I have been working with a variety of patients recently with extreme low back pain. It was interesting to come across this little article from Harvard Medical School of tips on how to cope and avoid low back pain. Sciatica affects as many as 40% of people and its frequency increases as we age. Some sciatic pain attacks can come and go for several weeks or months. Here are a few tips to prevent sciatica, as well as relieve the pain.
1) Increase exercise
Exercise is KEY!! Here are a few options to try
• Aerobic exercise: walking, swimming, cycling and any other activities that increase your heart rate without causing more pain.
• Strength training: exercises which contract muscles without obvious movement or strain on posture.
• Flexibility training: yoga, tai chi, Pilates, and similar activities that increase both flexibility and strength.
Just get moving!! Do anything that does not increase pain!
2) Strengthen your core
Muscles in the back, sides, pelvis, and buttocks also are part of your core. Strengthening all of these muscles helps to support your spine.
Many types of exercise, including planks and bridges, yoga and Pilates can strengthen the core.
3) Avoid prolonged positions (sitting)
Prolonged periods of sitting put pressure on the discs and ligaments in the low back. If you have a sedentary job, move often!!! Take breaks or try a standing desk.
4) Manage your weight
Increased weight puts pressure on your spine. Even minor weight loss will reduce inflammation and pressure on the spine.
5) Practice good posture
To prevent slouching, pull your shoulders down and back. Imagine your shoulder blades touching. If you work at a computer, take frequent breaks, sit without bending your head down or tilting it back.
At WIN Health Solutions, our Physiotherapy Team can help educate you more on each of these tips. We can include them in your treatment plan, help you develop good technique so you can effectively use exercise and be mindful of poster, and encourage you to keep working on it. If you have low back pain, talk with us and we’d be happy to help.