Millions of people suffer from low back pain, making even the simplest tasks difficult. LBP is quite common, with an estimated 70-85% of the population experiencing at least one episode in their lifetime. For 90% of these individuals, it will not be a one-time occurrence (4-6 episodes on average).
But there are many ways to manage the pain and improve your quality of life. This article will explore some of the best ways to deal with low back pain. We will also discuss how to prevent it from happening in the first place.
What Is Low Back Pain and What Are the Causes?
Low back pain (LBP) is a condition that affects the lower back. The main symptom of LBP is a pain in the lower back that can vary from mild to severe. LBP is a very common condition that affects people of all ages.
There are many causes of LBP, but muscle strain is the most common cause. Other causes include:
- Bulging or ruptured disks
- Muscle or ligament strain
How to Identify if You Have Low Back Pain? – Low Back Pain Symptoms
Most people with LBP will experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Stiffness or pain in the lower back
- Difficulty moving around
- Muscle spasms
- Pain that radiates down the leg
- Posture problems
In some cases, LBP can also cause numbness, tingling, or weakness in the leg.
5 Ways to Manage Low Back Pain
Though LBP can be quite painful, there are many things you can do to manage the pain and improve your quality of life.
1. Keep Moving, Keep Stretching
Not only can having strong muscles help alleviate back pain, but it may also prevent future occurrences. Exercise and stretching help to strengthen the muscles, as well as increase flexibility and range of motion.
Staying active is important, even if you are in pain. But be sure to listen to your body and take it easy when needed.
There are many ways to strengthen your core and muscles, such as yoga, Pilates, and tai chi. A great all-around exercise is a flying position: simply lie on your stomach and lift your legs and arms.
Who doesn’t love a good massage? Massage can help to relieve muscle tension and pain. It can also improve circulation and increase the range of motion.
There are many different types of massages, such as Swedish, deep tissue, and trigger point. Try a few different types to see what works best for you.
3. Keep Good Posture
An old saying: sit up straight and stand tall. Good posture actually means moving into a slightly different position to unload your spine every now and then, and it helps to reduce strain on the back and spine.
When sitting, be sure to keep your feet flat on the floor and your knees at a 90-degree angle. If you must sit for long periods of time, be sure to take breaks every 30 minutes or so to move around.
Keep your weight evenly distributed on both feet, and avoid slouching when standing. If you have to stand for long periods, prop one foot up on a stool or box.
4. Calm Your Mind
According to research, your state of mind has a greater impact on whether you’ll experience low back pain than clinical tests such as MRIs or disk injections. Individuals who commonly have chronic pain or difficulty managing life’s challenges are almost three times more likely to suffer from back pain.
That’s why finding ways to relax and de-stress is so essential. Consider trying meditation, breathing exercises, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), aromatherapy, or yoga.
5. Keep an eye on your Weight
Carrying around extra weight can strain your spine and back muscles. Losing even a few pounds can help to reduce pain and improve overall health.
If you are having trouble losing weight, talk to your doctor about the right plan.
Low back pain is a very common condition, but there are many things you can do to manage the pain. Keep moving, stretching, and exercising to strengthen your muscles. Massage can also help to relieve tension and pain. And finally, be sure to keep a healthy mind by finding ways to relax and de-stress.
If you don’t have enough equipment for an effective workout at home, consider joining a gym or taking group fitness classes. Check out our gym membership options! We have a variety of programs to choose from, and our trainers can help you create a routine that’s perfect for you.
The best part about our gym is that all our staff are university-trained exercise physiologists, which means they can work with you one-on-one to create a safe and effective program tailored to your individual needs.