Whether your job is physically demanding or you simply need to shovel your car out from the recent blizzard, we all can benefit from remembering a few simple cues to prevent the onset of low back pain.
- Regular Exercise
Physical Therapists are movement experts who will evaluate you to ensure you receive a safe and effective exercise prescription that will address your overall mobility and stability through activities related to your goals, hobbies, and previous recreational activities. Both land and aquatic activities can be helpful.
- Weight Loss
Through daily activity modifications (taking the stairs, parking further away), a balanced diet, proper hydration, and avoiding frequent sitting you can maintain a healthy weight based on your body-type and prevent excessive strain on your lower spine.
- Avoid Smoking
Nicotine and countless other ingredients in cigarettes not only cause your spine to actually “age” faster, but those elements also slow your bodies ability to heal itself, leading to chronic pain. This one is simple: if you are serious about getting better, DO NOT SMOKE.
- Proper Posture
Sitting with a forward flexed (“slouched”) posture can increase the load of your spine by upwards of 150-200%! By doing this repeatedly we cause our muscles to adaptively shorten into positions that actually keep us in bad postures. It is crucial to limit our sitting time and to change positions frequently.
Between 65-80% of us will experience some form of low back pain in our lifetime, making it crucial to protect against poor mechanics and faulty movements. Lacking strength and flexibility won’t keep you from surviving as a human being, but you’ll likely pay for it. Prevention is crucial to living the life you want for yourself.
For more information refer to http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00175