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How to Avoid Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is a common ailment that can significantly impact daily life. A patient recently asked me if they could proactively avoid back pain. The answer is, “Yes!” Fortunately, there are ways you can try to alleviate the pain and discomfort or avoid back pain. This guide will provide you with a basic understanding of the spine and effective ways to find relief from and avoid lower back pain.

What are vertebra discs?

Model representation of vertebra discs

If you want to relieve and avoid back pain, know that the health of your spinal column's discs is vital to being healthy. The discs support the vertebra that allows full motion in your lower back.

Discs are made of fibrous tissue designed as many small rings holding fluid inside with a very firm gelatinous mass in the center. The vertebral bodies sit and pivot on the discs. Your discs also function as shock absorbers while you walk, run, jump, etc. When you have good motion and flexibility in your discs, your body can pump nutrition into them to keep them plump and healthy. Without good movement of the discs, they will desiccate (dry up), which leads to degeneration.

Leading causes of disc disease

Trauma is the leading cause of disc disease, followed by poor posture and lack of movement. A traumatic injury such as a car accident, fall, sports injury, or improperly lifting a heavy object can cause a disc to leak fluid by rupturing many of the fibrous rings within the disc, allowing the gelatinous core material to extrude outward, thus putting pressure on a nerve. With the lower back, this commonly leads to sciatic nerve pain, followed by disc space narrowing, abnormal motion, and pain. Traumatic strains and sprains of the disc tissue lead to poor vertebral motion. Again, loss of movement sets the disc up for degeneration.

Best ways to keep your discs healthy.

Movement and exercise are the bests ways to keep your discs healthy. Gentle stretching can help to loosen up tight muscles and improve flexibility, while exercise can help to strengthen the muscles in your back and reduce the risk of future pain. Try to move your spine through its full range of motion several times a day.

A person sitting on a couch with a computer and a phone

Be cautious about sitting for hours in front of a computer. Sitting in front of a computer for long hours with poor posture can contribute to lower back pain, so correcting your posture can provide relief. Make sure to sit and stand up straight, with your shoulders back and your feet flat on the ground. Avoid slouching or hunching over and take frequent breaks if you have to sit for long periods. Try to change your posture every 15 minutes.

Using a standing disc can help engage the small muscles that support your spine, which are essential for disc health.

You can also try exercises to strengthen your core muscles, which can help to support your spine and improve your posture. Ask us which exercises would be best for you.

Stay hydrated and get a good night’s sleep.

The tissue in the discs gets replenished and restored while your body rests. If you do not drink enough water during the day, your body is too dehydrated to replenish your discs. Dehydrated discs in your spine will not only affect your mobility and cause back pain but will cause degenerative discs.

You need a good night's sleep and proper hydration during the day to give your body time to repair itself. A good night's sleep will help restore your flexibility.

How do we treat lower back pain at Beeson Wellness?

The skilled professionals at Beeson Wellness Center use a multidisciplinary approach to treat sciatica. The first step is a comprehensive evaluation, including diagnostic imaging performed in the office, such as digital X-rays, surface electromyography, or ultrasound, to determine the root cause of your sciatica.

After completing your evaluation, your provider will create a custom plan to relieve your pain, reduce inflammation, and restore function. This approach goes beyond treating symptoms. It supports the natural healing processes of your body and promotes better health overall. Your treatment plan may include the following:

•          Chiropractic adjustments

•          Trigger point injections

•          Massage therapy

•          Acupuncture

•          Physical therapy

•          Exercise routines

Our holistic approach can offer long-lasting relief from pain, and many patients experience a full recovery after completing the recommended plan.

Final Words

Your discs are built to last an entire lifetime if properly cared for.  However, a traumatic injury or a combination of inactivity and poor posture over time can wreak havoc on your spinal discs. You can be proactive in relieving disc pain through proper exercise and posture. But even when you apply the above tips, professional help is critical to recovering from an injury or long-term poor posture.  If you are suffering from lower back pain, contact us. We have the skill and professional methods to relieve lower back pain and get you on the road to recovery.    


Dr. Dan Beeson
Beeson Wellness
Portland, Oregon

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