The human back can sometimes feel like a curse. Do you have an active job? Your back hurts. Do you have a job where you sit a lot? Your back hurts. Are you a human being? Your back hurts!!
The fact of the matter is that most people will experience low back pain in their life. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, nearly 66% of Americans experience low back pain, but only 37% seek professional help to for pain relief. Instead, about 72% of people with low back pain use some kind of medication to help with their pain.
While low back pain is common, it doesn’t have to be a “life sentence.” Physical therapists are experts that can help treat low back pain. They can also offer advice on how to prevent it. A life without back pain…doesn’t that sound like a dream?
One of the important things about preventing low back pain is staying active. It might seem weird, right? You’re in pain, so your first thought is that you need to take it easy and rest. But, you shouldn’t rest too long. Bed rest can actually slow recovery.
While most back pain isn’t serious, if you find that yours is lasting longer than a few days, you should see a physical therapist. They will evaluate you and help form a plan to get you feeling better and stronger, and to help prevent back pain in the future.
Here’s something basic to start with: sitting. If you have ever had a job that requires a lot of sitting, you know how hard that can be on your posture and back. Here are some pointers to help improve your sitting posture and hopefully relieve some of the strain on your back:
DON’T sit in a “C” shape. This is when your shoulders are slumped over and your pelvic area is slumped forward, which makes your body look like a “C”
DON’T try and straighten just your upper body. This will potentially cause more pain.
DO imagine you have a tail, like a dog. Think of how a dog sits without sitting on its tail.
DO stick your butt out as you sit down, imagining that your tail is behind you and you don’t want to sit on it
DO sit with your butt and pelvic area pushed behind you.
If you want to learn more, or if you have questions about how physical therapy can help with your low back pain (or any other pain, for that matter), contact us! We love talking about this stuff, and we’re here to help.