Low back pain is a common problem for people, whether it is due to an old injury or caused by living a relatively sedentary lifestyle. There are several ways you can reduce low back pain and possibly correct the problem altogether.
Use Back Support
Back support can be helpful, not only for reducing pain, but to help retrain your posture. Try to avoid using a back support device when it is unnecessary, so you can work on your posture and learn to engage your core muscles when you sit, stand, and walk. Fortunately, many back support devices can be purchased at retail in varying amounts of support. One problem many people encounter is finding the right size since they cannot try them on. As a general rule, find one where your largest waist measurement is on the lower end of the range for that specific back support. For example, if there are two sizes, with one ranging from 30-40 inches and the other ranges from 40-50 inches, a waist size of 38 would do better sizing up. These items tend to run on the smaller side. Additionally, if you have wider hips, you will also have to factor in these measurements when choosing a size.
Address Anterior Pelvic Tilt
Many people have anterior pelvic tilt (APT) and are accustomed to standing and walking is this unnatural position, so they do not realize it is a problem. Find a full-length mirror and stand naturally, viewing your figure from the side. If there is an obvious arch in your lower back and your buttocks tends to poke out, this is APT. Fortunately, APT can be corrected through physical therapy or exercises you can try on your own. Exercises that work for APT include the pelvic tilt, where you lie on your back with your knees bent and try to use your abdominal muscles to lift your pelvis off the floor. Squats can also be helpful for APT, if you do them appropriately. With your legs about hip-distance apart, squat down, and as you return to standing squeeze your glute muscles.
Think About Your Bed
Your bed and the way you sleep can also contribute to back pain. First, try investing in a better mattress. Stay away from soft, fluffy mattresses. Although the idea of sleeping on a cloud is nice, it offers insufficient back support. Choose the middle-ground and buy a firm mattress. If it is too uncomfortable, you can always add a mattress pad and retain the support of the mattress. You should also consider how you sleep. Most people are back or side sleepers. If you sleep on your back, try placing a wedge pillow under your legs to see if it makes a difference. Another option is to sleep with a pillow under the arch of your back. Side-sleepers might find adding a pillow between their knees will reduce stress on their lower back. Even people who sleep on their stomach might benefit from placing a pillow under their stomach while sleeping.
Using a combination of methods will give you the best chance at alleviating low back pain. Whatever approach you choose, you will need to be consistent to keep problems from returning. Contact medical help, such as at Town Center Orthopaedic Associates, P.C., for more information.