The best thing you can do about low back problems caused by disc injury is to take steps to prevent it from happening in the first place. However, if you already have an injury, these same steps will help you to avoid re-injuring your back and in managing your symptoms. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends always using good form when lifting, such as bending your knees, using your abdominal muscles and getting help for heavy objects. The National Institutes of Health state that in addition to using good postural and work habits, exercise at least two to three times per week. This includes exercises to strengthen the abdominal muscles and back muscles as well as stretches to keep the low back flexible. In addition, if you are overweight, you will need to do aerobic activities to shed the extra pounds, which can strain your low back.
One of the most important stretches someone with low back pain should be performing is a hamstring stretch. When your hamstrings are tight, it places a lot of stress on your low back, leading to more pain and can actually cause more difficulty for you. One of the easiest ways to stretch this is lying on your back. Again, the opposite leg should be flat. Bring your knee toward your chest and straighten out your knee and try to push the bottom of your foot up towards the ceiling. Then rest and repeat. This should be performed on each side.
Since hamstring stretching should be done at least twice a day, finding other positions is a good idea, so you can incorporate this into your daily routine and you don’t have to take specific time out to lie on the floor and do your exercises. The easiest way to do that is sitting on the edge of a chair. The seated hamstring stretch is very nice because it can be done almost anywhere. Sitting in the chair, scoot to the edge of the chair, straighten out one leg, and point your toes toward the ceiling. Simply sit up straight and roll your pelvis forward and feel a light stretch up the back of your leg. This can be held for approximately thirty seconds, again, and repeated on each side. This is a great stretch that puts you into a proper posture while you’re stretching.
An important aspect to stretching is being able to relax while you are doing the stretch. A real easy way to do that for the hamstring is lying near a door jamb or a corner of a wall and place one leg up on the wall. Now drop the opposite leg and you’ll begin feeling the stretch in the back of the hamstring. This is a nice stretch because you can just relax and it doesn’t place as much stress on your low back. The object here is to work your leg up the wall to try to get a ninety degree angle. Now once your leg is straight, simply return to the starting position, slide your hips closer to the wall, and repeat.