One of the most common problems seen in a primary care medical practice is low back pain. It accounts for more discomfort, lost work and productivity, and frustration for many patients than any other malady. Some think it is the price we, as humans, pay for walking upright. The lower back is a complex structure made of bone, muscles, connective tissue and nerves that, along with our legs, hold us erect, allow us to bend, run, twist, catch a football, or just lay down and rest. However, once a problem arises, the complexity of its structure makes pain in the lower back difficult to diagnose and treat. The lower back consists of a spinal column from the lumbar region of the mid-back down to the tail bone or coccyx. The spinal column consists of 5 lumbar vertebrae which are cylindrical bony structures with a ring like component behind the cylinder also made of bone. In between the vertebrae are disc shaped cushions filled with a gelatinous central core known as the nucleus pulposis
Practically everyone experiences low back pain at some point in life. Some experience it more frequently than others. If you struggle with frequent episodes of low back pain, here are some tips to help you prevent it.
1. Think BEFORE You Lift : By thinking about how to lift properly, you can prevent 90 percent of the causes for a sudden, sharp pain in the back. Place your feet shoulder width apart, bend the knees and tighten up your abdominal wall; all of this is done before you lift.
2. Provide a Good Base of Support : Think as if you are a chair; one leg is pretty wobbly. Two legs are better than one, especially with the feet widely placed for extra support. Place a hand down on a counter top for even more support and now you are a three-legged chair. And both legs and arms in contact with something solid will give your spine the most stable base of support possible.
Backache; Low back pain; Lumbar pain; Pain - back
Exercise is important for preventing future back pain. Through exercise you can:
Improve your posture
Strengthen your back and improve flexibility
A complete exercise program should include aerobic activity (like walking, swimming, or riding a stationary bicycle) as well as stretching and strength training.
To prevent back pain, it is also very important to learn to lift and bend properly. Follow these tips:
If an object is too heavy or awkward, get help.
Spread your feet apart to give a wide base of support.
Stand as close to the object you are lifting as possible.
Bend at your knees, not at your waist.
Tighten your stomach muscles as you lift the object up or lower it down.
Hold the object as close to your body as you can.
Lift using your leg muscles.
As you stand up with the ob...
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