Back pain is one of the most crippling physical problems that people have across the world! It can be minimized, and sometimes cured if you take the right measures each day. The first thing you need to do is realize why your back is hurting.
If you have tight hip flexors, limited rotation in the hip joint, and overly tight hamstrings, for starters, you are going to be putting way too much stress on your low back.
Having a strong core is much more than being able to bang out some crunches or having a six pack. Having a strong, functional core is about training all of the core muscles the right way. This includes low and mid back muscles, all of the abs.
People are too concerned about the “show” muscles and not enough about the go muscles. In other words, too many people want to look good and don’t care too much about their physical health while they are at it! There is nothing wrong with training your chest, biceps, triceps and quads. But you need to work on the important muscles too. Usually, these are the ones you cannot see (i.e. hamstrings, glutes, transverse abs, obliques, low back, etc.…)
The Smith machine and leg press are not good for your back. In fact they can be downright bad for your lower back. Please stay away from these exercises. Performing countless reps of leg curls and leg extensions are not helping your back either. You need to train your core and your legs, and do it standing. Get off of the machines. You are just weakening your back.
House and yard work must be done. However, it is stupid and naive to think you can get up off of the couch, after spending months doing next to nothing physically, and then go out and work in the yard doing all kinds of heavy lifting and other activity without hurting your back. Same goes for house work. Make sure you warm up, stretch, and do some work prior to tackling that big project in your house and yard. Your back will thank you for it.
If you have a job that requires you to drive a lot, you need to take measures to reverse the stress that you are placing on and around your low back. It is a certain that your back is going to be placed in a bad position for most of your driving. Even if you are comfortable, you were not meant to sit for that many hours in one spot. If possible, take a break and move. Get out of the car, move around, stretch out a bit, but just move. If you get gas, get out doing the filling up time. If you cannot, make sure you do this as soon as you arrive to your destination.
Try to stay active. Prolonged bed rest (more than four days) has the potential for weakening muscles and prolonging the pain.
Exercise in moderation. Start with a few minutes of daily walking, swimming or stationary cycling and build up to 20 or 30 minutes at a stretch once the pain subsides. If the exercise causes too much pain, try another. Avoid aggravating activities. Jogging, golf or tennis is out until pain subsides. You can continue your daily work routine if your job does not consist of strenuous manual labor.
Use medications. Acetaminophen or an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen can offer low back pain relief and keep you mobile. Prescription muscle relaxants, sometimes prescribed for back pain, may do little to help your pain and may cause unwanted side effects, including dizziness, drowsiness or dry mouth.
Use hot and cold treatments. An ice pack or hot water bottle applied to your lower back can be soothing.
Practice proper lifting techniques. Lift objects close to your body at navel level and avoid twisting, bending and reaching while lifting.
Avoid prolonged sitting. If you work at a desk, change positions often. Placing a support at the small of your back, using the armrests to help support your body weight, and reclining your chair back slightly may make sitting more comfortable.