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?
- Severe back pain (especially after a high impact fall or car accident)
- Bladder or bowel movement issues
- 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. Seems complicated, but there is an image below to help clarify any confusion.
- To stretch your left QL, start by standing a few feet away from a post (a poll, bookshelf, or doorway would also work), then take your right arm and hold onto your post as you straighten the arm.
- Next, bring your left leg in front of your right leg and get close to the post.
- Tuck your tailbone, breathe, and feel that deep stretch.
- Repeat on other side for right QL stretch.
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.
- Inhale as you arch your back, draw your shoulder blades towards your spine and gaze up.
- Exhale as you round your low back, press your shoulder blades away from your spine and turn your gaze towards your chest.
- Go slow and breathe.
- 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 find low back relief is to learn how to stand correctly. Our Back and Core Program, inside the MoveU membership, will teach you how to align your spine. Together with all of our programming, you’ll learn to align each area of your body in order to strengthen your body in alignment. This process will allow for optimal mechanical positioning of joints and balanced muscle forces around those joints, otherwise known as Joint Centration.