Tips to Reduce Lower Back Pain

Updated March 2016

How to Lift to Prevent Lower Back Pain

To help reduce discomfort and protect yourself from injury, follow these helpful tips.

You may find these tips to be familiar. 

However, most of us do not spend enough time or effort putting them into practice.

1.  When lifting or carrying heavy or awkward objects, make sure to grasp and hold the object closely to your body. This will help you to use your waist as a support, thereby not relying only on your arms. It will also help to keep you balanced.  Very heavy objects should be not be carried if you currently have a disc problem.

2.  Whenever you need to reach down to pick up something, do not bend or lean over.  Bend at the knees and hips to lower yourself. Please see the One Simple Rule from the How to Protect Your Back page for detailed instruction. This will reduce your chances of a lumbar disc injury or back spasm.  This exercise will help to strengthen your leg muscles and improve you hip mobility.

3.  When picking up heavy or large items, lower yourself as if you were squatting on a chair and bring the item closer to your center of gravity.

4.  Keep your hips and legs conditioned by performing the Reverse Lunge. This is an exercise that can be done anytime you must lower your body.  You can make use of this movement for example, when tying shoe laces, doing housework or anything that requires you to lower your center of gravity.

5.  Avoid sitting for extended periods of time. For every 30 min of sitting, spend one to two minutes standing. At work, use the opportunity to take bathroom breaks, get something else done, etc.
This helps to exercise the legs and to mobilize the hips.

6. If you must sit for long periods of time, then incorporate the Seated Lunge into your day.  This should be done often and especially if you are already experiencing symptoms of pain. This exercise helps to reduce posterior pelvic tilt.  It will also stretch the hip flexors.  If you neglect these two areas, you will be prone tochronic lower back pain.

7. When you need to reach over or down to pick up or manipulate an item or object, make certain that you position your body such that the object is directly in front of you.  Avoid twisting to your side and never behind your (ex. reaching behind to the back seat of your car to retrieve something.).  This is a complex movement for your spine and will risk disc injury.  Back spasms are likely.  Unless your upper and lower body is well conditioned for this movement, you will most likely cause an injury due to the significant muscle imbalances which are generated.

8. Avoid the unnecessary use of over medicating in order to reduce symptoms of lower back pain.  Chronic intake of acetaminophen and ibuprofen may alleviate immediate discomfort but will not address the root causes that lead to the discomfort.  By masking the pain with the use of such forms of pain management, you risk further injury by engaging in activities prematurely.  Minimizing your intake of pain medication will help to make you more aware of your present injury.  Although this does not help with your discomfort, it will help to prevent you from further risk of re-injury. This will help to extend your recovery time and increase your body’s need to repair and heal.  Excessive use of anti inflammatory medication actually delays your immune systems efficiency. It is your immune system among other factors which are necessary in the repair process for your discs, joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles.

9. Try to consciously contract your glute muscles (buttock clenching) before your rise up from your seat or from the floor.  This engages them to contract before your quadriceps will.  This provides more stability for your pelvis which reduce lumbar discomfort.  Healthy and responsive glute muscles are essential to relieving lower back pain.  Chronic sitting ‘shuts down’ natural glute muscle activity.

10. Adopt a structured, progressive and safe method of stretching.  Target muscle groups that have a known effects on the health a well being of your lumbar spine.  Target your lower back, hips and legs.  Follow this routine on a daily basis to ensure protection of your joints and discs.

These tips are very important for the protection of the lumbar discs. They should be followed on a daily basis. All of them can be done as part of your daily routine as you manage your day. They require very little extra time in your busy schedule as you can perform them during within your schedule.

For more detail on how to perform the exercises mentioned on this page, please see the section on one simple rule, reverse lunge and seated lunge page. These pages will help to ensure that you can perform these exercises correctly and safely.

If you find this page helpful,  please read the many pages here that offer other valuable tips and exercises to help you reduce your pain.


If you are tired of enduring this form of chronic pain, and are in need of a proven, structured, plan for pain relief: Search this site for more valuable help and Download the eBook to start today.