How to prevent Lower Back Pain?
Yes this is probably the question most of us will ask at some stage in our lives.
We were born to move, however with changes in society over the centuries we are now leading a more sedentary lifestyle, with the ability to access everything at the touch of a button. There is no longer a need to leave the comfort of your own home; we have evolved from an active lifestyle as hunter gatherers to a sedentary lifestyle with very little movement.
With online shopping, cars, public transport and office/home based jobs we do not move the joints in our spine then they pretty much start to deteriorate, like rust on a bicycle which will start to degrade the frame and working parts over time.
What used to be considered a simple locomotion ‘walking’ suddenly has become ‘an exercise’; a ‘work out’!
The less we move then the more our body will compensate, change and adapt to the new environment.
The strength and tone of our skeletal muscles will start to diminish; they will not have the same ability to protect the spine. If you look at the way a broken arm which is held in a cast for 6 weeks deteriorates due to lack of motion, you can see how this effect the structure and function of the arm, and the spine is no different…..
Most of us don’t know that only 10% of the nervous system perceives pain, therefore we wait for pain to occur and believe this is a signal that something is wrong, but in reality the problem could have been there for a long time and your body has adapted where possible and eventually this gets to the point where you feel pain.
Therefore how can we protect ourselves from Lower Back Pain? Do we just sit and wait for that 10% of the nervous system to tell us something is wrong and hit us like a sledge hammer? Or should we start to be proactive and think about prevention rather than looking for a cure?
- Move…move…..and move a lot more…. Movement strengthens the muscles, lubricates the joints and helps us to avoid postural imbalances.
- Use a lumbar support when driving or sitting at a desk. This will help to preserve the lumbar curvature in the spine which is crucial from a biomechanics (protection) point of view.
- Check your spine on a regular basis. By having regular spinal adjustments you can restore the normal function and motion in the spine, and therefore prevent spinal degeneration. So simply call your Chiropractor and have adjustments regularly to protect your back.
- Check your mattress and sofa, how old are they? Have they lost their shape/support over the years? A good mattress will support your spine in a neutral position when you relax and sleep. This is when your muscles relax too, so your spine needs to be in correct alignment.
- Check your feet, and I don’t mean have a pedicure 🙂 many people have flat feet, which might cause back pain. You might need to have orthotics, which are insoles in your shoes that can be designed to support the arch of the foot and correct any imbalance of Pronation/Supination to help protect your spine. Ask your chiropractor for advice.
One and most important words of advice I can give you as a Chiropractor, is that prevention is better than cure; although this is an old saying it is still very true.
The best time to look after your spine is when you are young, because the body is more adaptable and can be changed much easier. As we age the spine starts to bear the brunt of the years of postural imbalances and bad habits we all have, therefore re-educating the spine and restoring normal function can be more difficult.
On the positive side with the regular chiropractic care everyone can benefit in the long term.
Seek your chiropractor for more advice.
Wellbeing-Chiropractic offers chiropractic services in Northampton. Contact us in order to claim your Free Spine Check.
Magda Bispo M(Chiro) M (Sports Science) CCEP