Q. I am a fit and healthy woman yet suffer from constant lower back pain especially when I remain seated for long periods of time. What can I do to keep this problem at bay as it is affecting my life negatively?
A. Lower back pain is often caused by a combination of poor posture and weak core muscles. The first thing you need to address if you suffer from lower back pain is your posture, particularly when you walk, exercise or carry out daily activities. You should always maintain a tall spine with a small curve in your lumber (lower back) and cervical (neck) areas. If you work from a desk most of the time, ensure your chair is comfortable and has back support.
Also, be in the habit of getting up and moving around from time to time. It is especially important to ensure you maintain an upright posture if you work from a computer. Don’t be tempted to bend your spine to reach the computer screen. If your core muscles are weak, you are also likely to suffer from lower back pain. These include the deep pelvic, abdominal and upper back muscles, which help to support your spine. There are lots of exercises you can do to work these once you know how to connect them effectively. Work on your pelvic floor muscles, which run underneath your pelvis from your tailbone to your pubic bone. You use these muscles to stop yourself from passing urine. If they are weak, you lose the ability to hold urine.
You will also need to tone your transversus abdominis, which run horizontally around your middle. When you pull up your pelvic floor muscles you should feel them drawing this muscle at the same time. Your upper back muscles, which attach to your shoulder blade and help to draw them down to achieve good posture, also need to be worked to help you achieve core strength.