Lower Back Pain

Self Help for Lower Back Pain

I have collected a series of gentle exercises for sufferers from lower back pain. They're also good for people whose backs are healthy but who want to avoid back pain in the future. You can read about these exercises ortry out these lower back pain exercises yourself.

Got Low Back Pain? You’re Not Alone!

Three-quarters of Americans will suffer from low back pain in their lifetime (American Association of Neurological Surgeons.) In the UK, the charity Back Care say nearly half of the adult UK population suffered low back pain for more than a day in the last year.

Why Is There So Much Lower Back Pain?

We spend a lot of time sitting down: driving, the office, the factory, TV, the home PC, cafés and pubs. We use chairs a lot of the time, and hardly use our legs compared to previous generations.

When we’re on our feet and moving, muscle tone in our lower backs is changing step by step as we move weight from one leg to the other. Muscles and joints can alternately engage and let go. The muscles can rest regularly.

When seated or standing still, it’s a very different matter. Muscles are locked in use all the time, and never have a chance to take a breather.

There are many more technical descriptions of who has lower back pain and why. You could read Back Care’s UK report (2005) or The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (2006) if you want further information. Medline Plus: Back Pain is a popular medically-oriented source of information and links.

Self-Help Prevention of Low Back Pain and Injury

  • Take every opportunity to walk rather than cycle, cycle rather than catch a bus, and catch a bus rather than drive
  • Coming home from a sit-down job, consider going for a walk, playing football with the kids (this will help your childrens’ backs in later life, too) or doing the garden rather than slumping in front of TV

Typical Accidents

  • Falling on base of spine
  • Lifting accidents
  • Sitting for long periods, including sitting at a computer for work, or working on a production line or checkout
  • Pregnancy and birth

Side-effects of Low Back Pain

  • “Weak knees”, crackly knees and ankle joints
  • Tight shoulders, painful hands and arms
  • Difficulty walking up/downhill
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Affects family and social relationships
  • Affects work
  • Tiredness
  • Depression