Ow, my back! Best ways to prevent dreaded lower back pain

People of all ages can suffer from back pain, if they’re not careful

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File photo (iStock/fstop123)

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Lower back pain is the No. 1 reason people go to see a doctor, according to Jacksonville-area chiropractor Dr. Anthony Crothers, also known as “Doc Tony.”

So, who can be affected by back pain, how does it occur and what are some ways to prevent it?

Here are answers to those key questions regarding lower back pain:

Who can suffer from it?

Lower back pain can plague people of all ages, according to Doc Tony.

“A 14-year-old could have it, or a 70-year old could have it,” he said. “These big joints in your lower back called your SI joints, they come out of alignment. When they are out of alignment, you are going to have pain off to one side. Depending on how severe, you can have radiating pain down your leg. It’s very debilitating, but it’s preventable.”

How can people get pain in the lower back?

Soft tissue in the back that holds joints together can become weak, which often becomes a problem due to poor posture, according to Doc Tony.

“If you’re sitting all day and sit with poor posture, you’re sitting with poor posture stretching the soft tissue of your lower back,” Doc Tony said. “It would be the equivalent of if I took your elbow and all day long it was pushed the wrong way.”

How can back pain be prevented?

Having proper posture for a variety of tasks is vital, Doc Tony said. This can be when sitting, standing, sleeping or making sure objects are being lifted by bending the knees instead of leaning over with the back.

“(People) pick up stuff all day long bending at their lower back,” Doc Tony said. “That biomechanically is wrong, and eventually is going to lead to problems.”

Daily stretching and strengthening exercises are also essential to having a healthy lower back.

“You have to practice good spinal hygiene,” Doc Tony said. “You have to work out. You have to do stretches. You have to do strengthening and you have to keep that joint strong. Lower back pain is debilitating and it affects your quality of life.”

If you are having trouble with back pain or want to learn more how to prevent it, click or tap here.

To view a video to learn more about lower back pain, click here.