Low Back Pain
Ways to Relieve Low Back Pain
Do you suffer from low back pain? If so, you are not alone as studies have shown that low back pain is one of the most common reasons Americans miss work. Low back pain can stem from overuse, inflammation, injury, and poor posture. While your back pain could be a result of a medical condition, it is more common that it is a result of poor body mechanics, such as improper lifting techniques. What does that mean? It means back pain is often preventable by learning proper body mechanics, including correct posture and abdominal activation.
What Causes Low Back Pain?
Back pain is often caused by one or more of the following:
- Improper body mechanics
- Prolonged sitting
- Poor posture
- Muscle or ligament strain
- Bulging or ruptured disc
- Lack of exercise
- Improper lifting technique
Fortunately, most causes of low back pain are treatable and preventable! If you want to learn how to move your body properly and avoid getting low back pain (who wouldn’t?!), we have the perfect membership for you!
The MoveU membership teaches you all about proper body alignment, body mechanics, posture, and so much more. We even have a program dedicated to low back and core exercises so you can say goodbye to back pain and hello to living a better, more mobile life.
Types of Low Back Pain
According to Penn Medicine, there are 3 different types of back pain:
- Non-specific muscular pain
- Muscle spasms
- Radicular pain
Non-specific muscular pain refers to an intense type of muscle pain on one side or both sides of the lower back. This can be caused by lifting, twisting, reaching, stretching, or any other kind of movement that could add stress to the low back.
Muscle spasms happen when the back muscles involuntarily contract – often during an activity such as bending over, lifting an object off the ground, or twisting suddenly.
Radicular pain is caused by disc degeneration or a pinched nerve. This pain is sharper and is often accompanied by a numbness or tingling in the leg. Some radicular pain can also be classified as sciatic nerve pain.
When Should You See a Doctor for Low Back Pain?
While you can treat and prevent most types of back pain, you should see a doctor if you are experiencing the following:
- Severe back pain (especially after a high impact fall or car accident)
- Bladder or bowel movement issues
- Experience frequent numbness, tingling, or weakness
Low Back Pain Exercises
Here are some exercises you can do to help relieve and/or reduce low back pain:
Quadratus Lumborum Stretch
This is a great stretch for anyone who works seated at a desk all day. It helps stretch the lower back and oblique muscles.
- Come into a butterfly stretch. Sit down on the ground and bring the bottoms of your feet together to touch.
- To stretch your right QL, bring your left palm to your calf and your right palm to your thigh. Twist your torso to the right while gently pressing down on your calf and thigh.
- Switch sides. Hold for 1-2 minutes per side.
- Don’t force the stretch and don’t forget to breathe!
Let’s face it, if you must sit down for 8 hours a day, you need to learn how to improve blood circulation between your vertebrae to reduce back pain. Mobilize your spine with cat-cow pose. Here’s how to do it:
- Get on your hands and knees (in yoga world, get into a tabletop position) with your knees hip-width apart. Make sure your shoulders are over your wrists and your hips are over your knees.
- Engage your core and inhale arch your back while pulling your belly button in towards your spine. You’re in cat pose!
- Exhale, lift your gaze up and your tailbone while drawing your shoulders down your back. You’re in cow pose!
- Take a couple rounds of cat/cow until your spine feels good.
How to Find Low Back Pain Relief
There are no quick fixes for low back relief, but you can learn how to properly move your body to avoid low back pain in the future. One of the best ways to finding low back relief is to learn how to stand up correctly. You would be surprised by how many people do not know what proper posture looks like! You can access a posture assessment and unlock all you need to know about body mechanics in MoveU’s Low Back and Core Program.