Pharmacy Corner
Low Back Pain How to prevent low back pain

Are there exercises can help with low back pain?

There is a great selection of exercise regimens designed to strengthen back and surrounding muscles. One of them is the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health patient manual for back pain.20 The manual shows some exercises to strengthen your muscles. There are also back exercises tailored to training specific muscles in the back, and what movements make the pain better or worse. Exercises tailored specifically to your back pain work in preventing work-related back pain.21

Exercise is critical for the body to burn calories and lose weight. Not only does losing weight help with overall health, but also helps your back and prevents further injury.

Myth: “The pain will go away if I just lie in bed and rest for a week”

Many people believe that because back pain is caused by too much stress and physical work on the back, so resting would help them recover. The opposite is actually true. Lying in bed for too long can worsen short-term back pain.22 It is important to stay active and try to move around, even if it is uncomfortable.

Can posture help prevent low back pain?

Yes, we often do not pay enough attention to posture, but it important for back pain prevention.4 Some tips on posture include:

  • Standing straight with head up with your ears, shoulders, and hips all in a straight line
  • Try to sit in chairs with back support and keep your knees raised above your hips while sitting
  • Sleep on your side with knees bent in and avoid using soft mattresses

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Would a back brace or support prevent low back pain?

Back braces or supports used on their own are not helpful in preventing low back pain.23 When used together with other prevention methods such as exercise, it may or may not help. As of 2015, we do not recommend the use of back braces or supports for prevention of low back pain.

What dietary modifications can I make to alleviate low back pain?

Diet is a crucial for keeping a health weight. Keeping your weight in check by exercise and diet can relieve stress on your back. That being said, there is no specific diet for maintaining a healthy back. Canada’s Food Guide has many ideas of how to create balanced meals to help you maintain an ideal weight and stay healthy.24