How to steer clear of chronic lower back pain

  • ANI, Washington
  • Updated: Oct 13, 2014 15:01 IST

A new study has revealed that body mechanics play a major role in avoiding and relieving chronic lower back pain. The research mentioned that arch was good and flat was bad to stay steer clear of lower back pain.

Tadhg O'Gara, M.D., said that the key to avoiding lower back pain was keeping pressure off the lower lumbar discs, which means keeping an arch to the lower back.

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There's acute lower back pain, sometimes intense but generally short-lived discomfort resulting from injury to the lower back incurred during sustained physical activity (playing sports, doing yard work) or by a sudden jolt (being in a vehicle collision). But it's chronic lower back pain, the kind that lasts for more than three months, that is more debilitating and more difficult to treat.

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Much of that chronic pain was caused by damage to the discs, the spongy, multi-function structures that lie between the spine's vertebrae in the lower part of the back right above the pelvis known as the lumbar region. And much of that damage was caused by poor body mechanics, the way people stand, walk, lift, carry, reach, bend, sit and sleep in which the back was too often flat, not arched.

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The intervertebral discs, essentially the spine's shock absorbers, are under constant pressure, especially in the lower back, which supports the weight of the upper body. The five vertebrae in the lumbar region are naturally arched toward the front of the body, so bending forward compresses the front of these disks, which over time can force them out of position to press on one or more of the nerves emanating from the spinal cord.

This condition known as a bulging, herniated or ruptured disc can cause pain in the lower back and elsewhere, especially the buttocks, thighs and even below the knee (sciatica). And that pain can be severe.

Kristopher Karvelas, M.D., said that patients need to recognize that posture and activity are crucial in relieving and preventing back pain, so the education also becomes the key element.

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