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Coping with Lower Back Pain

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Coping with Lower Back Pain

  • Dr. Charla Fischer
  • May 28, 2022

Pain in your lower back can be very bothersome over time, especially if you do not change your habits to help prevent this type of discomfort. Lower back pain may be acute with intense, sharp pain that comes on suddenly and diminishes after a short time. It might be chronic pain instead, with lingering discomfort that lasts for weeks, months or even years. The good news is that there are some relatively simple ways to alter your lifestyle that can improve your back’s health. Dr. Fischer can help you understand practical ways to help your back.

One of the main elements of a healthy back is to maintain a normal curve of your spine. It can be easy to forget proper techniques for everyday activities that can help you avoid or recover from lower back pain. Here are some common things you probably do in our daily life that may affect your back.

Sitting
Avoid sitting for extended periods of time without getting up to move around. Try to sit for only 10-15 minute stretches and place a back support like a rolled towel behind the curve of your back. Sit with your knees and hips at a right angle and consider placing your feet on a small stool if it helps you achieve that angle. Keep your feet flat and do not cross your legs.

Standing
Try not to stand in the same position for too long. Focus on evenly distributing your weight on your feet, holding your shoulders straight with your chest forward and your head up. If you do stand for extended periods, try resting one foot on a stool or box and trading feet occasionally. Consider getting an adjustable raised work station if you stand behind a desk to increase the comfort level of your back.

Driving
You might not think that driving affects your lower back, but it can especially if you drive often. To help your lower back, position your knees at the same level or higher than your hips and place some type of back support behind your back. Move your seat close enough to the steering wheel so that your knees bend as you are driving.

Sleeping
The goal for your back during sleeping is to maintain its proper curve. Place a rolled towel under your lower back and a small pillow under your knees while laying on your back. A rolled towel or small pillow between your knees when laying on your side is also a good idea. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Choose a quality mattress set that is firmer rather than soft.

Lifting
Be very aware of how you lift objects. Try to steer clear of lifting objects more than 30 pounds or that are awkward in shape. Use a wide foot stance close to the object and lift it using your legs instead of your back. Keep your back straight and do not bend forward, but bend at your knees and hips. Lift in a steady motion instead of jerking the object up. Avoid twisting motions with your back when lifting or moving objects.

Dr. Fischer maintains that these easy life changes can improve your lower back pain or help prevent it. Make these choices in your daily life to get on your way to a healthier back.


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