It's normal to feel helpless when you experience low back pain, and you're not alone if you've struggled with it in the past or are currently experiencing it. I know how it feels because I have numerous herniated discs in my back, which can leave you feeling immobile for days or even weeks after an acute episode. But because I overcame my low back pain and now lead an active, pain-free lifestyle, I've made it my mission to provide others with the knowledge and tools they need to recover and live pain-free, too. I'm publishing this four-part series for that reason.
How you breathe affects the position of your spine, your general posture, and, ultimately, your risk of developing back pain since your rib cage is related to your spine and your main breathing muscle, your diaphragm, is attached to your lumbar spine.
Your low back is meant to be more stable than mobile, therefore trying to compensate for tight or limited hip rotation with your low back during twisting motions might injure your muscles and discs.
Although a "broken back" with vertebral fractures is uncommon, it can occur from severe trauma from events like a hard fall or an auto accident. In contrast to fractures, these episodes typically cause herniations and/or muscle damage.
Back pain is not a typical aging process. However, low-back problems can develop beyond the age of 30, when bone density and muscle mass start to diminish along with spinal disc health, especially if you don't exercise frequently.
As previously said, regular exercise is essential for the health of our bones and muscles. Being inactive results in stiff, weakened muscles, poor joint lubrication, dehydration of spinal discs, and other effects that can all contribute to low back discomfort because our bodies are intended for activity.
By increasing pressure on the spine, which can lead to muscle strain, pinched nerves, and herniated discs, more weight in the abdomen raises the risk of low back pain.
Chronic stress causes muscle tension and an increase in pain sensitivity, which both contribute to back pain. Low back pain is typically divided into acute, chronic, and subacute categories depending on how long it lasts:
• Acute lasts less than four weeks.
• Chronic is more than 12 weeks, even if it's intermittent.
• Subacute is anywhere from four to 12 weeks.
It will be easier to communicate with your doctor and other medical experts if you are aware of the possible cause(s) of your pain and how it is classified.
Movement is the secret to recovery and prevention, according to a growing body of studies. The proactive use of exercise has shown higher back pain relief and risk reduction over widely prescribed passive techniques, like pharmaceuticals, support belts, orthotics, and bed rest, according to a 2016 meta-analysis published in JAMA, spanning treatment options for more than 30,000 individuals. Additionally, compared to exercise alone, combining education and exercise decreased the chance of back pain recurrence by an extra 10%.
It could hurt merely to think about exercising when your back pain first appears or if it has been a chronic condition that has become worse. Not to worry. I'll provide safe activities to help you treat your specific form of low back pain in upcoming entries in the series. Here are two simple, scientifically supported ways you can start employing right away to feel some comfort because none of them are harmful to any conditions.
Deep breathing during meditation lessens the intensity of the pain, according to a study. Several studies have demonstrated that mindfulness meditation is useful for treating low back pain, particularly a chronic illness. According to a new meta-analysis that was published in the journal Pain Medicine, meditation is a safe and efficient way to manage back pain because it lessens pain severity and enhances the quality of life more than non-meditation therapies.
The cornerstone of all of my back pain treatment and prevention programs in professional sports is the practice of correct diaphragmatic breathing. That's because deep breathing not only relieves strain on the spine by realigning the ribs and pelvis but also suppresses the stress response by triggering the parasympathetic "rest-and-restore" portion of your nervous system, which promotes healing. Start with this easy 5-7-3 breathing practice to ease stress. Massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic care are further pain management choices. Before attempting any therapies, check with your doctor to make sure they are appropriate for your situation. Be careful to discuss your own experiences, theories, and aspirations for your lifestyle once you are pain-free with your doctor when you visit. As an active participant in your care plan, pay close attention, take notes, and express any concerns. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor what they are looking for, for instance, if they request an imaging test like an MRI or CT scan. Once your doctor has given you a diagnosis, ask them to explain why your illness warrants that diagnosis as well as what the outlook is. Ask your doctor to explain why they think it's the best course of action and seek a second opinion if they suggest any severe treatments, such as bed rest or surgery.
Remember that words and thoughts have power while you pursue recovery. Too frequently, when someone experiences a severe episode of low back pain, they say that their back "went out" on them. This kind of negative, passive language communicates a lack of comprehension and accountability that might obstruct the healing process. Therefore, it's critical to arm yourself with the necessary knowledge and tools to remain upbeat and proactive. Our bodies are incredible tools we have been given to help us get around in life. We owe it to them to take care of them, and the only way we can do that well is to educate ourselves, make use of the resources of medical specialists, and take action. You've already taken the first step toward being proactive by reading this article. To help you choose the workouts that will provide you with long-lasting relief, look for the following item in the series.
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