02-low-back-pain

Do you wake up most days with a dull ache in your low back? Maybe it’s a little twinge that nags you all day long?

Low back pain is a menace — it affects up to 80% of us at some point in our lives. Most of the time the pain can’t be traced to anything specific.

That means it’s either all in our heads (some research proves this) or there are things we are doing to contribute to the pain.

Here are 12 reasons your low back may hurt right now — and ways to fix them:

1 – YOU HAVE POOR POSTURE

When you are hunched over it taxes and stretches the back muscles, while shortening the chest muscles. Stoop over that way for too long and those muscles will stay set — and make standing up straight feel impossible.

HOW TO FIX IT

First, make sure your stooped posture is not a result of something more serious. If it’s not, doing exercises to strengthen your core should help you stand more erect. And while you’re at it try these tips from Harvard Health.

2 – YOU SIT FOR TOO LONG AT WORK

It’s too easy to let your workday be hijacked by sitting. The time you spend on phone calls and listless scrolling on the computer screen can add up before you realize, ‘Hey, it’s been 3 hours since I got out of this chair!’

A study published in 2015 found that the longer a large group of workers sat the more intense their low back pain.

HOW TO FIX IT

Get up every 20 minutes and grab some water, converse with a colleague or simply stretch a little. Another option: Stand up whenever you get a phone call.

3 – YOU’VE GAINED WEIGHT

Is your paunch protruding? If your belly is a lot bigger today than it was last year it can create problems with your spine’s natural curvature — and stress the muscles and ligaments in the low back.

HOW TO FIX IT

Every pound you shed is a little bit less stress on the back. Try and add a little more activity to your day — which will also lessen low back pain.

Also: Try eating more anti-inflammatory foods (blueberries, avocados, salmon) since inflammation is at the root of both overweight and back pain.

4 – YOU SMOKE

Did you know that smoking may make your brain less resilient when it comes to pain?

A recent study found that smokers are three times more likely to have chronic back pain than non-smokers. Smoking may also hasten degeneration in the lower spine.

HOW TO FIX IT

Find some support to kick your smoking habit. Acupuncture may help with lower back pain and it helps some people with craving.

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Need to reach a spine and back pain specialist? Contact us online or give us a call at 323-319-2897 and we will be happy to help.