Lower back pain is far more common than we think.
Stop for a second right now and listen to your back. Are you sitting or standing? Is there any discomfort in your lower back – even a little bit? If the answer is yes, then you are one of the many that are experiencing lower back pain. This pain can cause daily annoyances and discomfort. No one wants to dread bending over to pick something up in fear of feeling that slight pain – life’s too short! Luckily, there are ways to combat this pain and to possibly make it disappear altogether.
There are many stretches you can do to help relieve lower back discomfort. These stretches don’t just include stretching the lower back but other parts of your body as well. Your hip flexors, pelvic floor, inner thighs, and even the upper back are all areas of the body that need to be stretched out in order to help your lower back. Now, stretching may sound like a quick fix, but keep in mind you should be able to hold these stretches for 3 to 5 minutes. If you’re given a stretch that you can not hold for that long, make sure to ask for a modification from a physical therapist.
If your body is screaming at you and you’re ignoring it and you’re doing that long enough, something is going to give. Your body has these warning signals to tell you that you are in pain for some reason so don’t ignore them.
2. Sitting vs. Standing
It is so important in today’s day and age that you are not sitting at your desk or in you car for too long. A lot of jobs require hours of sitting but there are ways to get yourself moving around so your lower back isn’t getting too tense.
- Set a reminder on your phone for every 45 minutes to get up and move around wherever you are.
- Go for a walk on your lunch break,
- take a trip to the restroom, or
- take a lap around the office and get to chatting it up with your coworkers.
- You can also purchase a standing desk if your workplace allows it. It is well worth the investment!
Getting up and giving your back a chance to stretch allows for the disks in your back to rehydrate.
I know, I know. You didn’t want to hear it, but exercise is a huge factor in lower back pain. Exercise allows for your body to release endorphins which are beneficial for many reasons than just one. Strengthening your core allows for stabilization in your back. However, it’s not only important to have a strong outer core (doing sit ups, crunches, etc.) but to have a strong inner core as well (see video below and visit my YouTube channel for more core videos.) Strengthening your whole body is also a smart idea. Having a stronger base to keep your back working less, makes for less discomfort in your lower back.
Of course, you can’t mention exercise without mentioning maintaining a healthy weight, too! Having more weight on your stomach for your body to hold can cause strain on your back. You might have to make the conscious decision to cut the fat – literally – and start healthier eating habits. Paying attention to what you eat is so important. If have any irritable bowel movement, it can possibly be contributing to that back pain you’re experiencing.
The best solution to your problem is likely getting a personalized look at your back…seek out a physical therapist!
5. Getting evaluated
Being seen by a physical therapist can help pinpoint exactly what this lower back pain is. Is it just lower back pain or is it pelvic floor dysfunction? Who knows? Well, a PT specialist does! Getting evaluated by a physical therapist can help you learn so much more about your body and what it needs. Some things physical therapists may suggest is the use of essential oils or using a small ball as a way to release soft tissue. You can also get stretches and exercises that fit your body and its needs.
Remember to listen to your body and give it what it’s asking for. You’re the only one living in your body, might as well make it comfortable!