Lower back pain is the leading cause of work-related disabilities in the United States. It is believed that nearly 80% of people will experience some form of lower back pain in their lifetime.
Lower back pain is a musculoskeletal disorder affecting the lumbar region of the spinal column. The lumbar region consists of the five largest vertebrae in the spine and lumbar muscles play a major role in torso support and extension. It is important to understand common lower back pain causes as well as proper treatments that will lead to lower back pain relief.
Lower back pain symptoms can vary widely and effect individuals in many different ways. From mild discomfort to debilitating pain, lower back pain is difficult to live with at any level. Pain and symptoms can present in acute or chronic conditions depending on the causes.
So, what causes lower back pain? Some instances of lower back pain are a result of an underlying disease such as arthritis. In most cases, lower back is caused by muscle and soft tissue strain. In fact, an estimated 99% of lower back pain cases occur when load is place on the back during physical use and a strain results. To relieve lower back pain it is important to identify the cause and have a plan in place to correct the problem.
Often overlooked, one of the biggest factors leading to lower back pain is excess belly fat. Belly fat obviously adds weight to the front of the torso.
That additional weight acts as a load and, as previously mentioned, that load can lead to muscle strain. The extra weight on the front of the torso is constantly pulling the torso forward, leading to poor posture. The lower back muscles have to work harder to keep the torso upright which leads to fatigue, soreness and stiffness.
That constant strain may develop an arthritic condition as well. Additionally, the excess belly weight will add more strain on the vertebral discs, which can lead to disc degeneration and potential surgery.
If a serious underlying injury or disease is not present, treatment for lower back pain starts with creating a plan to lose weight and strengthen core muscles.
With a good plan and a long term commitment, it is entirely possible to even cure lower back pain without medical intervention. Many diet and nutritional guidelines are in place to help with losing weight.
Eating healthy and implementing a cardiovascular exercise routine is the best combination for fat loss. Burning fat and losing weight is one of the most important factors for relieving lower back pain. In addition to losing weight, seek out proper heavy lifting techniques for everyday use to help avoid injury.
Clearly it takes time to lose weight, so to directly combat soreness it is important to exercise for lower back pain improvement. Stretching back muscles may provide immediate lower back pain relief.
Having a targeted stretching routine can not only relieve muscle pain, but help alleviate pressure on the vertebrae and discs of the spine. Stretching is also an important factor in giving muscles more range of motion which helps to prevent strains and sprains of soft tissue.
For long term lower back pain relief, it is terribly important to strengthen core muscle groups in addition to stretching and losing weight. Start with improving back muscle strength, both lower and upper.
Proper back muscle development will help keep the spine straight, pull shoulders in place and improve posture. It is just as important to work abdominal and oblique muscle groups. Strong frontal core muscles will also lead to improved posture and work to balance back core muscles. Developing a strong core is complimented by adding entire upper body and leg exercises as well.
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