Overlooked Tips to Preventing Lower Back Injuries
Though your lower back is remarkably strong and flexible, it's also very prone to injury. Twisting, sudden movements, and lifting heavy objects can all cause your ligaments or muscles to stretch and/or develop microscopic tears. Poor posture and repetitive stress are also common causes of muscle strains and other soft tissue problems.
It's worth noting that even something as seemingly innocuous as a muscle strain can cause sharp pain in your lower back. Plus, due to the nerves connecting your spine to the rest of your body, a lower back problem can lead to hip issues, leg pain, and more. That's one of the main reasons why you should place great importance on protecting your lower back. Here are 7 tips to help you out.
1. Exercise Your Core
Strengthening your core muscles will provide additional support for your lower back, reducing the chances of injury. Cardiovascular exercises such as walking can increase blood flow to the spine, which in turn provides hydration and healing nutrients to your lower back.
2. Lift Objects Correctly
Lifting heavy objects is one of the most common causes of lower back injuries. To prevent this from happening, follow these three rules while lifting: bend at the hips, keep your chest forward, and keep the weight close to your body.
3. Correct Your Posture
If you're chained to your desk at work, consider getting an ergonomic chair that can support the natural curve of your spine. Once an hour, get up from your desk and walk around a bit. You can also set a timer that will remind you to check your posture while you're working.
4. Improve Your Physical Health
The lumbar spine is a great reflection of your overall health, which means it will benefit from any physical improvements. This includes drinking lots of water, getting enough sleep, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol, and following an anti-inflammatory diet.
5. Prepare for Your Sport
Even if you're athletic, it's worth to familiarize yourself with any potential pitfalls of your favorite sport. For instance, runners are putting their backs through a lot of stress. Before going for a jog, remember to do a thorough warm-up, wear comfortable shoes, and find a forgiving surface for running.
6. Stretch Your Hamstrings
Tight hamstrings are a relatively obscure cause of lower back pain. Fortunately, hamstring stretching exercises are great at providing relief. Keep in mind, however, that not all of these exercises work for all types of lower back conditions; before going through with them, check with your doctor.
7. Travel Smart
For many people, traveling is a lower back killer. The seats in cars, buses, trains, and plains aren't always comfortable, and sitting for an extended period of time can cause your back to flare up. If you're facing a long trip, remember to lift luggage in stages, stretch your legs whenever you can, and bring your own back support.
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