Reprinted from Chiropractic Wellness Magazine
Written by: Dr. Suzy Osborne
Anyone who has ever suffered from severe lower back pain on a regular basis knows first hand just how debilitating it can be. Lower back pain can be caused by a multitude of factors such as a pinched nerve, injury, muscle spasm, degenerating discs and joints, excess weight, improper body mechanics, and even stress.
Determining the cause of your back pain is the key to preventing and managing low back pain and related symptoms such as radiating leg pain (commonly known as sciatica).
Fortunately, there are some tried and true solutions for low back pain as well as recent advancements that can help you be free of lower back and neck pain for good. There are many holistic and alternative treatments available today that are extremely effective for certain types of back pain, especially those caused by muscle spasms and poor biomechanics.
Take time to research and explore alternative health care systems such as Chiropractic, Massage Therapy, Decompression Therapy, Bodywork, Assisted Stretching, Physical Therapy, Yoga, Stress Reduction Techniques and Plant Based Medicine Solutions.
DON’T: Lock out your knee joints when bending forward, stretching, or exercising. Locking out your legs increases pressure in the discs of the lower spine and stresses the sciatic nerve running down the back of your leg.
DO: Perform your lower back stretches on a consistent basis, even when you are pain free. Regular stretching increases range of motion and prevents problems in the future.
DON’T: Sit with a wallet in your back pocket. A thick wallet acts as a wedge, twisting the pelvis, often resulting in pain and dysfunction over time.
DO: Get up from your desk and move around as often as possible at work. Also when driving on long trips, get out of the car, walk around, and stretch whenever you have the opportunity.
DON’T: Keep your feet planted when lifting and moving objects from one area to another. In addition, be aware of the fact that while wearing a back support, you may feel a false sense of security and lift more weight than you really should.
DO: Use your legs when lifting. Position the object you are lifting as close to your body as possible without leaning forward. Take small steps rather than twisting your torso when transferring objects from one area to another.
DON’T: Cross your legs for extended periods. Not only does this position decrease blood flow to the lower extremities, but it also can cause imbalance in the pelvis and strain the sciatic nerve.
DO: Traction your lower spine by letting your legs hang down while in the deep end of a pool, using a noodle or raft to support your upper body. If you have access to a chin up bar, hang from it while allowing the weight of your body to gently traction your lower back muscles.