Lower back pain is something most of us are familiar with. Whether it’s an ongoing issue which has been bothering you for years or it just started recently, the pain can be difficult to manage and can get in the way of basic daily activities.
Although there may not be one magic cure, we have a secret to minimising lower back pain which we're hoping will reduce some discomfort.
Causes of lower back pain
While there can be a range of causes, most of the time back pain is not simple to treat. It is always advised that you chat to a doctor or physio.
Sitting: The seated position puts stress on the muscles and discs in your back and neck, resulting in tightness of your hip flexors and restricted blood flow to the gluteus maximus - a muscle which is an important supporter of the spine.
In addition to the pressure on your hips and buttocks, the longer you stay seated, the more likely that your posture will begin to relax. Known as slouching, this position can cause the spinal ligaments to stretch beyond their healthy limit, and strain your spinal discs.
Lopsided hips: Although it may seem insignificant, lopsided hips can lead to a range of issues including discomfort, pain and long-term injury. Your hips are the basis of your back, with the position of the pelvis and hips impacting your legs, back, shoulders, neck and arms. So, if your hips are lopsided, there is a chance they are the cause of your back pain.
Learn more: Are lopsided hips the cause of back pain?
Minimising lower back pain with exercise
One of the best ways to address your pain long-term is through strengthening and exercise. This works to build up muscular support around the spine and take pressure off the weaker parts of the back.
It can be difficult to exercise while you’re in pain, but there are a range of activities that are ideal for this including swimming, exercise ball stretches and low impact activities like walking and cycling.
The secondary benefit of this exercise for your back is weight loss, as excess have can have a compounding effect on your back pain, and by getting to a healthy weight you relieve direct pressure on the lower spine.
Minimising lower back pain by correcting posture
The way you hold your back and body, while sitting, standing and moving has a distinct impact on your spine and its surrounding muscles.
By ensuring you’re practising good posture in your various activities you give your lower back the best chance of standing up against pain. Some great ways to do this include
- Improving your workspace. If you’re at a desk for work (whether it’s the office or working from home), here’s some great tips for setting up a good space.
- When you’re working out, lifting for work or moving while weight bearing, make sure you’re bending at the knees and lifting from your hips and shoulders rather than your torso.
- Make sure you’ve got good shoes and an even stance when you’re standing for extended periods. Flat shoes and no arch support can harm many parts of your body, including the spine.
- When sleeping, it’s best to sleep on your side with a pillow between the legs or with your legs tucked in. If you need to sleep on your back put a pillow under your knees, and if you have to sleep on your belly, put a pillow underneath your abdomen.
Secret to minimising lower back pain: supports & bracing
Often when we have back pain, we can’t stop everything and rest up. Back supports and braces are a the best kept secret to support the lower back while we go about our day, especially when we’re lifting heavy objects for work or gym. They’re also perfect for those who have previous injuries and need to protect the back.
Wearing an anatomical fitting brace which soothes, relaxes and supports your lower back is one of the best ways to protect your back all day and still allow you to work safely.
The LumboTrain activates core muscles and relieves pain in the lower back region. This back support features a triangular gel pad with 26 massaging nubs, to effectively soothes the lumbar region.
Also available is the LumboTrain Lady, which has a slightly different shape.
Minimising lower back pain by nurturing our mental health
One of the primary contributors to lower back pain in adults is stress. When we’re under mental or emotional stress, our muscles tense up, and when that stress is prolonged the problem becomes worse.
By managing your mental health and reducing stress, you provide your back the best chance at recovery. Some great ways to manage and reduce stress include
- Practising mindfulness and meditation.
- Having regular massages for the back.
- Taking hot baths with Radox or other muscle relaxants.
- In cases where the stress is more severe, it’s good to see a counsellor or psychologist, and speaking to your GP is the best way to access this.
Learn more: Yoga for back pain.
While all these techniques help to minimise lower back pain, in cases where the pain is severe, constant or increasing in intensity, it’s important to seek medical help as soon as possible in case there’s severe injury.
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Bauerfeind products are developed at our innovation and manufacturing facility in Zeulenroda, Germany. Based on years of scientific research, our award-winning braces and support garments are highly recommended by medical professionals and athletes worldwide.