Upland physical therapy tips for lower back pain.
80% of adults have experienced Low Back Pain (LBP) at some point in their lives. Approximately 9-12 % of people have LBP at any given time in the United States. It is the leading cause of missed work days in the developed world. It usually begins between the ages of 20-40 and affects men and women equally.
There are several risk factors for developing LBP:
–Age: loss of bone strength, loss of disc fluid, arthritis.
–Fitness Level: LBP is more common in people who are not physically fit due to weakness of the abdominal and back muscles.
–Pregnancy: due to an alteration in the weight load.
—Weight Gain: The most common risk factor of LBP is increased BMI.
–Occupations: physical jobs that require heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, and twisting.
–Smoking: reduces blood flow to the lower spine.
–Poor Posture: slouch or slump posture due to prolonged sitting and/or weak muscles.
There are several treatment regimes for LBP:
–Medications: OTC analgesics. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) prescribed by your doctor. Pain pills.
–Activity: Bed rest should be limited.
–Physical Therapy: strengthening exercises, flexibility programs, hot/cold, modalities, manual hands-on techniques, posture awareness.
–Medication Injections, Epidural steroid injections.
–Nerve Block Therapies.
Recommendations for a Healthy Back:
— Always stretch before and after activity.
— Do not slouch or slump when sitting or standing. Erect posture keeps the pressure off of the low back.
— Sleep on your side with your knees pulled up to your chest and a pillow in-between your legs.
— Lift properly and don’t try to lift anything too heavy. Use your legs and do not twist.
— Eat nutritiously. This helps to reduce excessive weight gain. A diet with sufficient daily intake of calcium, phosphorous and vitamin D helps to promote new bone growth.
–-EXERCISE. Studies indicate that movement of any kind is good for the body. Performing cardio exercises 2-3x a week for 20 minutes along with a light weight lifting program and core strengthening has shown to decrease episodes of LBP.