Everyone is experiencing lower back pain sooner or later in their lifetime. However, when that time come many sufferers are ready to do anything for the pain to go away. Over the past ten years I have seen people doing all kind of things by an advice of a friend, neighbor or a close relative. My mind was always wondering: “How is that supposed to help a soft tissue injury or misaligned vertebrae?” Some of these recommendations will do more harm to lower back than help. Dr. Orly Avlzur advises to avid the major none professional recommendations.
Bed Rest is not a good idea at all. During prolonged bed rest lower back muscles loose their tone and can lead to a greater pain. Also prolonged supine position can cause loss of lumbar lordosis. One must move around and stretch. That is correct, physical activity is in favor against resting state. Do you remember those days when you get up from a bed and everything is sore in your body. As a day progresses thing seems to get better and the pain level goes significantly down.
People need to learn how to listen to their bodies. It is not recommended to sit up straight during pain with certain lumbar spine conditions. This position can cause an excessive pressure on already pinched lumbar nerve root. Short periods of fetal positioning may help alleviate this pain. Posture has a direct relationship to the health condition of your spine. Read this post – “Why is Posture so Important” and “Stabilizer Muscles’on Role on Role in Injury Prevention.”
People must watch how much they eat. Pendulous Abdominus will cause alteration in a lumbar lordosis and will eventually cause lower back pain. If you are already over weight please consider changing your diet. Getting rid of refined products, white bread and sodas will do good to not only your back but an overall well being. Weight gain can expedite lumbar disc degeneration.
Some buy shoe orthotics with the hope that it will help the pain. These orthotics only work for rare conditions when one leg is shorter than the other. But for most part they will not resolve lower back pain. I always emphasize to my female patients to avoid frequent use of high hill shoes. They will also increase lumbar lordosis.
Several studies suggest that people who suffer from low back pain actually benefit more from a medium-firm mattress. Why? If a mattress is too firm, it won’t support the body evenly and may cause discomfort at the heaviest points like hips and shoulders. If the mattress is too soft, a sleeper could sink into the bed and have a harder time moving, which could cause stiffness and pain come morning. Having a slightly softer mattress places less compression on your body and may grant you a better night’s sleep. Take a look at this post on how to chose a mattress.
Do not use surgery as the first choice of therapy. Surgery is recommended when a patient is experiencing serious motor or nerve deficit. Many common back problems can be fixed by your local chiropractor. If you are a local Bay Area resident try our facility at San Leandro Chiropractic Clinic. And not everyone that undergoes surgery is happy with the end result. A 2009 survey of almost 1000 consumerreports.org subscribers who had undergone surgery for low back pain found only 60 percent said they were completely or very satisfied with the results of their operation.
While the advice is sound and it’s better to: bend at your knees, not at your waist; lift using your leg muscles; tighten your abdominal muscles; and hold the object close to your body – if you have a known back problem, like a herniated disc, it’s best to avoid strenuous lifting entirely. It’s fairly common for me to see return patients who get into trouble because they continued to lift heavy weights at the gym, moved furniture, or shoveled snow.