Chronic low back pain is a common problem and can affect your work, family and recreational activities. While there is no specific cure for low back pain, there are some steps you can take now to start managing the symptoms coming from your back.
One of the most common causes of low back pain is poor sitting posture. The strain on the back while sitting in a slouched position can cause excessive pressure on the joints, muscles and discs, causing pain. Learn to sit with correct posture and maintain that posture at all times to help decrease or eliminate your low back pain. Also be sure your workspace is set up properly at home and at work.
Stop waiting for the pain to go away
If you have had pain for more than a week or two, see your doctor or physical therapist. (Many states allow direct access to physical therapy.) While you may be tempted to manage the pain yourself, the earlier you start treatment, the sooner you’ll recover.
Stop lefting heavy items
One of the top causes of low back pain is frequent heavy lifting. If your job requires that you lift heavy items, ask your employer if special equipment (or an extra set of hands) is available to help ease the load on your lower back.
Another common cause of low back pain is frequent forward bending that can cause increased pressure on the discs in the back, leading to muscle aches and pains. So limit your forward bending, and be sure to perform low back exercises that focus on backward bending to help offset the repetitive forward bending.
Stop Trying Passive Treatments
Passive treatments like heat, ice or ultrasound may feel good, but their effect is usually only temporary. Most research indicates that active self-care exercise and postural correction is an effective remedy for low back pain. A visit to your physical therapist can help determine which exercises are best for your specific condition.
Stop Avoiding Exercise
It may hurt to get started, but exercise is proven to be beneficial for most low back pain. It helps keep your core muscles strong, provides increased circulation to your joints and discs, and it gives you a sense of well-being.
Stop focusing on a diagnosis
Up to 85% of low back pain can be classified as “non-specific”, meaning that the root of your pain cannot be pinpointed to one specific problem. While common diagnostic tests for low back pain can show the bones, discs and joints with great detail, no test can tell the exact cause of your pain with 100% accuracy.