Preventing Lower Back Pain

low back painA lot of people suffer from lower back pain, and there are so many reason why we get it such as bowing down to pick up a heavy object and carrying it for several meters, or twisting the back while tending a garden for six hours, or playing two rounds of golf without stretching beforehand. All of these activities have one common factor: all of them are acts of carelessness.

Your lower back can tolerate a certain amount of weight and any excess will be manifested by giving a person unbearable pain that can range from a few days’ aches to the constant pain of a herniated disc. An injured back makes you more vulnerable to future (and even worse) injury, which is why back injury should be avoided at all costs. A simple back injury can alter your quality of life and possibly your livelihood, especially if it becomes chronic. To prevent lower back pain, follow these suggestions that would help you use your back sensibly.

Be conscious about your position – We tend to rush things when it comes to carrying a load. It is much faster to bend the back forward while keeping the legs straight before grasping an object on the floor-even if it is lightweight like paper-rather than squatting down first, keeping the back straight while bending the hips and knees. However, the first position puts your lower back at a greater risk of pain.

Carry an object with care – When carrying a heavy load, turn your body using the hips instead of your shoulders. Doing so keeps your spine aligned. You should also avoid lifting heavy objects above your shoulders and away from the body. Hold the object as close to your body as possible, at the level of your navel. Poor lifting techniques can injure your back, as well as the rest of your body, in a variety of ways such as strains in the muscles or ligaments, spinal disc injury, pain and numbness of the legs, and even problems in the bowel and bladder.

Know your body’s limit – Do not play hero and lift an object so heavy that it puts you in an awkward position as you carry it. Be conscious about the limits that your body can tolerate.

Squat properly – Squatting before carrying an object prevents your back from getting injured. However, this should be done with proper care. First, your feet should be shoulder width apart, with one foot slightly ahead of the other. Then, bend at the hips and knees. You could even put one knee to the floor if needed. Remember to keep your back straight, your chest out, and your shoulders back. Proper squatting also applies when performing tasks that would get you down to the ground such as gardening or painting fences.

Rise up using your hips – Once you have grasped the object, slowly lift it by straightening your hips and knees while keeping your back straight. Do not twist your back as you lift. Also, use your hips as you change direction, using small steps while keeping your shoulders in line as you move.

Set down the object carefully – Unload the object carefully by squatting with only the knees and hips.