To effectively treat your low back pain you need to find the root cause of the problem.Do not delay if you have persistent or continuous low back pain, an early diagnosis by your doctor or chiropractor can vastly improve your chances of recovery. An accurate assessment of the cause of pain requires a physical examination and often laboratory tests and x-ray studies.Your doctor can reveal the extent of an injury, if it is disk or ligament or muscle related,if you need to lose weight or if you have posture problem or muscle strength deficiency.
Once you have a complete diagnosis and know the root cause of your low back pain you will have a much better idea as regards treatment and exercise etc.You will also have to assess what changes you need to make to your lifestyle to help you in your lower back recovery. For instance what activities have aggravated or lessen’d the pain,what are your daily home routines,recreational and social habits?How to adjust your daily routine to make time for treatment, exercise and recovery etc.
The following tips can lessen pain and help maintain a healthy lower back.
- Lifting Always bend with your knees not your back.Lift with your legs,keeping back straight and hold objects tight to your body.Never lift objects bent over with legs straight,never lift objects higher than chest or shoulder level,never twist or turn when lifting.Get help when load is heavy and avoid sudden load shifts and always be sure of your footing.
- Working Work surfaces such as counter or table tops,work benches ,ironing boards and sinks should be at a height which requires neither bending or stretching up.Activities that normally require bending such as gardening or cleaning of floors or bath tubs,repair work etc is best done on all fours.Never bend over to pick up something from the floor no matter how small the item,always use your legs bending the knees with back straight.Extend handles to avoid bending over like brooms,garden tools appliances etc.
- Standing and walking If you have to stand or walk for long periods wear comfortable shoes and avoid high heels.Don’t stand in one position for too long,if this is unavoidable try rest one foot on a box or stool so that the knee is bent.This keeps the back straight .Walk or stand with good posture keeping your head high and pelvis forward.Walk or stand with hands clasped behind back to help with posture.Use lifts instead of stairs.
- Driving Move seat forward to keep knees bent and higher than your hips and back straight.Don’t drive sitting far back from the steering wheel. Stretching for the pedals and steering wheel increases low back curve and strain.
- Sitting Ensure you sit in a chair with proper back support,the chair must be low enough to place both feet on the floor with knees higher than the hips.Don’t slump but sit firmly against the back of the chair.Don’t sit in a chair that is too high or too far from your work, avoid leaning forward or arching your back.You can cross your legs or put your feet up on a stool.Avoid sitting for too long ,do take breaks to relieve or stretch your back
- Sleeping A good nights rest on a firm mattress is greatly beneficial for you and your back.Don’t sleep on soft,sagging no support mattresses or couches.Sway back and back strain will result.The best sleeping position is on your side with knees bent,if you must sleep on your back place two cushions under your knees.Avoid sleeping on your stomach as this could place strain on your back.
Keep your back warm especially when you feel pain or discomfort ,you can use a hot water bottle to help soothe your back.
If you are experiencing back strain give your back a break .Here are some resting positions that can relieve your back by straightening and stretching your spine and tilting your pelvis forward.
1.Assume a squatting position down on your haunches holding on to the back of a chair with back straightened.Hold from 2 to 5 minutes.
2.For quick relief while standing, lean against a support like a wall clasp your hands around one knee and pull up against your body,hold for 5 to 10 seconds, alternate with the other leg.You can also do this in a sitting position.3.Lean forward in your chair and lower your head to your knees ,hold position from 2 to 5 minutes.
4.Lie on your back flat on the floor and rest your legs knees bent on a chair pulled close against the back of your thighs.For best relief hold this position for at least 15 minutes.