Updated: Aug 19
Most healthcare professionals would agree that back pain is a complicated issue. While up to 80% of Americans will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives, there are so many causes of back pain that it’s often difficult to pinpoint the exact reason, making it hard to treat and relieve such pain. Sources can include arthritis, spinal injury and nerve compression.
There are, however, three main causes of lower back pain which can be avoided with proper self-care.
CAUSE #1: Poor sitting posture.
Many of us have jobs that require us to sit at a computer for hours* at a time, staring at a small screen and perhaps involuntarily hunching over our keyboard. this can lead to problems with the intervertebral discs, making it difficult to not only sit, but also stand up and sit down in chairs.
If you have a job that requires sitting for any length of time, paying attention to your posture could help you avoid back pain. Remember to sit with your back straight, but retain the natural curves in your back; if you need support, you can put a lumbar roll or even a rolled up towel in your chair behind the small of your back to help.
It is also very important to move throughout the day so you can keep your muscles loose.
CAUSE #2: Poor lifting techniques.
How many times have you sat through a training video that reminds employees to lift with the legs, not with the back? Incorrect lifting posture can create a lower back injury quickly. Always make sure that your knees are bent and your back is straight. Never jerk heavy objects up; move slowly and carefully instead. And if the object is heavier than 30 pounds, get help, either from another person or some machinery.
Don’t forget that this applies to small objects as well as large ones. Bending down many times to pick up toys can put just as much strain on your back as one lift of a heavy box. Even for light objects, bend at your knees and save your back.
CAUSE #3: Lack of lumbar extension.
Lower back pain can often be a sign that your lumbar muscles are too tight. We recommend trying some lumbar extension exercises to relax and stretch the muscles.
Making a few smart adjustments to your daily routine are a good guard against back pain. Maintain correct sitting posture, consistently utilize proper body mechanics and do daily extension exercises. While this is not a guarantee against all lower back pain, it does significantly reduce its likelihood.