Almost everyone experiences back pain at some point in his or her lifetime. Why is back pain so common? That’s because so many factors can directly cause or eventually lead to back pain. While some of the causes are significant and easy to understand—think of back bone fractures caused by a car accident, others are small and their harm to the back may not be so obvious to many of us. However, it is these small things that could cause us grief over time. And bending over is one of such small things that can cause back pain.
In general, when we bend we tend to bend at our lower back. And we bend a lot, to tie up our shoes, to pick up whatever we drop on the floor, and to wash our face, to name just a few. Without proper bending mechanics, bending could strain our back muscles and cause back pain. Repeated bending can also cause spinal disc damage, leading to disc bulging, disc herniation, and other degenerative disc conditions. These conditions can put pressure on the nerve. And when this happens, you’ll definitely feel the pain.
Using proper bending mechanics is the best way to avoid back pain from bending over. Proper bending requires the hips and the spine to work together. For example, when bending over to pick up a pen from the floor, start bending from the hips, not the back. And if you need to pick up or lift a heavy object, try to first bend your knees to get into the squatting position, then hold your object, and finally use your leg muscles to stand up. This way, you don’t put stress on you back muscles and the spine, and thus avoid back pain from bending over.
Small things as simple as bending over may not be so small to the health of our back. We cannot avoid bending over, but we can use proper bending mechanics when we do need to bend. If we consciously practice proper body mechanics in our daily lives, we can minimize or even avoid back pain from bending over.
Dr. Marcello Sammarone, MD ●