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6 Tips for Avoiding Lower Back Pain

A person in their living room holding their lower back in pain to represent how lower back pain may arise.

Nearly everyone will experience some form of lower back pain at some point in their lifetime.

This is because the lower back supports the weight of the upper body and is subject to a lot of stress and strain – especially during regular, everyday movements like lifting and twisting.

It’s a common concern for almost every level of athlete, as most sports involve twisting and turning of the body because most sports involve kicking, swinging, or sudden changes of movement.

Note: The lower back is the area behind the belly from the rib cage to the pelvis and is also called the lumbar region.

​Lower back pain can start in the early 20s and continue throughout adulthood. Studies have shown that up to 80% of the general population are affected by low back pain at some time during their lives. Learn to prevent lower back pain by knowing what activities could be putting you at risk.

One of two things typically causes lower back pain: a sudden injury or the wear and tear of life activities and sports. No matter the cause of your lower back pain, here are 7 recommendations from the wellness team at Doylestown Sports Medicine Center that can help you ease back pain and prevent future problems.

1 – Posture

A depiction of two standing postures, one poor and one proper.

To prevent lower back pain and prevent lower back injury, it’s important to maintain proper posture when performing physical activities, particularly if you play sports or have a job that requires repetitive motions.

Avoid slouching as much as possible and aim to keep your spine in a relaxed, upright position.

When lifting, use your legs and sit back into your hips, knees, and ankles- like you are going to sit down in a chair.

​Click here to learn how posture can be a contributing factor to your pain.

2 - Posture While Seated

Diagram depicting 4 seated postures: slouched, forward head posture, sitting at attention posture and proper seated posture.

You can avoid lower back pain by maintaining proper posture when sitting. If you have a desk job, keep your feet planted on the floor and use a chair that provides lower back support.

Note: A footrest is a great idea if your feet cannot reach the floor.

​Avoid hunching forward to see your computer screen and reaching far in front of you to use your mouse or keyboard.

3 - Use Heat and Ice

Two side-by-side images depicting a person using ice (on the left) to treat their injury and a person using heat (on the left) to treat their pain.

If you’ve experienced lower back pain, applying ice within the first 24-72 hours can help ease pain and reduce swelling. After that, switch to heat to help relax tight muscles.

Heat – a hot water bottle is used by many and is useful for chronic lower back pain that isn’t related to an acute injury. Regardless of whether you’re using heat or ice, you shouldn’t use it for more than 20 minutes at a time to help prevent skin damage.

Note: Make sure you use enough layers of towels to protect your skin from the heat or cold.

4 - Proper Footwear

Image of a person tying their shoes mid-run.

Supportive footwear can improve your posture, increase stability while walking, and decrease your risk of suffering from lower back pain. Make sure you wear the correct footwear for the activity you are performing.

Although occasionally wearing unsupportive shoes such as flip flops or high heels is unlikely to cause lower back problems, prolonged or frequent wear can put increased pressure on your lower spine.

4 – Maintain a Healthy Weight & Diet

Image displaying healthy food choices.

Being overweight increases the strain on the lower back, especially as we get older.

Follow guidelines and recommendations for diet and exercise and aim to keep your weight within a healthy range for your height.

6 – Being Active, Mobile and Healthy for Avoiding Lower Back Pain

If you’re suffering from lower back pain, resist the temptation to stay dormant in bed. Think of the complete opposite: moving around and engaging in gentle stretching can help your lower back muscles heal faster.

However, be wary and careful to move within your comfort zone and avoid strenuous activities that cause more pain.

If you are in retirement and struggling to stay active

Corrective Muscular Therapy

CMT is a great way to help lengthen shortened muscles and relieve tension in the lower back. Healthy lower back muscles lead to increased overall stability, which can help prevent future lower back problems.

Click here to explore our Corrective Muscular Therapy page.

If you suffer from lower back pain

If you are suffering with lower back pain, or it is preventing you from doing the things you really love to do, then you are probably worrying about what might happen if things continue to get worse…

You may be hoping that things fix themselves, but you aren’t sure what the problem is or what to do to solve it.

If this sounds like you, and you don’t want to feel anxious about the prospect of going into the hospital.

At Doylestown Sports Medicine Center, we have helped thousands of patients, and helped hundreds of people just like you who are experiencing daily lower back pain and unable to move freely. If you want to get some personalized advice, we offer you the opportunity to speak to a member of our wellness team on a 1-1 basis in one of our four clinics…

In this Free Pain Consultation, we will discuss your back pain, and identify the underlying cause, as well as what solutions are available to you.

​Click Here to Arrange Your Free Pain Consultation


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