fbpx

5 amazing tips for relieving lower back pain

5 amazing tips for relieving lower back pain

Here’s 5 simple suggestions to help banish that lower back pain

Most of us have suffered or will suffer from it at some point in our lives. About 80 percent of adults experience it at some point. It’s the most common cause of work-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days. It can effect every part of our lives from interfering with work or hobbies to making it more difficult to play with our kids.

I had lower back pain or most of my late teens and early 20’s which made me reluctant to try certain sports and activities that I would have loved to have tried. In retrospect this had quite a profound effect on my life.

A lot of time this pain comes from too much stress being placed on the body’s joints and soft tissues ( muscles, ligaments etc) and this is often caused by sitting too much and poor posture.  Often this can often be avoided.

Avoid sitting for too long at a time

There’s 20% more pressure on our spine when we are sitting compared to when we are standing. Set a timer on your phone to remind you to stand up for 5 minutes every hour. Maybe use this time to nip to the bathroom, get a drink of water, walk around the block, make a cup of tea etc, just avoid sitting for these 5 minutes!

Stretch!

Most of us have muscles that are too short and tight on our front and we have what’s called an  “upper-crossed posture” (think hunched shoulders, head jutting forward etc). This comes from hunching over a desk/computer/workbench etc. These muscles need to be stretched. One of the most common set of tight muscles that causes problems in the lower back is your hip flexors which actually attach to every bone in your lower back! Try these 3 simple stretches for 45 seconds each leg.

Hip flexors:
hipflexor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gluteal muscles (buttocks):

Glute

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lumbar erector spinae ( thick muscles either side of your lower spine):

Childs pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Completing these stretches takes less than 3 minutes, we could all spare 3 minutes a day to help get rid of lower back pain!

Exercise

Taking up a simple class such as Yoga or Pilates can drastically reduce pain. Better health? Mental release? Energy boost? Better sleep? These are all benefits that can come from taking up a class. I work with people every day who have taken up classes and although they say it can be tough making the time to get to class, the benefits are too great to ignore!  If you really can’t leave the house, find an exercise video and make sure to use it.

Treat with hydrotherapy (hot and cold water)

Hydrotherapy has been around for 100’s if not 1000’s of years. The specific method we’re going to use is simply applying hot and cold water to the sore area.  Not too hot and not too cold.

Set your work space up properly

workspaceIf you work in a big company then chances are you’ve probably heard of workplace ergonomics. Essentially it’s a way of setting up your workspace to try and help you keep good posture. (Nice high monitor, correct desk height etc).  Some companies have people that help their employees set up but if you want to try it yourself then follow the advice on this image.

This all seems fairly simple right? That’s because it is!  Most of the injuries I see could have been prevented by people taking care of themselves. Move more, exercise, sit less, sit correctly and use hydrotherapy when needed to help banish your pain.

About the author: Jonathan Wills

Jonathan Wills

Jonathan Wills. M.Ost ND DO is one of the few osteopaths in Ireland with a Masters in Osteopathic Medicine. He studied at the world renowned British College of Osteopathic Medicine which takes a naturopathic, whole-body approach to osteopathy. In this course he also studied visceral osteopathy which aims to treat the viscera/organs of the body via an osteopathic approach. This is an area of medicine which is gaining more and more popularity as people realise that the body has to work as a whole unit and that all the body's systems are interconnected. Jonathan's career in health started in his training as a gym instructor, then as a personal trainer, then as a sports therapist prior to studying Osteopathic Medicine. He has taught women's fitness classes around dublin and has been recruited several times to teach the Joseph System of Foot Mobilisation to podiatrist and chiropodists directly working with Brian Joseph. Jonathan uses a combination of soft-tissue techniques, myofascial work, joint manipulations and mobilisations, visceral techniques and many more to get your body functioning normally again. “A personable approach, empathy for his patients and a proven track record of patient improvement” ensures that you are in good hands with Jonathan."

Visit my Google+ page

The elbowroom has an extensive range of classes for all ages and abilities. We offer such an eclectic mix to enable you to find something that will suit you. If you need any advice, please contact our class advisor who can point you in the right direction.