5 Tips to reduce the risk of lower back pain
Low back pain (LBP) is one of the leading causes of pain and can be caused by a number of different things and can come from a number of different sources but more often than not it’s an accumulation of several different factors that causes the problem.
Low back pain (LBP) is one of the leading causes of pain and can be caused by a number of different things and can come from a number of different sources but more often than not it’s an accumulation of several different factors that causes the problem. But don’t panic 9 times out of 10 these issues get better on their own and is rarely anything to worry about.
Here are 5 tips to try and reduce the risk of back pain or ease your current ache:
Exercise is the most effective way to reduce the risk of LBP and plays a vital role in its treatment. Not only will exercise help keep pain at bay but it will also help with mood, blood pressure, heart health, diabetes, sleep and joint health. However, this doesn’t have to be going to the gym, running or playing sport. Simple increases something like your daily step count can have a large and lasting effect on your physical and mental health.
The most recent chief medical officer report recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week. As well as some form of strength training twice a week.
Strength training is often the aspect of this recommendation that is the most easily neglected and perhaps the more intimidating of the two. Running, cycling, swimming and sport are all common place with our childhoods but strength training isn’t necessarily something that comes naturally to all. However, it doesn’t have to be complex, there are many simple bodyweight exercises that you can get started with.
The goal of strengthening is to apply a stimulus to your body large enough to force a change within your muscles and joints. This change in turn will help your body cope with the forces applied to it day to day. If you can progress enough your body will change enough that day to day life causes no challenge, working, sitting, lifting or carry pose no challenge and thus minimal fatigue and less risk of injury.
3. Rest/ Recovery
A lot of us take rest and recovery for granted but this is just as important if not more important than exercise and movement itself. Without appropriate recovery stress can accumulate from work, training and life which can lead to overload and LBP. So look after yourself, be smart with your training, take breaks from work, prioritise friends and family as well as sleep.
Sleep is the easiest recovery method and the most effective of all the techniques. If you’re not getting enough sleep then there isn’t any other method that will make up that difference. Many research studies have shown how getting less the 6-8 hours sleep increases your risk of injury, reduces your performance, concentration and reaction times. As well as putting you at higher risk of pain during the day sleep is also paramount for tissue repair, restoration of hormones and blood glucose.
Over the years lot of emphasis has been placed on “bad posture” and “sitting correctly”, however, lots of the recent evidence shows that there is no link between one specific posture and injury. The problems arise when staying in one position for a prolonged period on time. In other words, there is not one good or bad posture but movement is the key.
Set an alarm for every 30minutes to move position, stand up or walk around.
This being said we can reduce the stress being place on our bodies whilst we are working by optimising ergonomics to support a more neutral position. For example, sitting on a supportive chair, feet on the floor and desk/ computer at the right height will mean you could sit for longer than, for example, sat on a stool, twisted at an angle working off a laptop. The effort required to maintain the second position is much harder a will therefore be much more difficult to maintain and thus sustained or frequent bouts in this position may lead to an ache in your lower back or neck.
We can tailor a strength and conditioning programme to suit your specific needs through one of our Biokinetic packages.
Call us on 0203 893 5100 or book an appointment online.