Your lower back pain isn’t surprising — in fact, you kind of expected it. And why shouldn’t you? The statistics seem to indicate that back pain is inevitable.
- 65 million American adults have or have had back pain
- 16 million suffer from chronic back pain
- Back pain is to blame for 83 million missed work days yearly
Those sobering numbers appear to suggest that back pain happens indiscriminately, but the truth is, it happens for a reason — and you can often control it.
At Princeton Pain & Spine Institute in Lawrenceville and Edgewater, New Jersey, we specialize in back pain and all its varying causes and treatments. Dr. Dinash Yanamadula and our team see cases ranging from traumatic injuries to degenerative diseases, but many instances of back pain are preventable, and we explain how to avoid it with exercise.
Back pain: Why me?
Some types of back pain happen no matter what you do. Genetics can make you prone to certain diseases, and age naturally degrades tissues. However, most types of back pain stem from controllable factors.
Your physical fitness
Weak core muscles can fail to properly support the spine, while excess weight can put added stress on the back.
Carrying too much weight places excess stress on your spine, pushes your pelvis forward, and results in low back pain.
Your stress level
When you’re stressed, your body produces a flood of cortisol and adrenaline hormones, which tighten your muscles from your neck to your hips, creating tension and pain.
If your job or hobby calls for heavy lifting, technique matters — and it matters even more if you’re out of shape. Often, the lower back takes the brunt of twisting, bending, and hoisting.
How exercise helps prevent low back pain
You can eliminate each of the low back pain causes we listed with exercise. Here are a few tips to get you started, but it’s always best to consult with Dr. Yanamadula before beginning a new workout routine. Also, our expert physical therapist, Dr. Christine Savela, can ensure you perform your exercises correctly and progress according to your fitness level and physical abilities.
Tightness in the lower back, hips, and leg muscles can contribute to low back pain. Stretching loosens these muscles and reduces the risk of back strain. Stretch gently without bouncing or jerking.
Strengthening exercises prevent low back pain by building the muscles that support your spine. Exercises should focus on the core, hip, and lower back muscles, such as planks, bridges, and pelvic lifts.
Walking, jogging, or cycling gets your heart rate up and your oxygen flowing, which lowers your risk of low back pain. Cardiovascular exercise improves circulation, reduces inflammation, and promotes overall health.
Yoga and Pilates
Both yoga and Pilates are great for building core strength and flexibility through movements that improve balance and stability, which can help prevent low back pain.
Constant slouching and hunching take a toll on your back, so concentrate on keeping your spine straight and tall while sitting, standing, and walking.
Medical help for low back pain
You may experience low back pain like millions of others, despite your best efforts. Talk to Dr. Yanamadula about your symptoms and limitations. He performs a thorough exam and reaches an accurate diagnosis so he can treat the underlying cause of your lower back pain.
He also offers several treatments, such as epidural steroid injections, nerve blocks, and RF neurotomy, to keep you comfortable as you heal or work toward making lifestyle changes and engaging in exercises.
Don’t suffer another day with debilitating back pain. Request an appointment with our board-certified, award-winning pain specialist, Dr. Yanamadula, by calling our friendly staff or booking online.