Most of us will experience some back pain at some point. Around 80% of the adult population in the US suffers from back pain at some point in any given year. This pain can keep us from working, playing or from getting a good night’s sleep. Learn why your lower back is especially prone to pain and injury and how you can protect your back.
Why Your Lower Back Is More Prone to Injury
Our lower backs have an amazing level of strength and flexibility. However, these are also qualities that make the lower back especially prone to pain and injury.
Your back is, by default, under a great deal of strain. It supports the weight of your upper body. Its flexibility can too easily become overextensions that cause muscle strain and other issues. Ligaments can stretch or tear. Heavy lifting can cause a range of issues.
Poor posture can force your back into unnatural positions. These make you more vulnerable to muscle tension, muscle strains and a range of soft tissue issues.
On top of all of this, your lower back is also home to many nerves. These run through the spine and into your lower extremities. Lower back problems can also lead to pain in your hips, legs and more.
5 Tips to Prevent Lower Back Pain
While this part of your body is prone to pain and injury, there are steps you can take to prevent it. These include:
1. Building a strong core.
Your core muscles are those that provide support for your lower back and your torso. Cardiovascular exercise like walking or running increases blood flow to the area. This provides healing hydration and nutrients to make a stronger spine. Gentle strengthening exercises can make your back more resistant to injury. Your doctor can discuss which ones are the best for building strength without risking injury.
2. Lift properly.
When you lift heavy objects, use proper technique. This involves carrying the weight in your legs instead of in the more delicate muscles of your back. No matter how young and strong you are, using your strongest muscles for the job can protect more vulnerable ones from injury.
3. Improve your posture.
Slouching doesn’t just look bad. It places pressure on your back by pushing it out of proper alignment. Over time, it can cause painful degenerated discs. Check yourself throughout the day and stand or sit up straight when you catch yourself using poor posture. Get up and walk around often if you sit a lot at work. Use an ergonomic chair to support the proper curvature of your spine.
4. Eat healthy and get plenty of fluids.
If you are not getting enough hydration throughout the day, every tissue in your body can suffer, including those in your back. Eat a range of healthy foods to ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients you need. Avoid overindulgence in alcohol, as this can contribute to poor general health. The better your health is in general, the healthier your back will be.
5. Be safe and smart about sports.
Many of the people who we see with sports injuries have injuries in their backs. Be careful on the field and stay aware of the ways to protect your back health. Wear the proper shoes and correct your gait if it is causing issues with your back’s alignment. Always warm up to prevent painful muscle strains. By playing smart, you can reduce your chance of a sports injury that can sideline you from the activities you enjoy.
Back pain shouldn’t be accepted as inevitable. By addressing potential causes of pain, you can reduce your chances of injury. Take care of your general health to protect your back. Engage in activities in a way that is least likely to cause you injury. By taking care now, you can avoid potentially chronic injuries later on. Already dealing with back pain? We can help. Get in touch to make an appointment. We can find the source of your pain, treat it and help prevent it from occurring again in the future.