Managing Back Pain

Managing Back Pain

Are you feeling stiff through your back?

Are you finding it difficult to get on with day-to-day activities?

Here’s a bit of information regarding back pain and how to manage it at home.

 

There are many things that can cause low back pain, including:

  • Disc bulges
  • Nerve supplies in the back that may be irritated
  • Disc and vertebrae degenerations
  • Muscles of the lower back may be strained
  • Tightness through your hip flexors
  • Inability to properly activate the core muscles

But there are many common activities we can adjust to prevent/manage your low back pain, like:

  • Poor work ergonomics – A lot of office workers have poor work set up. Their chairs are usually either too high or low relative to their desks. To check if your chair is at the correct height, you must be able to sit with your arms bent at 90 degrees while resting on the desk. Your back should be supported on the back of the chair. Check, as well, to see whether you are reaching too far to use your mouse and keyboard. If you are, bring all items closer to your body so your shoulders are not sitting in an outreached position. Make sure the computer is at eye level as well so you’re not slouching when typing to look at the screen or overarching your back to look at a high computer screen.

  • Poor posture in standing and sitting – A handy tip is to check your posture in the mirror! Turn so you can see your spine from the side. Observe where your hips are positioned relative to your anklebone. Are they aligned? If not, correct it so that when you draw a straight line from your hip down to your ankle that it is perpendicular to the ground. Once you have corrected that, check to see where your upper body is relative to your pelvis. Is it too far forward or back? To check, place one hand on your breastbone and another on your pubic bone. In proper alignment your breastbone and pubic bone are on top of one another. And remember, practice makes perfect in maintaining overall good posture!

  • Incorrect way of picking up items off the floor – Are you picking up items from the ground using your back? Are you rounding your spine? These improper postural positions could result in injury, so try instead to move through your legs! Go into a squat position with a lengthened spine to pick things up. If you are unable to squat, you can lower yourself in to a lunge instead, touching one knee to the ground for support.
  • Carrying children or heavy bags – When carrying anything heavy, switch your core on first. From here bend through the hips and knees keeping your back in a neutral position. Use your legs to stand up!

 

Here are some exercises/stretches that could help relieve symptoms of lower back pain:

Stretch hip flexors

Child’s pose

Side to side

Cat/camel

Foam roller lower back

Book openings

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