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  • Writer's pictureGary Roth

7 Tips to Prevent Low Back Pain and Stiffness: Medically Backed Research


As someone with over two decades of military service, I know how common and debilitating low back pain and stiffness can be. Whether you're an athlete or someone who sits at a desk all day, it's important to take steps to prevent and manage low back pain. In this post, I'll share some tips and exercises that can help you maintain a healthy, pain-free back.


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  1. Maintain good posture: Poor posture can put strain on your back muscles and lead to pain and stiffness. Make sure to sit and stand up straight with your shoulders back and down. Keep your feet flat on the ground and avoid crossing your legs. When lifting heavy objects, bend at your knees and keep your back straight.

  2. Stretch regularly: Tight muscles can contribute to low back pain. Regular stretching can help improve flexibility and reduce tension in your muscles. Some stretches that can help prevent low back pain include hamstring stretches, hip flexor stretches, and cat-cow stretches.

  3. Strengthen your core: Strong core muscles help support your spine and reduce your risk of low back pain. Some exercises that can help strengthen your core include planks, bird-dogs, and bridges.

  4. Stay active: Regular exercise can help keep your back healthy and reduce your risk of low back pain. Try to incorporate cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility exercises into your routine. Walking, swimming, and yoga are all great options.

  5. Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight can put extra strain on your back muscles and increase your risk of low back pain. Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce your risk of back pain and other health issues.

  6. Avoid prolonged sitting: Sitting for long periods of time can put pressure on your back muscles and lead to pain and stiffness. If you work at a desk, make sure to take regular breaks to stand up, stretch, and move around.

  7. Use proper lifting techniques: Lifting heavy objects with improper technique can put strain on your back muscles and lead to pain and injury. Make sure to lift with your legs, not your back, and avoid twisting while lifting.

By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can help prevent low back pain and stiffness. However, if you do experience low back pain, it's important to seek medical advice. Your doctor or physical therapist can help diagnose the cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan that may include exercises, manual therapy, or other interventions.


Regarding ibuprofen and other medications for back pain:


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used to manage low back pain. These medications work by reducing inflammation and pain in the body. However, it's important to use NSAIDs safely and under the guidance of a healthcare provider. Taking too much of these drugs can lead to serious side effects, including stomach ulcers, bleeding, kidney damage, and increased risk of heart attack or stroke.


To use NSAIDs safely for back pain, it's important to follow some guidelines. First, always take these medications as directed by your healthcare provider. Never exceed the recommended dose or take them for longer than prescribed. It's also important to let your healthcare provider know about any other medications or supplements you are taking, as some medications can interact with NSAIDs and increase the risk of side effects. If you have a history of stomach ulcers or other digestive issues, your healthcare provider may recommend taking NSAIDs with food or a stomach protectant medication. Additionally, it's important to avoid using NSAIDs for an extended period of time, as this can increase the risk of side effects. If you experience any side effects while taking NSAIDs, such as stomach pain, black stools, or difficulty breathing, stop taking the medication and seek medical attention immediately.


NSAIDs can be an effective tool for managing low back pain, but it's important to use them safely and under the guidance of a healthcare provider. Always take these medications as directed, let your healthcare provider know about any other medications or supplements you are taking, and watch for signs of side effects. With proper use, NSAIDs can help you manage your back pain and get back to your daily activities.


In summary, low back pain and stiffness can be prevented by maintaining good posture, stretching regularly, strengthening your core, staying active, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding prolonged sitting, and using proper lifting techniques. If you experience low back pain, seek medical advice to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs.


References:

  1. Hodges, P. W., & Richardson, C. A. (1997). Contraction of the abdominal muscles associated with movement of the lower limb. Physical therapy, 77(2), 132-142.

  2. Fritz, J. M., & Childs, J. D. (2015). Low Back Pain. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 45(4), 273-279.

  3. Shiri, R., Coggon, D., & Falah-Hassani, K. (2018). Exercise for the prevention of low back and pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. European journal of pain (London, England), 22(1), 19-27.

  4. Steffens, D., Maher, C. G., Pereira, L. S., Stevens, M. L., Oliveira, V. C., Chapple, M., ... & Hancock, M. J. (2016). Prevention of Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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