the triggers but pay close attention to what movements you put your body through in your daily routine or activities that you perform repetitively on a regular basis. Certain actions can lead to worsening of pain and you may benefit from avoiding these for preventative purposes such as; high impact, heavy lifting, poor posture, vibrations, and sitting or standing for long durations at a time.
If you are suffering low back pain and need further guidance on how to manage this, please contact our team and one of our Allied Health professionals will be happy to help you with a plan moving forward.
Written by Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Therese Sioestroem