WHAT IS YOUR LOWER BACK PAIN TELLING YOU?
March 15, 2019 by sunil
If you’re like most people, your first response to lower back pain is to ignore it and hope it goes away. But lower back pain is often your body’s way of letting you know something is amiss. Read on to learn what your lower back pain may be telling you:
Correct your posture
The typical person sits for over 8 hours per day. You might not think anything of this, but when combined with poor posture this can take a serious toll on your lower back. One way poor posture causes lower back pain is by, over time, making anatomical changes to your spine; which can constrict your blood vessels and nerves. In addition, poor posture can cause lower back pain by placing additional strain on the muscles, discs, and joints in your back. Here are some common posture mistakes:
- Slouching with your shoulders and head towards your computer Sitting on the front edge of your chair, thereby not using your chair’s lumbar support
- Sitting too far away from your desk or computer screen
Your back pain may be caused by poor posture if it subsides after switching positions (such as moving from sitting to standing), or if it coincides with the start of a new job or the use of a new chair. If your lower back pain is caused by poor posture, your lower back is telling you to fix it straight away. This includes sitting with good posture, which entails:
- Keeping both of your feet flat on the floor (you can use a footrest if need be)
- Sitting with your shoulders straight and your back flush against the chair
- Making sure your knees are at the same level as your hips
- Flexing your arms at 75 to 90 degrees at the elbows
In addition, you need to get out of your chair and move every 30 minutes; as your back was not designed to sit in the same position for very long.
Time to lose some weight
People who are obese are more likely to experience back pain, joint pain, and muscle pain. The reason for this may be (in part) that extra weight around your stomach places increased stress on your lower back by pulling your pelvis forward. People who are overweight may also experience lower back pain as a result of a problem relating to a lumbar spinal disc caused by excess weight. But the good news is that losing weight can help reduce your current lower back pain, and it also minimizes the possibility of future episodes of lower back pain. So if you are overweight, your back pain may be telling you that is is time to slim down. Here is how you can get started:
- Exercise. Exercise is an important component to almost every weight loss program. But they key is to not overexert yourself in the beginning. Instead, find a low impact aerobic activity you enjoy and begin slowly. For example, you can start with walking for as little as 5 minutes per day, and slowly work your way up to 30 to 40 minutes. You will also want to incorporate stretching and strengthening exercises into your routine. As a word of caution, lower back pain may discourage you from exercising, but a lack of exercise will likely make your back pain worse.
- Eat healthy. To lose weight, you need to burn more calories you take in. A large part of this is reducing your caloric intake. This entails eating smaller portions, but also eating healthier foods. Do your best to avoid processed foods, and instead focus on foods found in nature like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Like exercise, it is best to make changes slowly to your diet; as people who do this are most likely to keep the weight off over the long-term.
Of course, there are a number of other reasons your lower back may be hurting, such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis. So the best way to tell what your lower back pain is telling you is to meet our experts, as we can help you find an accurate diagnosis.