You wake up and as you’re getting out of bed you feel it in your back; that ache that’s been there for days. You hate lower back pain, and so do I. Everyone has experienced lower back pain at some point, and some have it experienced it more than others. But what causes lower back pain? How can we treat it?
In this article, we are going to explore 3 causes of lower back pain and how to get rid of it.
The lower back (also known as the lumbar area) serves several functions for the body, including structural support, movement, and protection of certain body tissues. This means that when we bend, extend, or rotate at the waist, the lower back is involved in the movement. Combine this with the fact that the lower back also supports the heavy weight of our upper bodies, and you’ve got an area that is just prime for taking all the strain and pain of our everyday lives.
While there are many causes of lower pain, here are 3 of the most common:
1. Muscle strain and ligament sprain
2. Lumbar herniated disc
By knowing what causes lower back pain, we will be able to better determine how to treat it. So let’s explore the causes further.
1. Muscle Strain and Ligament Sprain
The majority of people with lower back pain, experience back pain caused by a torn or pulled muscle or ligament. This occurs when a muscle or ligament tears from over-stretching. A lower back strain or sprain can develop over time or happen suddenly. Some common causes of strain or sprain are:
- Sudden movements (like a fall) that overstress the lower back.
- Bad Posture.
- Sports injuries, mostly in sports that involve high impact on or twisting of the lower back.
- Heavy lifting or twisting the spine while lifting, such as weightlifting.
2. Lumbar Herniated Disc
The lumbar disc in the lower back has a soft, jelly-like center that can sometimes break through the tough outer layer and irritate a nearby nerve root. This causes inflammation and pain.
The wear and tear on an intervertebral disc or facet joint is called osteoarthritis and results in pain and inflammation in the lower back. Osteoarthritis is associated with aging and occurs over time.
Now that we know what causes back pain, we can look at how to treat it. Follow the easy tips below:
1. Practice Good Posture
Having bad posture can strain your back. Practicing good posture when you sit or stand can help with lower back pain. Good posture when you stand or sit and even good posture during the sleep will help your muscles and ligaments of your back relax and heal themselves. Remeber to sit, to stand and to lay following a natural and correct posture in order to prevent the back pain. You can watch the video below for more tips on practicing a good posture:
2. Exercise and Stretching
Prevention is better than the cure. Exercises that strengthen muscles which support the lower back (such as abs, hips, back, and pelvic area), can reduce your susceptibility to injuries and therefore back pain.
Stretching muscles that support the lower back, keeping them flexible, can also help prevent lower back pain. By keeping the muscles flexible, you are less likely to strain them from over-stretching. Stretching out tight, inflamed muscles can also help treat lower back pain. If you would like to try some stretches, you can read our article on stretches for lower back pain.
Massages have many health benefits. One of the great benefits of massage is helping with muscle inflammation and strain, and by treating those causes we can treat our lower back pain. You can also find out more info on the benefits of massage with our article about the benefits of Shiatsu massage.
Extra Personal Tip
Recently I have been reading The 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferris. In it, Ferris suggests treating lower back pain by lying on your back with your feet and legs elevated for 20 minutes a day. I have been trying this method for the last few weeks and it has worked great so far. Do you have any comments to add? Feel free to share this post or comment below!