The Lower Back
The lower back (lumbar spine) is a complex structure made up of bones (vertebrae), nerves, discs, ligaments and muscles. It provides us with mobility and strength. Proper functioning of the spine is needed for almost all activities of daily life. Poor posture from sitting for too long in a poor position, prolonged periods of bending or heavy lifting are amongst the most common causes of low back pain.
- Always warm up/cool down and stretch thoroughly before taking part in any physical or sporting activity in order to reduce the risk of injury.
- Try to avoid long periods of sitting, bending and heavy lifting. Vary your posture throughout the day and take regular breaks to reduce postural tension in the lower back.
- At your desk, check that your chair provides adequate support for your lower back. Consider using a lumbar roll. Make sure your feet don't "dangle" - use a footrest if necessary.
- When gardening, consider using long-handled tools to help take the strain off your back.