Nearly 80% of people experience lower back pain at some point during their life. Often the symptoms are severe soreness and stiffness when sleeping or getting up in the morning. The pain and discomfort, however, tend to ease up after a few minutes or hours of waking up. So, what exactly causes lower back pain and what can you do about it?
Old Age: As we age, our body tends to lose muscle tone, elasticity, and bone strength. Our spinal discs also lose flexibility due to the loss of fluid. As a result, they may be ineffective in protecting the vertebrae and this may lead to lower back pain.
Poor posture: Leaning over a desk, carrying heavy objects on one side, or working with your arms raised for a long time may cause an uneven load on your spine. The muscles and tissues in your lower back may be pushed beyond their tolerable limit resulting in pain. For more information on postures, have a look at this useful reference.
Lack of Physical Exercise: Research shows that paraspinal muscle atrophy and high fat content are linked with lower back pain because of physical inactivity. Regular exercises often provide the best long-term solution for reducing lower back pain and preventing future episodes of pain.
Sports-Related Injury: Certain sports such as baseball, golf, and bowling that involve twisting and straining your back have a high chance of causing lower back pain. Competitive sports also can cause back pain/injuries if the athletes overstrain themselves. It is thus advisable to consult your doctor who specializes in sports injuries for help in preventing back pain injuries.
How to Prevent Lower Back
There are ways to reduce your risk of suffering from lower back pain. Try these suggestions:
- Avoid prolonged sitting
- Maintain good posture when seated
- Face down on a mat and stretch your body lengthwise
- Use proper technique when lifting or performing (lift with legs, not your back)
- Maintain ideal body weight
- Have enough sleep
Don’t let lower back pain to plague you at some point in your life. Maintaining good posture and participating in regular exercises are great ways to strengthen your back and keep lower back pain at bay, regardless of age.