How to Prevent Injuries to Your Lower Back
Our spines are a marvel of nature, supporting us as we walk, run, bend and carry heavy objects. Unfortunately, many of us take our spines for granted, until we get hurt. The lumbar region of our backs (the lower spine) is the most common area to suffer a spinal injury because fifty percent of flexion (the movement of bending forward) occurs at the hips, and the other fifty occurs directly in our lower backs.
To keep your amazing spine healthy and able to support you in all that you do, follow these helpful tips:
1. Exercise: Moderate aerobic activity, such as walking, is an excellent way to increase blood flow to the spine. This flow supplies healing nutrients and hydration to the discs in your back, keeping them flexible and healthy. Exercise also strengthens core muscles, which are crucial to providing support for the lower back and avoiding injury. Before you start an exercise program, be sure to consult your spine specialist to determine what is safe for you.
2. Posture: While you may think of accidents as the main source of back injury, did you know that poor posture can also damage your delicate spine? Poor posture forces pressure on the lower back, which can cause degenerated discs to be even more painful. Support your lower back by using an ergonomic chair or lumbar pillow to support the natural curve in the lower back. Also, set a timer on your phone or computer to remind you to check your posture throughout the day and to get up and stretch periodically.
3. Safe lifting: Your back is meant to help you lift things, but lifting something that is too heavy can cause considerable damage to your spine. Even young, strong people can become severely injured if they lift a heavy object incorrectly. To lift safely, keep your chest forward by bending at the hips instead of the lower back. Avoid twisting while lifting by leading with your hips instead of your shoulders. Also, keep the weight close to your body to reduce the force required to hold it up.
Your back is an amazing part of your body, so learn all that you can about keeping it safe and healthy.