If you are like most people, you will have at least one backache in your life. While such pain or discomfort can happen anywhere in your back, the most common area affected is your low back. This is because the low back supports most of your body’s weight.You’ll usually first feel back pain just after you lift a heavy object, move suddenly, sit in one position for a long time, or have an injury or accident. But prior to that moment in time, the structures in your back may be losing strength or integrity.
Pain felt in your lower back may come from the spine, muscles, nerves, or other structures in that region. It may also radiate from other areas like your mid or upper back, a hernia in the groin, or a problem in the testicles or ovaries.
One study on patients with osteoarthritis compared one group who embarked on an aerobic and resistance exercise program with another that received patient education only. The exercising group developed less disability and pain and showed a better ability to perform physical tasks.There are some reasons to believe that arthritis can be improved with activity.
Exercise is very important for slowing the progression of bone loss (osteoporosis) and reducing the risk for falls that cause fractures. Older women are at highest risk for this disease but older men are also at risk. Children should begin exercising before adolescence, since bone mass increases during puberty and reaches its peak between ages 20 and 30. In fact, one study suggests that exercise may help increase bone mass in teenagers even more effectively than high calcium intake.
People who do not exercise regularly face an increased risk for low back pain, especially during times when they suddenly embark on stressful unaccustomed activity, such as shoveling, digging, or moving heavy items. Although no definitive studies have been done to prove the relationship between lack of exercise and low back pain, sedentary living is probably a primary nonmedical culprit contributing to this condition.
More then often, we are only sitting in front of the computers or television with only our hands and brain get to exercise, while most parts of our bodies are not. Thus, backache or neckache result when our sitting position is not right. Exercise is very useful especially when on a long hour bus ride.
The standard way to sit in a chair is to put one’s buttocks on the seat of the chair and put one’s legs apart slightly with feet down ,with legs horizontal, resting on a special footrest, another chair, a table, etc., or in a chair, usually adjustable, that is specially made to allow this position, such as some deckchairs.
During the physical exam, your doctor will try to pinpoint the location of the pain and figure out how it affects your movement. You will be asked to:
Sit, stand, and walk. While walking, your doctor may ask you to try walking on your toes and then your heels.
Bend forward, backward, and sideways.
Lift your legs straight up while lying down. If the pain is worse when you do this, you may have sciatica , especially if you also feel numbness or tingling in one of your legs.
The following ideas will help you move a bit more as well as find ways to sit more comfortably. Choose them to try on a daily basis: When sitting for work, especially if using a computer, make sure that your chair has a straight back with adjustable seat and back, armrests, and a swivel seat
Sit on a chair with feet flat on the floor.Sit properly in a good chair designed for desk work. Your back should be straight, and your head should be looking directly into your monitor. If you have to look down or up, you need to adjust the height of either the screen or your chair. If you keep leaning forward, first get your eyesight checked. If your eyesight is fine use a loose belt or string to tie yourself to the chair.
Use a stool under your feet while sitting so that your knees are higher than your hips.
Place a small pillow or rolled towel behind your lower back while sitting or driving for long periods of time.
If you drive long distance, stop and walk around every hour. Bring your seat as far forward as possible to avoid bending. Don’t lift heavy objects just after a ride.
Maintain an ergonomic body posture while typing. Be sure your wrists are slightly lower than your elbows.
Stand up every half hour. Walk around a few steps, stretch your legs, and give your eyes a break from focusing on your computer screen. This will also help prevent blood clots from developing in your legs.
Never roll your head around your neck. This could cause damage to the joints of the neck. Flex your head forward/backward, side to side and look right and left
Open your arms wide as if you are going to hug someone, rotate your wrists externally (thumbs going up and back) and pull your shoulders back. You will feel a stretch in the scapula area. This will help to hunch in front of the keyboard.
Don’t neglect the health of your eyes! It is detrimental to your eyesight to focus at one thing for long periods of time (i.e. your monitor) so take breaks to look out the window and focus at something at a farther distance away to maintain good ocular health
Contract your abdominal and gluteal muscles, hold them there for a few seconds, then release. Do this all day long while you are in your chair.
Mark tine, raising just the heel. Then progress to alternately lifting the entire foot and placing the foot firmly on the floor upon a traced foot print.
You can slowly rotate the toes and wingle them while rotating. (counterclockwise and clockwise – each 10 rounds ) . Next extend your left leg in front and lift up ~30degree for 15-20seconds, then slowly put down. Do the same for the right leg
Make two cross marks on the floor with chalk. Alternately glide the foot over the marked cross: forward, backward, left and right.
Learn to rise from the chair and sit again to a counted cadence. At one, bend knees and draw feet under the chair; at two, bend trunk forward; at three, rise by straightening the hips and knees and then the trunk. Reverse the process to sit down.
Sit on an exercise ball or cushion. If you can get away with it, try sitting on an exercise ball for a few minutes several times throughout the day (all day may be a bit much on your lower back). You can roll around on it while sitting to help stretch the back and you’ll be forced to avoid slumping to stay on the ball. If that’s not an option, try a cushion like the one offered at Sissel, which promotes good posture.
Take short breaks. Set an alarm on your computer, PDA, etc. to go off every 30 minutes. Take at least one minute to stand, stretch, walk or change positions.
Stand while you work. What tasks could you do while standing? Some ideas: talking on the phone, reading your mail, working on the computer (if you can raise your monitor) goofing off, etc. Choose just one on your list and make a new rule that you’ll only do it while standing.