Some people have ongoing chronic lower back pain. For some it is constant, for others it may come and go but its presence causes the quality of life to suffer.
There are others who go weeks or months having no lower back pain and then suddenly from something unnocuous like stepping off a curve, or bending the wrong way they experience what is commonly referred to as their “back goes out”.
Here is a secret that can be followed to help avoid low back pain: Start slowly in the morning!
Try these tips if you or someone you know has had problems with the back:
• When getting out of bed it is better to do a “side up” versus a sit up. When we sit up to get out of bed in the morning it increases pressure on our lower backs and is irritating to the discs of the spine. It is much better to turn onto your side and swing your legs over the side of the bed as you raise yourself up with your arms.
• Stretch gently in the morning. Have you ever noticed that when a dog or a cat arises after laying down for a while they always stretch. Instinctively they know it is best to warm the body up before becoming active. Certainly a professional athlete would never think of practicing, practicing or engaging in their competitive sport without warming up first. When we total all the activities that we perform during a typical day many of us are actually doing more physical work than a professional athlete will undergo. We need to warm up.
A warm-up exercise as simple as lying on our back and gently pulling each knee up towards the chest and holding it for a few seconds, several times can be effective to help prepare the back for the rest of the day. Gentle yoga stretching and poses are another helpful method to prepare our lower backs for the days stresses.
• Take it easy for the first hour after organizing. The lower back is especially vulnerable the first hour after awakening and getting out of bed. If we perform even mildly strenuous activities during that time the lower back can get irritated. Many people find if they “stir their back” up early in the day it persists through the reminder of the day. Conversely, if they start slowly and warm their back up earlier in the day the back feels better as the day proceeds.
It also helps to schedule vigorous activities like exercise or performing chores like vacuuming, gardening or grass cutting after we've been up for an hour or two. If we put these activities off until later in the morning it will help to alleviate back problems.
This also applies to sports such as golf. Golfers are notoriously susceptible to injuring their back if their round is in the early morning.
While there is no silver bullet that will heal a chronic ongoing lower back condition these are several ideas that, if followed, over time will allow the lower back to heal and, in many cases, be much less of a quality of life problem.