So what is lower back pain, and what causes it?
This is a question I am asked every day. Lower back pain is such a common problem for many Australians. Its estimated that at least 1 in 6 people have back problems and that 28% of those people will lead to some sort of disability due to back pain. 1
This can have such a massive impact on our daily lives, affecting your quality time with your family or friends, spending time with your children, your ability to perform your best at work, enjoying your hobbies and exercise or even just looking after yourself from getting dressed and ability to sleep well.
There are many different types of lower back pain, so understanding where your back pain comes from is very important to understanding how to relieve your pain. This can include areas such as:
- the vertebral joints of the spine and the discs between them
- the muscles and ligaments that attach to the spine or surround the spine
- nerve entrapment or irritation
Therefore, it could be very important to get checked by a chiropractor to identify your underlying cause of your back pain, to get to the root cause of your problem.
Some of the most common causes of lower back pain can include:
- poor posture
- sitting for too long
- a lack of exercise, strength and conditioning
- workplace injury – such as lifting incorrectly or repetitive lifting
- sporting injuries
- bulging discs
- arthritis, properly known as degeneration
- abnormal spinal curvatures such as scoliosis or kyphosis/lordosis
5 tips to improve your lower back pain
Improve your work ergonomics
Making sure that we have good posture while we are at work and taking regular breaks is very important. Th Poor postures long-term can lead to increased stresses on our bodies.
It is recommended that we take regular breaks if we are sitting too long such as a quick walk around the room every hour or so. It is also important that we are sitting correctly while at our desk.
Ensure the middle of the computer screen is at eye level and our arms and feet are nice and relaxed and at 90-degree angles.
At least thirty minutes of moderate exercise where we are slightly elevating our heart rate can be very beneficial to improve lower back pain and improve our overall health. Exercise like riding, swimming, walking and running can be very beneficial to our overall health.
Basic strength and conditioning exercises can also be helpful to engage our core strength to ensure we have a stronger spine. Exercises such as lunges, glut bridges, planking and squatting are great for this.
Stretching exercises such as, Pilates or Yoga can be a great idea to relief any tension that might be in the spine and to help relax any tight muscles.
Two of my favourite poses include ‘child’s pose’ and ‘upward facing dog’ or ‘cobra’. This can help to mobilize and stretch out the structures in your lower back. When we do any stretching they should be held for thirty seconds and done as often as needed.
Check your sleep posture and support
You can develop your own rituals of things to remind your body that it is time to sleep – some people find it useful to do relaxing stretches or breathing exercises for 15 minutes before bed each night, or sit calmly with a cup of tea (camomile is best).
See a chiropractor (or health professional of your choice)
If you are not sure what is causing your problems, then it might be a good time to get checked by a chiropractor to identify the underlying cause of your back pain, to get to the root cause of your problem. Chiropractic works by restoring the natural health and mobility of the spine and nervous system to help get you back to a more optimal level of health and wellbeing.