The bottom part of our back typically has just five vertebrae — fewer than our neck and mid-back. And we use our lower back to do a lot of heavy lifting! This area experiences a lot of movement and stress, which may lead to deterioration and injury. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to alleviate your lower-back pain.
Lower-back pain is a common ailment that plagues practically everyone. Whether it’s due to poor posture, injury, or simply the wear and tear of daily life, lower-back pain can be debilitating and can interfere with daily activities.
What causes low-back pain
A variety of conditions in our spine and surrounding area can cause back pain – some common causes include:
- Recent injury or one from the past
- Herniated or bulging disc + bone spurs
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Pinched nerve
Arthritis of the Spine
Arthritis of the spine — slow degeneration of the spinal joints — is shown to be the most frequent cause of lower-back pain.
All humans experience physiological depreciation as we age, and it’s normal for our lower back to start acting up with age. As we get older, the cartilage between our spinal joints start to break down and cause surrounding tissues to get inflamed. The inflammation and reduction of cartilage increase friction in our joints, which may lead to pain in the lower back.
A bad fall down some stairs or getting into a car wreck can cause a lower-back injury. But the same goes for carrying laundry up the stairs.
Some back injuries can be abrupt and traumatic, and some can progress over any period of time. There are many instances where people are getting injured just by bending over to tie their shoes.
It’s our everyday tasks, like picking things off the floor that may lead to back injuries when done inadequately.
A herniated, or bulging, disc is a disc that has “spilled out” of its lining. This happens more often in the lower back.
Sometimes the injured disc may not even cause any pain. But that doesn’t negate its ability to harm our body. It can press on any nearby nerves, causing pain in the lower back and potentially other areas.
Exercises to alleviate your low-back pain
Mobility training can increase our joints and muscles range of motion and flexibility. Regular practice can alleviate lower-back pain by stretching and strengthening the muscles in the lower back and hips.
Enhancing your mobility can significantly alleviate your pain and improve overall health. There are various mobility exercises that can be helpful for lower-back pain. Some of them include:
- Cat-Camel Stretch: This stretch helps to loosen-up our spine and improve mobility. Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. With a deep inhale, arch your back and tuck your chin to your chest, then with a deep exhale, collapse your back and lift your head and tailbone towards the ceiling. Repeat this to your desired preference.
- Child’s Pose: This stretch helps to alleviate tension in the lower back, quads, and hips. Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Lower your hips back towards your heels and stretch your arms out in front of you. Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds and practice deep breathing while in this position to expand and contract your back.
- Hamstring Rock Back: Start on your hands and knees, with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Extend either leg out to the side (make sure toes are pointing towards the ceiling). Begin to slowly shift your glutes towards your heels. Make sure to switch legs and repeat to your desired preference.
In addition to these exercises, it’s important to maintain good posture throughout the day. Poor posture can put extra stress on your lower back and by being mindful throughout your day, you can notice changes in your posture that can easily be corrected.
Make sure to take breaks and stretch regularly throughout the day, and avoid slouching or hunching over your work.
In conclusion, mobility training can be an effective way to alleviate lower-back pain. By incorporating these exercises into your daily routine, you can stretch and strengthen the muscles in your lower back and hips, reducing pain and improving your overall physical health and well-being. So, get started today and take the first step towards a healthier, pain-free back!
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No content on this site should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other licensed clinician.
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