Managing Lower Back Pain

As our population lives 10 to 20 years longer every decade, learning to manage lower back pain becomes a necessity for adults, both male and female. The good news is that we live longer. So we must try to stay healthier. Lower back pain is the discomfort that most people get when they suddenly put extra strain on their lower spine, through bending or twisting. We must prevent or manage this discomfort. What is the point of living longer if we are miserable? Since we humans have been walking on two feet (bipedal), we have distinguished ourselves from our quadrupedal neighbors (animals that walk on four feet).

Most of our weight, or more than 50% of our weight, is supported by our lumbar spine. The lumbar spine includes L1, L2, L3, L4 and L5 vertebrae. The L1 vertebra starts at around the belly button, and goes down to the L5 vertebra. You can feel this spinal process, by touching your fingers to your spine

Sometimes a motor vehicle accident can trigger lower back pain. However, extraneous lifting, bending, twisting can also cause lower back pain. Like wrinkles on our forehead, lower back pain can have many forms. The goal is to prevent the recurrence of the lower back pain. Once you suffer from lower back pain, normally the pain will go away in 3 to 5 days. Sometimes, muscle pain medication can help relieve the pain. Rest, relax,and avoid doing any extraneous exercise to help manage back pain.

One important thing to remember: Once the pain has occurred, you need to exercise to strengthen the surrounding muscles. This will build a defense force to protect the area. The pain is a messenger, a type of defense mechanism; it tells us we have a weak point in our body system.

Exercise is very simple. Every morning, after you brush your teeth, stand straight up, flex the back muscles one or two times, and repeat this phrase: “I feel better”. The key is to do it daily, right after you brush your teeth. You need to create a habit of taking care of your muscles. Once you create a good habit, your body and brain will do it automatically, without even thinking about it. It is very important to sit up straight, at your desk or dinner table, to create a habit of good posture for your spine.

Back pain can happen to anybody. As we live longer, back pain is very easy to handle once you have a habit of creating a defense mechanism to help strengthen your back muscles.

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