Your spine is an incredible piece of engineering that must be understood to protect the low back from injury. A combination of strength and flexibility are required to protect the spinal cord and nervous system but still allow movement.
The lower back can often become susceptible to injury while lifting heavy objects, undertaking repetitive task, twisting or sudden movements. Microscopic tears can occur in the disc, ligaments, muscles and tissue around the spine. There are a number of factors that can help you reduce the chance of experiencing low back pain.
Movement is key, it really is that simple. Exercise that is low impact and cardiovascular is ideal. Walking, swimming or riding a bike all increase blood flow to the spine, providing healing nutrients and hydration to the structures that require it.
Correct your posture
When the spine is viewed from the side, it is naturally designed to have curves. These curves will distribute the forces from gravity evenly through the vertebral discs and the surrounding tissue. When your posture is poor, it will change these spine curves. This will lead to greater pressure on some joints, in time causing damage to the spine. Sitting or device usage is a common cause, make sure your take regular breaks to help your posture.
Lift items correctly
There is a smart way to lift and then there are dangerous ways. Lifting items that are heavy and away from your body is more likely to cause an injury. Repetitively twisting while carrying a load also makes your spine more vulnerable. Lifting items close to your body and using your leg muscles rather then your back is the safest way to lift.
Stretching your hamstrings
People often underestimate the affect tight hamstrings can have on your low back. By following some simple hamstring stretching this may reduce the amount of pressure on your pelvis and low back. A great video resource can be found here https://www.spine-health.com/video/wall-hamstring-stretch-sciatica-relief-video
Improve your overall health
Your spine health will be directly impacted by your general health and wellbeing. Your mental state, your diet and how active you are will all play a role. Reduce alcohol consumption, stop smoking, improve water intake and reduce inflammatory foods. Depression or low self-esteem are commonly linked to poor posture and back pain.
With 2019 underway many people have defined their new year’s resolutions. If spine health is on your radar then this list of strategies is a good start. If you are seeking further help with your spine our Newcastle chiropractors are always supportive and informative in our approach.