Understanding lower back pain caused by improper posture and physical activity

Back pain affects millions of people throughout the country. Some may experience discomfort from injuries, while others encounter back pain due to their daily activities. For example, improper posture exerts pressure on the spine and causes soreness. Other types of back pain can be caused by herniated discs or related injuries to the spine.

For this article, the focus is on lower back pain due to improper posture and certain types of physical activity. Improper posture (and actions such as lifting heavy objects) exerts pressure on joints on the back or on discs along your spinal cord. Such pressure causes discomfort and inflammation over time.  


i.    Ergonomics

Ergonomics has become a big issue in various workplaces. For example, people using computers are encouraged to sit up straight with the computer at the correct eye level. This will ensure that you don't strain the discs on your lower back or other connecting tissue. Furthermore, proper eye level relieves strain on the neck muscles and along your arms.

ii.    Excessive standing

Lower back pain also occurs in people who spend long periods standing. Standing for hours on end could exert pressure on the lower back and cause discomfort. Furthermore, your muscles could also become stiff because you're not moving around enough within a certain period.

For those who have to stand often, a good idea is to increase your range of motion by stretching your arms and legs, bending and straightening your back regularly, and walking around occasionally.

iii.    Heavy lifting

Lifting heavy items often could also cause your lower back muscles to become unduly extended. This is especially the case for people who don't bend their knees and straighten their backs when lifting objects. You may experience pain within a specific region of your back or even a tingling sensation in your legs. These are symptoms that point to overextended back muscles. Physiotherapy can help ease tension and soreness in the affected area, as can maintaining proper posture while lifting heavy objects.   

iv.    Excessive physical activity

In some cases, lower back pain can be caused by heavy physical activity such as gymnastics or playing a sport. Tweaking your lower back area may cause the muscles or discs to hyperextend, which in turn causes pain. This is often the case for those who do gymnastic movements or those who play contact sports such as rugby.

Massage therapy is an effective way of easing tension from tweaked lower back muscles. Your physiotherapist may also recommend applying ice to reduce inflammation in the affected area.

To learn more, contact a physiotherapy clinic.