The lower back is a common source of tension, pain, and dysfunction for many of us; it’s too easy to ignore this vital area until it is in pain. Lower back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed activities, including time away from work, and yet it is rarely given the attention it deserves in the gym. Too many fail to strengthen and stretch this vital area in an effective manner.
Tension and tightness in this region can result in acute pain, which may be a short-term problem but think of it as a wake-up call.
- Don’t ignore the health of your lower back until it becomes a chronic issue; chronic lower back pain is far more challenging to resolve.
- We depend on our lower back for nearly every aspect of all our activities.
- Don’t take yours for granted a second longer.
Lower back dysfunction can result in chronic pain if not addressed properly, putting a massive roadblock on your enjoyment of life.
- While many conditions can cause lower back tension, a few of the most commons are a low fitness level, weak back and abdominal muscles (think core!), and being overweight.
- Poor lifting mechanics and repetitive movements, such as those in many workplaces, can also contribute to lower back pain, tension, and injury.
Treating lower back tension may include medications, massage therapy, heat and ice, physiotherapy, and surgery.
Discuss your lower back pain with your health care team; you must have a thorough examination.
- For example, kidney stones often present as pain in the lower back!
- If your lower back pain comes on suddenly or without any apparent cause, your pain may be from a source other than your lower back itself.
- Once your lower back pain has been diagnosed, you can begin your treatment and recovery plan.
Take an honest look at your fitness routine, and use your most critical eye when doing so.
- Does your workout include exercises that will strengthen your entire core?
- Do you complete a thorough and total body stretching routine, including your lower back, after all of your physical activities?
- If the answer to these questions is not at all, or only sometimes, it’s time to do better.
Your back will thank you for it; a back with balanced musculature, flexibility, and a healthy range of motion is far less likely to bother you with painful symptoms.
- If you are not sure which exercises and stretches are right for you, consult with a personal trainer or physiotherapist.
- A wide range of activities can be done for the newly active; these low-impact exercises will help you achieve a more muscular, more resilient back.
The next time you are in front of a full-length mirror, have a look at your posture. Better yet, have your health care team evaluate your standing and seated positions for postural deviations.
- Poor posture is a significant risk factor for various issues, including lower back pain and tension.
- Choose shoes that are comfortable and that allow you to maintain your ideal posture at all times.
- You may want to explore how orthotic insoles can ease your lower back tension.
If you have not yet suffered from lower back tension and pain, you are likely doing things right! This common issue can be prevented by being proactive and by considering your spine during your day.
- Protect the spine when lifting heavy items by using sound lifting practices.
- Avoid ballistic and twisting-type motions, which may injure your back or the muscles and soft tissues that work with the spine.
Following your physical activities, take the time needed to ‘reset’ your body by including activities for recovery and relief. By stretching your lower back thoroughly and using self-massage techniques, you can work out the tension created by activity before it becomes painful or bothersome. Include high-quality muscle roller sticks and massage balls in your gym bag, work desk, or in your home gym so that you can ease your back tension anytime and anywhere.