What is Lower Back Pain?

Low back pain is a universal human experience — almost everyone has it at some point. The lower back, which starts below the ribcage, is called the lumbar region. Pain here can be intense and is one of the top causes of missed work. Fortunately, low back pain often gets better on its own. When it doesn’t, there are effective treatments.

 

Common Symptoms of Lower Back Problems

Specifically identifying and describing symptoms can help lead to a more accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.

Low back pain is typically characterized by a combination of the following symptoms:

  • Dull, aching pain. 
  • Pain that travels to the buttocks, legs, and feet.
  • Pain that is worse after prolonged sitting. 
  • Pain that feels better when changing positions. 
  • Pain that is worse after waking up and better after moving around.

How to prevent lower back pain?

One of the best ways to prevent back pain is to keep your back muscles strong. Follow these steps to help protect your back and prevent back pain:

  • Do back-strengthening and stretching exercises at least 2 days a week.
  • Stand and sit up straight.
  • Avoid heavy lifting. If you do lift something heavy, bend your knees and keep your back straight. This way, your leg muscles will do most of the work.
  • Get active and eat a balanced diet. Being overweight can strain your back. Getting active and heating healthy can help you stay at a healthy weight.

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