Spinal anatomy is a marvel of nature, holding our bodies up while we bend, twist, and carry heavy objects.
Most of us take this juxtaposition of strength, structure, and flexibility for granted, until something goes wrong. The lower back, or lumbar region, is the most frequently injured area of the spine.
Why is the lower back so prone to injury?
The lower back endures the most strain as the spine twists and bends. Fifty percent of flexion (bending forward) occurs at the hips and fifty percent occurs in the lower back.
This flexion is divided between the five motion segments in the lumbar spine, although a disproportionate amount of the motion is in the lower segments (lumbar segment 4-5 and lumbosacral segment L5-S1).
Consequently, these two segments in the lower back are the most likely to be injured.
Most episodes of lower back pain are caused by muscle strain. Though this may not sound like a serious injury, the pain can be severe.
Prevent injury to your lower back
- Exercise. Strong core muscles are important to provide support for the lower back and avoid injury. Moderate aerobic activity like walking increases blood flow to the spine, which supplies healing nutrients and hydration to the discs.If exercise seems impossible to you, make small goals to slowly get yourself moving. For inspiration, check out the Give it 100 Challenge.For exercise ideas see:
- Back Exercises and Abdominal Exercise Recommendations
- Exercise Walking for Better Back Health
- Correct your posture. Poor posture places pressure on the lower back, and can cause degenerated discs to be more painful. Support the natural curve in the lower back by using an ergonomic chair and set a timer on your phone to remind yourself to check your posture as your work throughout the day. Make sure to get up and walk around at least once an hour if you sit most of the day.
- For more about office ergonomics see: Ergonomics of the Office and Workplace: An Overview
- Lift heavy objects correctly. Even young
, strong, healthy people can severely injure their spines if they lift a heavy object incorrectly. If you don’t know the proper technique, see Avoid Back Injury with the Right Lifting Techniques.
- Be a savvy athlete. No matter how fit and athletic you are, a wrong move could injure your lower back. Make sure to research the potential lower back pitfalls of your favorite sport.
- Preventing Low Back Pain from Golf
- Runners: How to Prevent Low Back Pain
- Sport Injuries, Back Injuries, and Back Pain
- Improve your overall physical health. The spine reflects the overall health of your body. Health advice we hear over and over holds true for our lumbar spines as well: drink lots of water, minimize alcohol, and stop smoking.
- Does Smoking Cause Low Back Pain?
- Frequent travelers take note. Traveling in a plane or car can really take a toll on your lower back. For some practical advice on traveling smart
, see Pain-Free Travel Tips.Learn how to be a defensive driver. Sadly, many of or forum members and online community members have mentioned that they hurt their backs as a result of a car accident that wasn’t their fault. Brush up on your defensive driver skills, and always have a plan to get out of a bad situation on the road.
- Stretch your hamstrings. A little known cause of low back pain is tight hamstrings. Simple hamstring stretching exercises can help decrease the pressure on your pelvis, and provide relief across your low back.
Take care of your lower back. As many of our online community members will attest to, you don’t appreciate a healthy spine until you injure it. The good news for those who have injured their lower backs is that there are many non-surgical and surgical treatment options available to help.
Sainato Chiropractic Port Orange Florida
3959 S Nova Rd Suite 9
Port Orange, Fl. 32127
Call Dr. Adam Sainato Port Orange today to schedule your Appointment.