Lower back pain and injuries are common as roughly 80% of people suffer from lower back pain at some point in their life. Your lower back plays a critical role in supporting the weight of the upper body and facilitating movement. Despite the importance of your lower back, it is vulnerable to injury. Below you will find why your lower back is vulnerable to injury and what you can do to keep it in good shape.
Why Your Lower Back Is Vulnerable to Injury
Also known as the lumbar region, your lower back is highly susceptible to injury. Its unique structure and the demands placed upon it make your back particularly vulnerable to injury. The back is a complex structure made of various bones, muscles, ligaments, and discs. The lower part of your back includes five vertebrae. These provide stability and facilitate flexibility in your spine. The discs in between the vertebrae provide cushion as they can effectively absorb shock and ensure smooth movement. The muscles and ligaments provide additional support and stability. These components work tougher to support your upper body and allow your body to effectively move. However, there are a number of factors that can place too much pressure on your back and increase your risk of injury.
Factors Increasing the Risk of Lower Back Injury
Understanding the factors that can increase your risk of lower back injury can help reduce your risk. Consider the following to ensure you maintain a healthy lower back.
Lack of Exercise:
Regular exercise is integral for your overall health, including your lower back. It is recommended that you get at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly. Weak core muscles and poor flexibility can leave your lower back unsupported and prone to injury. Regular exercise helps strengthen and stabilize the muscles surrounding the spine. Start slow and work your way up to the recommended weekly amount of exercise for optimal lower back health.
Poor posture can impact the health of your lower back. Slouching, hunching over desks, looking down at your phone, or standing improperly can strain the structures of the lower back. Over time this can lead to injury if not addressed. Focus on good posture and talk with a Los Angeles spine surgeon about how to improve the health of your lower back.
Many professions require heavy lifting as a part of the job. Lifting heavy objects incorrectly can lead to serious issues with your lower back. Improper lifting techniques, such as bending at the waist, can place excessive strain on the lower back. This can result in serious injury and chronic pain. Focus on lifting objects correctly by using the strength of your legs. If necessary, pick up heavy items with another person, and be sure to focus on strengthening your legs through exercise.
Certain professions and physical activities require repetitive movements. Engaging in repetitive motions, especially those involving bending, twisting, or lifting, can gradually wear down the structures in your lower back. This can increase your risk of injury and lead to chronic pain. Take breaks when necessary and always use proper form to reduce your risk of injury.
Being overweight or obese can place excess pressure on your lower back. This extra pressure can lead to excessive wear and tear on the structures in your back. Excess weight can also contribute to poor posture, which can be exacerbated by weak core muscles. The lack of support can leave your lower back vulnerable to injury. Focus on maintaining a healthy weight and seeking medical support if you struggle with weight management.
Los Angeles Spine Surgeon
The health of your spine is integral to your overall health and well-being. If you struggle with lower back pain, it’s important to seek treatment right away. Issues with your back may require treatment, including a lumbar foraminotomy in Los Angeles. A spinal surgeon can diagnose your unique issue and create a customized treatment plan based on your unique needs.