There are many lifestyle changes you can practice to help prevent lower back pain. Here are a few guidelines and tips:
- Adopt a balanced, healthy diet.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Stay active and exercise often.
- Warm up and stretch before exercise.
- Get up and move around for at least 5 minutes for each hour that you’re seated.
- When sitting, use a back support at the curve of your back.
- When sitting, keep your legs uncrossed and your ankles directly under your knees.
- Do simple leg exercises a few times per day if you’re on bed rest.
- Practice good posture.
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes.
- Sleep on a firm mattress.
- Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects and use correct form if you must lift something.
- Quit smoking to improve blood flow and to increase the oxygen and nutrients to your spinal tissues.
- Stay hydrated.
- Avoid alcohol.
Set up your workstation so that it’s ergonomically correct. You want to have the option to sit, stand, and perform some gentle stretching while working. Set up a yoga mat or some cushions by your workstation. You may be more apt to do some gentle stretching or drop into a few yoga poses with the appropriate setup nearby. Another option is a standing desk. It’s a good idea to balance out your work time between these three options
When you are sleeping or resting in bed, you can use pillows or towels reduce pain and help with postural alignment.
- If you sleep on your back, place a pillow below your knees, and a folded towel (that is a lower height than your pillow) in the small of your back. This will align your posture as you rest and distribute weight more evenly.
- If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your knees. The pillow will help keep your hips, knees and spine in alignment.
- If you sleep on your belly, place a pillow underneath your abdomen/hips. This will help relieve the pressure off your lower back.