Lower back pain can be a real, well… pain! And when it hits, it can feel like nothing else matters, making it difficult to concentrate or relax. The good news is there are certain things we can do to alleviate pain in this particular area. Try these tips…
Take a load off
When we experience back pain, the first thing we want to do is sit or lay down. This is exactly what our back needs! A prime cause of lower back pain is muscle strain. Lying down makes you feel better because it takes the weight off the damaged muscles. Lie flat on your back with your knees raised up and the soles of your feet flat on the floor, couch, or bed.
Watch your weight
Carrying around extra weight can cause havoc on our joints, and increases pressure on your spine – wearing your muscles and the soft tissue around your vertebrae. This could result in throwing off your spine’s alignment and causing chronic lower-back pain. Staying within 10 pounds of your ideal weight may help to ease the pain; LighterLife will have the perfect programme for you.
Not only can sleeping in certain positions help your back pain, but it can also improve your quality of sleep, too. Sleeping on your side with your knees pulled up slightly toward your chest is sometimes suggested to ease lower back pain. However, if you’d rather sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees and another under your lower back. Sleeping on your stomach can be particularly bad for your back.
Don’t slouch at your desk
Let’s be honest, we spend countless hours at work, sitting at our desks, not considering the effect it’s having on our poor back. While sitting, make sure your feet are flat on the floor, and change your posture regularly. Sitting in one position for a long time can cause back pain. Every hour, take a 5-minute walk. Grab a coffee; go see a colleague at the other end of the office. Whatever it is, break up the day by getting up – your back will be most grateful!
Correct your posture
Your lower back is vulnerable to pain caused by bad posture because it supports a lot of your weight.
Check to make sure:
- Your chest is upright
- Your head is elevated and centred over your torso
- Your shoulders are comfortable, creating minimal strain by being lowered
Take up yoga
Researchers from the University of Washington believe that yoga can help with both the emotional and structural triggers of back pain, and that it eases pain faster than most conventional exercise because it promotes deep breathing and relaxation, as well as stretching and strength. Find a yoga class near you.
If you suffer from chronic back pain or have a pre-existing medical condition, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor before undertaking any exercise or posture-correcting movements.