One of the most common health complaints is lower back pain. Straining this area of your back can lead to sudden, severe pain or long-lasting chronic pain. If you’ve ever experienced the discomfort of lower back strain, it’s likely that you want to avoid falling into that trap again if possible.
Experienced physicians such as NYC Spine Surgeon Dr. Fischer at NYU Langone Medical Center in NYC in Manhattan recommend a variety of lifestyle choices that can help reduce your risk of lower back strain. Some helpful tips include:
- Regular exercise – maintain flexible, strong, and healthy back muscles by exercising. If your back is sensitive, choose low impact activities like walking that do not place too much stress on your back. Strengthening your core muscles is especially recommended to provide support for your lower back. Exercise also increases your blood flow, supplying nutrients to your lower back to promote good health.
- Good posture – keep your pelvis in a neutral position when standing and distribute your weight evenly on your legs to produce good balance. Don’t let your guard down while sitting either, making sure you sit straight with your back against the back of the chair without slumping. Avoid sitting for long periods of time by getting up and walking every hour.
- Practice good lifting techniques by lifting with your legs instead of your back. You can do this by bending at your knees, not your waist. Lifting a heavy object incorrectly is a common culprit of lower back strain.
- Stretch your hamstring muscles, located in the backs of your thighs, because tight hamstrings may cause low back pain. Ask NYC Spine Surgeon Dr. Fischer for suggestions of simple stretching exercises that can lower your risk for back pain.
- Try not to sleep on your stomach, but opt for sleeping on your back or your side with a pillow supporting your legs.
- If you are overweight, strive to lose weight so that your back is not overly stressed by those extra pounds. Maintain a healthy diet.
- Get the recommended amount of quality sleep, because sleep deprivation can increase your risk for lower back pain.
- If you are a smoker, make an effort to quit. This will improve your overall health as well as your back health.
If you have concerns about lower back strain, visit NYC Spine Surgeon Dr. Fischer at NYU Langone Medical Center in NYC for an examination and learn more about maintaining a healthy, pain-free back.