The Do’s and Don’ts of Low Back Pain
By Steve Kravitz, PT, DPT, CST
It seems as though low back pain can be felt at the most inconvenient times.
According to the National Institute of Neurological and Disorders and Stroke, low back pain is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed worked days.
And what’s more, at least 80% of Americans will experience low back pain in their lifetimes.
The symptoms of low back pain vary on an individual level and there are many factors that have an impact on the pain experience. Pain in the lower back is often felt due to a strain in your muscles or a problem with spinal discs, such as herniated or degenerative disc. Mental and emotional health, financial stress, exercise, and activity level can also influence the level of pain felt. Patients who experience pain in the lower back often experience muscle spasms, difficulty standing up or walking, or possibly even stinging or burning pain that moves from the low back to the back of your thighs.
What to Do to Keep Your Back Healthy
There are many ways to prevent low back pain. Practicing prevention techniques may also help lessen the severity of your symptoms if you have a lower back injury. Thirty minutes of exercise a day can increase your muscle strength and flexibility. Walking through your local park, swimming, or the stationary bike at your gym can also help do the trick. Yoga helps increase your flexibility, strengthen your muscles, and increase posture. Regardless of the exercise, it’s important to stretch before. It’s also very important to be mindful of lifting heavy objects and make sure to lift from your knees, pull your stomach muscles in, and keep your head down and in line with a straight back. This may help prevent pulling any muscles or any other injuries in your back. Maintaining proper nutrition and diet to reduce and prevent weight gain is also important, since weight around your waistline can cause a strain on your lower back muscles.
What Not To Do When You Have Low Back Pain
If your back pain has occurred for 12 weeks or longer, then you are experiencing chronic back pain. This is still the case even if your back pain is still occurring after your initial injury or underlying cause of acute low back pain has been treated. Leaving your back pain untreated can result in further injury and pain to worsen. For patients who have experienced a period of extended inactivity, a regimen of low-impact exercises is typically advised. Generally, I provide patients with a list of low-impact, age-appropriate exercises that are specifically targeted to strengthen your lower back and abdominal muscles to prevent worsening your injury. Physical therapy programs focus on strengthening your core muscle groups that support your low back. This will improve mobility and flexibility, as well as promote proper positioning and posture.
Steve Kravitz Physical Therapy provides a multidisciplinary approach to healthcare in order to ensure the highest quality care for patients in Nashville, Tennessee and New York, New York. Treatments are a unique, personalized approach to Physical Therapy which has been developed over twenty years to aid in ultimate pain relief.
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