Avoiding Low Back Pain

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Depending on your job your low back may be at risk for injury/pain. If you are one of the many people who have to sit all day, chances are you will have back pain. This is due to many factors. First off, if you are not sitting with proper lumbar support then chances are you are sitting incorrectly. To do this you need to have something propped up against your back to keep your spine supported and chest up. Doing this will take the most amount of pressure off of your lower back. If you are on the other side of the spectrum and are standing all day, you need to make sure you have the proper footwear. Several people that are on their feet all day have low back pain due to not wearing supportive shoes. Having shoes with the right amount of support (maybe use custom supports) is crucial in maintaining proper alignment and support for your pelvis and spine. If you have a job that requires a lot of lifting and bending it is important to use a support belt when necessary. Remember to use your legs when picking something up, not your back (like we have heard so many times before). You can avoid injury by using proper mechanics when picking something up. Now the question you ask is how do I prevent this or fix this if I fall into one of these categories. The common factor in these three situations is you can keep yourself out of pain with the proper stretches and core exercises. When you are sitting all day your hip flexors and hamstring muscles tend to shorten over time. When these two muscle groups are tight they pull on your pelvis and spine which puts your back at risk for injury. Therefore, it is important to stretch out your hamstrings and hip flexors on a regular basis. This means that exercises that use the hip flexors can put you at risk for back pain as well. Cycling and core exercises that involve bringing your knees to your chest would fall under this category. As for strengthening, there are several core exercises that you can do to stabilize your pelvis and low back so that you are not at risk for injury. The exercises listed below are important to protect yourself from future injury. So whether you stand, sit, or lift things all day you need to be pro-active in making sure it does not result in injury. By performing these exercises and stretches on a regular basis you will be one step closer to keeping yourself from having low back pain.
Bridges
Planks
Single Leg Extensions
Quadrapeds
Body Weight Squats
Supermans
Hip Flexor/ Hamstring Stretch

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