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Tips for Protecting Your Lower Back
Your lower back gives your body the strength and flexibility to make many of your body’s movements. As a result of the great demand you place on your low back, it is susceptible to many problems. Issues with your low back not only create symptoms in that area, but can also extend down your hips, legs and more.
You may have experienced an injury to your lower back from actions like lifting a heavy object, suddenly moving in an unusual way, or twisting your body. Any movements like these can strain or tear a ligament or muscle in your back. Also, you might have symptoms of lower back problems simply from poor posture or repetitive motions over time. No matter how you damage your lower back, the results can be extremely uncomfortable or even debilitating. If you have lower back symptoms, NYC Spine Surgeon Dr. Fischer at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City is here to diagnose the problem and help you regain a healthy back. You can also focus on these tips for preventing lower back pain.
Exercise your core
Strong core, or abdomen, muscles are vital in supporting a healthy lower back. Learning to do exercises that target your core will keep your back strong and will go a long way in avoiding injury. Performing low impact aerobic exercise, such as walking, increases the blood supply to your spine and brings with it healing nutrients and hydration. If an exercise routine is difficult for you at first, focus on small goals to slowly get on track to regular exercise. Moving every day is important for your lower back!
Whatever exercise you choose to do, make sure you are performing the movements correctly. A wrong move can injure your lower back. Ask a physical trainer or do some research yourself to understand the risks to your lower back of whatever sport you choose, so you can continue doing the activities you enjoy.
Correct your posture
Your mother was right when she said to stand up straight! Poor posture puts undesirable pressure on your back and can lead to degenerated discs. One easy way to maintain good posture is to choose an ergonomic chair and set a timer to remind yourself to focus on your posture during your day. Get up and walk around regularly and stand up for periods of time to change your position.
When you need to lift objects, make sure you are lifting correctly. You can injure your lower back by bending over and arching your back to lift items. Bend your knees and support your body using your leg strength, not your back.
Stretch your hamstrings
The muscles behind your thighs are called hamstrings. Surprisingly, tight hamstrings are a common cause of lower back pain. Performing simple hamstring stretches every day can lower pressure on your pelvis and relieve lower back pain. Ask NYC Spine Surgeon Dr. Fischer for suggestions for good hamstring stretches to help your lower back.
Take care traveling
Traveling can really place strain on your lower back. Sitting for long periods in a car or airplane places too much pressure on your spine. Stop or get up to walk around at regular intervals. Also, make sure you drive defensively to avoid a car accident, a common cause of back injuries.
Focus on your overall health
Anything you do that aids your general health will also benefit your lower back. Exercise regularly, maintain a healthy weight, drink lots of water, eat an anti-inflammatory diet, quit smoking, minimize alcohol consumption, and get enough sleep. These practices can improve back discomfort and promote a healthy body. If you do experience lower back pain that lingers or impacts your activities, see Dr. Fischer for help getting you back on track to a healthy spine.