Low back pain, whether it is chronic, acute, or episodic, is a very common condition among adults and causes more disability than any other condition.
National survey data indicates that at least one-fourth (24%) of Americans have experienced low back pain within the past three months. Research suggests that at least one-fourth of Americans will experience low back pain in their lifetime. This means that if you don’t feel it now, you’ll likely have it in the future, especially as back pain increases with age.
Experts say that lower back pain can be caused by overuse injuries, muscle strains, ligament strains, or trauma. Sedentary behavior is another major culprit. In a 2019 study published in the journal Applied Ergonomics, a link was found between static sitting and chronic low back pain for people who work at telemarketing centers.
Robert Gillanders is a Charlottesville physical therapist. How to Relieve Sciatica Pain“usually results from a combination deconditioning and bad body mechanics.” A history of back pain is a sign that there may be more. He adds that if you have had an injury in your past, it is likely you will get it again.
You don’t have to rest if lower back pain is a problem. Walking regularly is a good idea. Gillanders states that walking is one of the best things for your back. “But, it’s low-hanging fruit that’sn’t used that often.” Research has shown that walking can reduce pain, disability, quality and avoidance in people suffering from chronic low back pain.
Gillanders suggests that you use heat or ice to relieve lower back pain, whether it’s short-term or long-term. A foam roller can also be used to loosen tension in the lower back. Alex Garreau, a Chicago physical therapist, said that it can help you engage in diaphragmatic breaths. Slowly inhale and let your belly expand. Then exhale slowly to allow your belly to fall. Garreau says that this slows down breathing can slow down pain signals, and have a calming impact.
Lower back pain can be a sign of nerve compression or compression. If the pain lasts more than one week, or is stopping you from engaging in the activities that you want, you should consult a doctor.
6 exercises that help with pain
Physical therapists recommend the following exercises to prevent or ease lower back pain.
- Supine bridge
Place your hands on the ground and lie on your back. Keep your back straight while tightening your abdominal muscles and glutes. Next, lift your hips off of the floor by slowly lifting your hips. Slowly lower your hips and butt to the floor. Repeat this 10 times.
- Bird Dog
You will be able to get down to your stomach on your fours. Your hands should be directly below your shoulders. Keep your head aligned with your spine. Lift your right arm forward, and your left leg straight ahead. Then, pause and then return to the original position. Continue with the right arm and left leg. Throughout the exercise, keep your abdominal muscles tight and your back flat. Keep your hips straight. Each side, do 10 repetitions.
- Cat Camel
Begin on your fours with your hands under your shoulders, your knees under your hips, and your hands directly below your hips. Slowly bring your chin towards your chest, and then slowly raise your head toward the ceiling. Next, pause and relax your shoulders. Reverse to the original position. Repeat the 10 times.
- The Child’s Pose
Keep your hands and knees on the ground, but push your butt forward onto your heels. Your upper body should be lowered to the floor. Next, extend your arms outwards and place your forehead near the floor. This position should be held for between 20 and 30 seconds.
- Double Knee-to-Chest Stretch
Place your hands on your stomach, with your legs bent. Pull your knees towards your chest, lift your feet and hug your legs with your arms. This position should be held for between 20 and 30 seconds. Keep your back flat against the ground. Then, release. Continue this exercise a few more times.
- Lower Back Rotation Stretch
Place your hands on the ground and lie on your back. Your shoulders should be flat on the ground. Keep your knees bent and your knees together. Then, slowly let your knees roll to the right. After a five second pause, slowly return your knees back to the original position. Slowly roll your knees to the left side of the body. Pause for five seconds and then return to the original position. This can be repeated several times for each side.
Warning: Pay attention to your body while you are doing these Exercises for Lower Back Pain. Cladis states, “Don’t do anything if it hurts.” If you try to force the pain away, it can worsen your symptoms.