Low Back DOs and DON’Ts:
What to do and what not to do in order to get out of low back pain and stay that way for good. Our list may surprise you, so please read carefully and make sure you start implementing this as soon as possible to make sure you actually stop low back pain instead of making it worse!
1) Lumbar or lower back supports – those large belts that people wear around their waists when they lift or carry heavy objects are not very useful for preventing low back pain, according to a new systematic review. “We recommend the general population and workers not wear lumbar supports to prevent low back pain or for the management of low back pain,” said lead author Ingrid van Duijvenbode, a teacher and member of the research group at the Amsterdam School for Health Professionals in the Netherlands. She and her colleagues looked at 15 studies — seven prevention and eight treatment studies — that included more than 15,000 people.
“This continues the line of research that shows lumbar supports make no difference in treating or preventing low back pain,” said Joel Press, M.D., associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
The main reason for this is that lumbar supports cannot make the muscles stronger in your core and low back. In fact, they work to weaken these muscles. So, in my opinion they do more harm than good. It is significantly better to actually strengthen the core musculature so that your muscles will hold you stable and protect your lower back from injury.
2) Shoe Insoles – A team of Cochrane researchers searched the international literature for relevant studies and found six randomized controlled trials that met their inclusion criteria. These involved over 2300 participants. The researchers came to two main conclusions:
There is strong evidence that the use of insoles does not prevent back pain in someone who does not have it already, and,
There is limited evidence that using insoles may reduce back pain in people who have pain — but it may also shift the pain from the back to the legs.
In other words, using insoles will not prevent back pain and may offer temporary and limited relief, but is not viewed as an effective way to eliminate back pain.
3) Antidepressants – Doctors commonly prescribe antidepressants for patients with low back pain for three main reasons; to relieve pain; reduce mild depression and improve a person’s mood; and improve sleep. A team of Cochrane Researchers identified 10 trials that compared antidepressant treatment with placebo.
“We found no clear evidence to support the clinician’s prescription of antidepressants in reducing pain and depression for patients with chronic low back pain,” says lead author Dr. Donna Urquhart who works in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Antidepressants may play an important role in clinical depression, but I do not see any reason for a person with low back pain to be using them.
A systematic review of the literature for high-quality scientific trials published in the February issue of The Spine Journal finds exercise in workplace and community settings effective in preventing new episodes of low-back problems. “Strong and consistent evidence finds many popular prevention methods to fail while exercise has a significant impact, both in terms of preventing symptoms and reducing back pain-related work loss,” said Dr. Stanley J. Bigos, University of Washington professor emeritus of orthopedic surgery and environmental health.
Bigos and his colleagues assessed methodological quality and potential for bias of clinical trials in preventing episodes of back problems. The researchers found 20 controlled trials to be high-quality according to Cochrane Collaboration Back Review Group criteria. Seven of the eight high-quality trials promoting various exercise programs were found effective, but other common and popular methods failed including: reduced lifting programs, back or ergonomic educational interventions, lumbar supports, shoe inserts and stress management.
So, instead of quick fixes and gimmicks that do not work, the S.M.S. Low Back System will show you how to decrease and eliminate low back pain the correct way. In other words, you will naturally be improving strength throughout your body, stability in your core and improved range of motion (mobility) in your hips, legs, chest, shoulders and upper back. And once, you have gotten your body into a more natural and healthy posture and muscular balance, your pain will diminish quickly and then disappear.