Lower lumbar pain in the back or spine is something that has become more common or I should say more commonly diagnosed and recognised by people suffering from it in recent times.
Personally, I had a very painful episode 2 weeks ago where I was performing the simple task of drying off after hopping out of the shower when I was struck by a very sharp pain in my lower to mid back.
It was very very scary at the time, and has led me to write about this topic as I had not encountered this pain for a long time – the last time I had experienced such pain would have been over 15 years ago when I bent over to pat and play with a smaller dog, only to succumb to a sharp pain which had me bed-ridden for the night.
I did not know exactly what I could put the pain down to, it was such a split second thing.
Was it that my bed was too old – do I need a new mattress?
Have I been sitting the wrong way during the day and my posture issues have created this excessive pain accordingly?
Is my back pain a result of sitting/laying down with my neck and upper back slanted upwards whilst my lower back is flat, possibly leading to back spasms?
Was it simply to be put down to my age(I am 38) and after years of possible neglect or just expecting to always have the same level of health, fitness and body shape, that my back was starting to feel the strain and I needed to swiftly attend to it?
Was I now suffering from lower lumbar arthritis?
I was completely unsure what the issue was – so I self-treated with some heat patches and herbal oils, coupled with a change in position when sleeping. The laying down part of the deal wasn’t too bad, but any movements during the night, sudden movements up or down the bed, or simple things like hopping out of bed to go to the toilet or getting up to help with my youngest if she cried or needed some milk became tough tasks.
Throw in the fact that it was the middle of winter in Sydney, and that added further pain and stiffness, and it made for a tough period, which has improved gradually but is still certainly there.
To help improve my back posture I focused on maintaining a more upright and stable seated position during the day when sitting at my desk at work, whilst stretching at night in a stationary and extended lay down position – to help with emphasising a straighter back naturally whilst lying down – and hopefully help me reinforce some good habits with my posture afterwards.
This has helped gradually, but I will certainly need to have this looked at further, by a professional if it persists – along with getting back into some exercise and stretching that will be able to loosen up the area.
I also try to go for regular walks each day, whether it be during my lunch break or even every hour at work, I would get up for 2-3 minutes just to get the blood flowing and not be stuck in that seated position for too long. This became a lot harder straight after the painful incident, but I am slowly incorporating this back into my day.
The crux of this discussion is that we need to be vigilant and aware of when we start to feel some pain or discomfort, to not let it just plod along and slowly worsen. It is critical that we try to look into our options of how to prevent, cure or remedy any injuries – preventions the best way but we are creatures of habit, meaning that we often let things go and drift week to week with our busy lifestyles and not attend to ourselves.
I am pretty confident that I have contributed heavily to what happened, so the key now is to ensure that I do not let this become a quickly forgotten event, and settle back into my daily routine without focusing on some good posture habits and lower to upper back strength.
I feel that a lot of the issues that we face with back pain and that unsettled feeling can be attributed to the following:
I urge you all to be cautious and review your everyday patterns and do some simple checks to see how you are placed in relation to the above topics.