3 Ways to Prevent and Alleviate Low Back Pain
Many of the patients I see come in for Physical Therapy suffer from low back pain. Low back pain can be related to something as forceful as a car accident or a sports-related injury. As well, low back pain can also be a result of something as simple as incorrect posture while sitting at work. In fact, some patients will even have increased low back pain related to improper positions with sleeping. The first type of incurred low back pain is hard to prevent because most patients are playing a sport or performing an activity and their low back symptoms occur as result of improper technique. Patients also can acquire low back pain due to improper bending and/or a lifting activity.
1. Improper Posture
Let’s take a look at some improper posture while sitting at a traditional workspace and how that can cause an increase in low back pain. The picture to the bottom right shows a person with poor posture versus the correct posture while using a computer at a typical desk space. Increased low back pain is becoming more commonplace due to the new modern day workspace, especially when poor posture is practiced. The second photo to the bottom left is of the non-traditional workspace and how to correct your posture.
2. Exercises For Relief
Now let us discuss some simple but effective exercises a patient can perform in order to reduce low back pain and increase proper posture while sitting at work or at home. Exercise C is called a standing backbend. It will require getting up out of your chair at work a few times a day and performing the standing backbends 5-10 times. Exercise A is called “up on elbows” and you can start and end your day in this position for 3-5minutes. Finally, the lazy press-up (Exercise B) can also be performed at the start and end of the day for 2 sets of 10-12 reps. The below pictures show a proper example of how to perform these exercises while at work or at home.
3. Improper Sleeping
Another common cause of low back pain is sleeping in the wrong position. Many patients will tell me they slept the wrong way one night and woke up feeling increased low back pain. As well, many of these same patients report having increased symptoms in the morning. Before I go into the examples of poor positions while sleeping versus proper positions I want to say the worst position a patient with low back pain can place themselves in would be sleeping in the fetal position. Also sleeping on your stomach with one leg hiked up in a flexed position can increase the level of low back pain. Those particular positions place the lumbar discs in a poor biomechanical position and can increase or cause further disc damage. Here a few examples of poor postures while sleeping versus proper posture.
I hope this blog post served as a helpful guide on how to prevent and alleviate low back pain. At Integrative Physical Therapy of NYC, we find being able to identify and correct these common low back pain problems often times makes all the difference. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] with any questions related to this or any physical injury.