By Athlete's Care on November 20, 2017
About 80 percent of us will experience lower back pain at some point in our lives. It’s one of the most common ailments that our Toronto physiotherapists, chiropractors, and other sports medicine specialists treat in our clinics on any given day.
A lot of the fault can be laid at contemporary lifestyles in general. Most of us spend a lot of time on computers, telephones, or other electronic devices, and posture is one of the first things to suffer. We commute to work carrying laptops, large handbags, knapsacks, and more. Our bodies simply aren’t designed for the kind of abuse on a regular basis. Here are six steps to reducing low back pain that you can incorporate into your everyday lifestyle.
1. Stop carrying so much! Whether it’s a purse, a briefcase, or a laptop case, whatever you are lugging around shouldn’t come to more than 10 percent of your body weight.
2. Carry it properly. The best design for your back is a cross body strap – something with a long enough strap that you can position it on one shoulder, letting it fall across your chest so the bag is on the opposite hip. If your strap isn’t long enough to do that, then you’ll want to switch shoulders about every 20 minutes. When carrying a laptop, use a padded shoulder strap.
3. Sleep right. Choosing the right mattress for you is up to debate and more of an individual choice. There is some evidence that softer mattresses – rather than the harder ones prescribed by many – result in less back pain.
4. Strengthen your core. Exercises that target and strengthen the core muscles of the abdomen will help you to maintain the correct posture, and support your back and other structures. Your Toronto physiotherapy or sports medicine specialist can advise you on the right exercises to add to your routine.
5. Sit up straight! Just like your mother told you, good posture is the key to reducing back pain. It can be difficult at your average desk job, or if you drive for hours at a time. Remember maintain good abdominal support, and sit with your shoulders back, and back straight.
6. Stretch. When you have to maintain the same position for hours at a time, something’s gotta give – and it’s typically your lower back. If you do have to sit all day, break it up by getting up for a short walk, and do some stretches up, to the side, and down to the floor to ease muscle strain.
It’s relatively easy to make a few changes to your lifestyle, and the results will be well worth the effort. Low back pain can arise from many different causes, but by following these steps, you’ll be eliminating many of the preventable ones.
If you suffer from chronic low back pain, an individual evaluation is the first step to helping you get back to your potential. Don’t hesitate to call one of our Toronto physiotherapy and chiropractic clinics today for a consultation.