80% of all people suffer from (LBP) low back pain at least once in their lifetime. So, if you are having one, no big deal. But if your back pain continues beyond reasonable time (say, about 6 weeks) or recurs frequently, then something must be wrong with your health habits. To find out what, you should ask yourself these questions:
#1 Am I sitting the wrong way?
A slouch sitting on a badly designed chair for a long time produces considerable amount of LBP. Sit straight with butts deep inside the seat so that your thighs are completely supported. your feet should be supported too, instead of hanging in the thin air, so adjust the chair height or get a foot rest. It is best to add a cushion in the lumbar area (the hollow of your back opposite the umbilicus). A rolled up towel works fine, but if you are the spending type then you can order the McKenzie roll.
Invest in a good ergonomic chair if you are on a sitting job, mind you, the costliest is not the best, so look for user review or expert opinion while choosing one.
#2 Am I bending too much?
Frequency of flexion (forward bending) is a known risk for LBP. in fact a study has shown if you control forward bending early in the morning there is significant improvement in the low back pain. So, next time use a broom with a log handle, tie the shoelace with the foot over the stool, bend the knees instead of stooping when you pick up something from the floor. In short, stop forward bending as much as possible.
#3 Are my daily activities taking a toll on my back?
Are Sundays/leisure days better than a working day? if yes, then most probably your ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) are over stressing your back. Remember, there are two ways to perform any work, the wrong way: when you hurt your back and the right way, when you protect it. If your job involves sitting for prolonged time without much movement, lifting and carrying heavy objects, riding two wheelers or operating machines that vibrates a lot then you should take frequent rest in between and exercise.
#4 Am I performing correct exercise?
First, are you exercising at all? Studies have shown sedentary lifestyle is a known risk factor for back pain. So, if you do any physical activity you are positioned better prevent LBP.
If you are already suffering from LBP then depending on your type of pain you need to perform specific exercises. There is no single exercise prescription that cures them all, so consult a good physio who will show you the correct set of exercises. While in most cases a properly designed exercise regime is sufficient to get rid of low back pain, a wrong set of exercise may have disastrous effect on the back pain.
#5 Am I suffering from an underlying disease?
While most back pains are mechanical in nature (overload related) a variety of systemic diseases are associated with low back pain, ranging from forms of arthritis to cancer to kidney stone. The hallmark of a mechanical back pain is it changes intensity with body posture. Still, when in doubt, always seek professional help.
#6 Am I suffering from stress?
Stress can both produce back pain and delay the recovery. Negative emotions like depression, anxiety, anger, tension etc have far reaching implications on health issues like back pain than we commonly realize. If this is the case for you then don’t ignore it. There are number of ways to de-stress, you need to choose what suits you.