John K Maltby II, D.C.
Ways to Keep Your Low Back Healthy
Updated: Dec 15, 2022
The most common back pain around is low back pain, with close to 60% of everyone over the age of 18 according to this study having it. The most common remedy that people reach for is the pain pill, but that is not going to keep that pain away in the long run. So here are a few things you can do to keep your low back happy, healthy and pain free with out popping pills every time you feel anything uncomfortable in the low back area.
Maintaining Good Posture
There are a few different positions that you need to consider with maintaining good posture.
Imagine that you can draw a line down the center of your body from the front view, each side should be symmetrical. From the side view your ear should be above the middle of the shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle. They should all be lined up with each other. You should look at yourself and those around you to see if their normal standing posture is good. If it is not you and those you see need to get it corrected as soon as possible in order to prevent degeneration and other symptoms that may arise because of the bad posture.
When you are in a seated position the first thing to do is make sure that your feet are flat on the floor. Second, your hips and knees should be at 90 degree angles. Your low back should be supported, no slouching. Your head should be above your shoulder with your in line with the middle of your shoulders. If you are at a desk, make sure your screen is at or slightly above eye level.
There are 3 main sleeping positions:
One Your Back - This is the most desirable, and for most people the most difficult to do. Making sure that you have a good mattress that properly supports your low back and a pillow that supports your neck, not your head. Having large, or multiple pillows will push your head forward and put undue stress on your neck.
One Your Side - This is the next best position. You should support your spine with pillows between your knees and under your head.
On Your Stomach - This is the lease desirable, and you should train yourself to sleep in one of the other two positions. This places the most stress on your spine and you are more likely to wake up with pain and discomfort and set yourself up for a lifetime of low back pain and weakness.
When Lifting anything, make sure you are bending your knees, your back is straight, upright and you are not rounding your shoulders. When you are lifting keep whatever you are lifting close to your body. the further the weight is from your body the more stress it will put on your low back and cause damage over time.
I am sure you have been bombarded with countless articles and videos on core strength and the importance of it. One thing about maintaining core strength is that it will help with keeping your low back healthy. Have well maintained core strength will also help hold your low back adjustments longer. Finding a good core workout routine is key to keeping a happy and healthy low back.
- Exercise: Regular exercise is ideal for keeping your back happy and healthy. Try not to over due anything and keep it simple.
- Psychology: Research has shown that those who do not enjoy their job were 2.5 times more likely to report low back pain than those that did enjoy their job. Just because you are not in the place you want to be at the moment does not mean you have to be unhappy about it. Where you are now is only a step to where you want to be.
- Nutrition: Having an unhealthy diet affects more than you really know. Unhealthy diets can increase the amount of inflammation in your body, which can cause pain and stiffness in your low back.
- Smoking: Smoking anything, not just tobacco, dehydrates you severely. A decrease in hydration of your discs increases your risk for herniation, arthritic changes and other spinal related conditions.
The bottom line is this, you have every right to live your life anyway that you wish, but these are the things you should be aware of if you want to keep your low back happy and healthy throughout your life.