Your world was a far bigger place when you didn't have chronic lower back pain, and you’re tired of feeling like a prisoner to the condition. If it’s any consolation, up to 23% of adults around the world are in the same boat.
But your goal is to get out of this overcrowded boat, in which case there are some solutions.
To reclaim your life from chronic lower back pain, our team at Advanced Spine Care and Pain Management present a few key dos and don’ts below.
Do — get help
There are many drivers of back pain, and it’s important to come see us so we can properly identify the underlying problem to see what we’re up against. For example, managing lower back pain caused by degenerative disc disease versus pain caused by a muscle strain are two different things.
Once we have a clear idea about what’s going on in your lower back, we can design a treatment plan that will keep you far more comfortable moving forward.
Don’t — stay in one position for long periods
Whether you’re sitting or you're standing, we urge you not to stay frozen in place for long periods, which allows inflammation to set in. Your body needs to move to encourage the flow of resources that can help keep your pain and inflammation to a minimum.
So, if you’re stuck at a desk or you’re watching TV, get up and move at least once every hour, and be sure to stretch out your lower back (touch your toes, swing your upper body from side to side, etc.).
Don’t — slouch or hunch
Here again, whether you’re standing or you’re sitting, avoid slouching and hunching at all costs. Your spine appreciates being in a neutral position, which means it’s not overly bent forward or arched back. A good tip is to arch your lower back and then release it about 10-15 degrees to a spot where there’s less pressure on the the area (the neutral position)
Do — strengthen your lower spine
One of the best ways to take the teeth out of chronic lower back pain is by strengthening your core muscles, including those in your lower back and around front in your abdomen. Strong muscles in these areas support your spine and keep many conditions, such as arthritis or spinal stenosis, from degenerating further. Click here for some great examples of core-strengthening exercises to get you started.
Don’t — overstress your lower back through lifting and reaching
A great way to really add fuel to your lower back pain fire is to overstress the area by lifting something heavy or by reaching too far for an object. We want you to be mindful of your lower back at all times and protect it from unnecessary stress.
If you need to lift something heavy, use your knees or call someone in to help. If you need to reach up high or awkwardly, take the time to get a ladder or a taller person.
There are other helpful tips for managing lower back pain, such as practicing yoga, getting massages, and using hot and cold therapies. We’re happy to work up a plan that best suits your needs and goals and one that allows you to move through the world without lower back pain digging every step.
To get started, please contact us at one of our offices in Staten Island or Hartsdale, New York.