It’s not much help to learn how to prevent lower back pain, or any type of back pain for that matter, after the event. The old saying “no point closing the gate after the horse has bolted” springs to mind. But with some hindsight, and a little forethought, learning how to prevent back pain in the future is worth some consideration.
You probably already know that the most common type of back pain comes from straining the muscles surrounding the spine. The lumbar area – the curve of the low back – is the most common site of pain and injury. Not only does it support the most body weight, but it bears the bulk of the strain involved in sitting, bending and – what so often puts us at risk – lilting. The second most popular trouble spot is the base of the neck.
Moving the wrong way can hurt. Inappropriate body mechanics are probably the most lethal risk to the back. You don’t need to lift a lot of weight or do something excessive, it’s how you do it.
Being in good physical shape can reduce the risk, and the exercises covered in the “back pain exercises” section of this site can help. But even the strongest and most flexible among us will benefit from using the right techniques.
How to Prevent Back Pain at Work by not Bending
Try not to do it. Bending at the waist and rising on the power of the spine is one of the major causes of back trouble. Opt to squat, kneel, or sit. Whatever you choose, keep the pressure off your back. When you garden, sit on the ground and lean on one arm; when you put on your socks, keep your back straight and bend your legs; when you reach into your car trunk, place one foot on the bumper and slide items close before lifting.
Another helpful trick: keep your back straight and lift one leg backward while using the opposite hand for support – helpful for many “deep reaches,” such as into a washing machine or grocery cart.
But if you must bend … If you’re caring for a baby or tending someone confined to bed, try your best to sit or stand with your knees bent and your back straight. If you absolutely cannot, be sure to stand straight at frequent intervals and take a stretching (bending backward) break.