Managing Low Back Pain
Manage back pain with regular exercise and professional help as requiredIf you have an attack of lower-back pain that is severe, continuous and not improving, assessment and treatment by a health care professional who focuses on the back or other musculoskeletal problems may help. These practitioners may use both active and passive techniques to help you feel better. Examples of passive techniques that may be used to get you moving include:
- Heat or ice
An active approach, like walking or water aerobics is usually the most effective. Exercise is often the best way to relieve lower-back pain.
Check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.
Work with an expert. It may help to work with a health professional who can explain which activities are right for you.
Choose exercises you enjoy. Many activities can help relieve back pain. Try to include activities that strengthen the muscles around your trunk, your abdominal muscles as well as those in your lower back. Studies show the following activities help relieve back pain:
- Lifting light weights
Common Causes Of Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back painis usually age-related, but can also result from a prior injury. The mostcommon causes include:
- Arthritis of the spinethe gradual thinning of the cartilage inside the spine
- Spinal stenosisnarrowing of the spinal canal that may lead to nerve pain
- Disc problems, such as a herniated or bulging disc
- Myofascial pain syndromeunexplained muscle pain and tenderness
In some cases, its difficult to pinpoint the cause of chronic back pain.If your doctor has exhausted all diagnostic options, its time to seek asecond opinion from a back pain specialist, recommends Nava. Itsimportant not to make rushed decisions or undergo extensive medicalprocedures until the origin of the pain is found. Not only may they nothelp they could make the pain worse, warns Nava.
If the source of the pain is not known or cant be treated, your bestoption may be to work with your doctor on reducing the flare-ups and makingthe pain manageable with nonsurgical treatments.
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How To Effectively Lose Weight Fast To Treat Back Pain
Weight loss is considered a difficult task especially if you have another condition associated with it like back pain.
Because you might not be able to perform intense workouts and cardio exercises which might worsen the back pain. Therefore, you need a proper plan to lose weight for reducing back pain.
Primarily, weight loss depends on observing your diet. The excessive fat present in the body is actually unwanted waste accumulated due to poor eating and lifestyle habits.
Therefore, first, you need to regulate your eating habits and certain aspects of your lifestyle to speed up your weight loss. Without following this step, even if you spend more time in exercise, you cannot effectively lose weight.
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Diagnosis Of Lower Back Pain
Your physiotherapist or GP will usually be able to diagnose lower back pain from your symptoms and by examining you. Theyll want to rule out whether theres any underlying problem that could be causing your pain.
Your physiotherapist or GP will ask you lots of questions about your back pain. These may include when it started, how bad it is and if theres anything that makes it better or worse. They may press against your back to see if theres any tenderness and check for any deformities. They might ask you to move around too, to see if you have problems bending or extending your back.
Usually, further tests wont help. But if your symptoms indicate an underlying problem, your GP may recommend tests including:
- an X-ray
They may also refer you to a specialist for further investigations.
Lower Body Or Reverse Plank
- Sit with your legs out in front of you and lean back. Your back should be at a 45-degree angle to the floor.
- Place your hands by your sides with the palms facing down. Your arms should be in line with your shoulders and slightly behind your hips.
- Look up at the ceiling and lift your hips while supporting your weight on your hands and heels. Tighten your core and glutes, keeping your body straight.
- Hold the position for 10â15 seconds before lowering your body.
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Consider Herbal Remedies For Your Lower Back Pain
Healthline.com gives a few examples of herbal supplements that can also help you reduce lower back pain. They note:
Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. It may help reduce inflammation associated with back pain, especially helpful after strenuous activities. Consider simmering fresh ginger root slices in hot water for about 30 minutes to prepare a spicy but soothing cup of tea. Capsaicin has also shown some promise for reducing pain. Its the active ingredient in chili peppers. You can find it in both topical cream and oral supplement forms.
Support Your Body In A Warm Pool
The buoyancy of the water lets you enjoy the benefits of exercise with less pain. Exercising in water also helps regulate the functioning of nerves and muscles, relieving pain.14
If you prefer warmer pools, look into water exercise classes and hydrotherapy pools. Water therapy exercises are often done in water that is about 83 degrees to 88 degrees. Hydrotherapy pool temperatures are often more than 90 degrees.
See Water Therapy Exercise Program
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How Long Is Too Long To Suffer From Back Pain
Nothing makes a long day even longer than having to deal with back pain. If you’re suffering from lower back pain, even simple tasks like picking up a bag of groceries can feel overwhelming.
What’s more, the cause of your lower back pain may be more complicated than the actual twisting or lifting that brought it on in the first place and preventing future pain means getting to the source of what caused it.
“If you wait to do something about lower back pain until it’s become debilitating, you’ve waited too long,” says Dr. Hosun Hwang, spine specialist at Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital. “Most people’s back pain dissipates in about a week or two, but if your pain is long-term or chronic, it’s time to see a spine specialist.”
How To Relieve Lower Back Pain Fast
You may be aware that physical therapists can help you figure out how to relieve lower back pain fast. However, you may not be sure how you can ease this pain before your first appointment. Fortunately, theres a physical therapy team that can help temporarily relieve your pain.
At Rehab Access, our therapists have seen patients get the physical therapy they need since 1999. We offer personalized therapy plans designed to help reduce your back pain and equip you with ways to help prevent it from returning in the future. Check out these tips to help relieve back pain between visits with our physical therapists.
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Home Remedies To Heal Lower Back Pain
If left untreated for long, lower back issues can cause chronic pain in the back muscles and spine and even lead to permanent disabilities. Fortunately, several natural and simple home remedies can relieve lower back pain. Below is a deep dive into the various pain-relieving strategies for lower back pain:
Get enough sleep
While pain can make it difficult to sleep, not getting enough sleep can trigger or worsen back pain. Getting adequate sleep helps your body rest and relax. The body also heals and restores damaged areas during sleep.
According to a CDC report, adults need between 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day². If you have sleep problems, you probably need to address those alongside your lower back pain. You can treat sleep issues by changing your lifestyle, practicing good sleep hygiene, and taking medication, among other things.
Get enough exercises
Certain exercises such as tai chi and yoga can help ease lower back pain and strengthen muscles in your legs and core, leading to reduced lower back pain³. Additionally, exercise increases blood flow to parts of the lower back, which reduces stiffness.
There are several simple exercises that can help relieve back pain. These include bridges, knee-to-chest stretches, lower back rotational stretches, draw-in maneuvers, pelvic tilts, and cat stretches.
Use heat and cold therapy
Use pain-relief cream
Manage stress levels
Practice good posture
Practice mindful meditation
Engage your brain
How Can Back Pain Be Prevented
In most cases, you can prevent back pain by making changes to your lifestyle.
Doing exercise helps to keep your back flexible and strong. Exercise improves your posture and helps your muscles to support your spine. Exercises that can help prevent back pain include:
- low-impact aerobic exercise
- strengthening exercises, such as lifting weights, climbing stairs or hiking hills
- stretching exercises, such as Pilates and yoga
Maintaining a good posture is important when you sit at home, in your workplace, or in your car. Try not to slouch, and use equipment that supports your back, such as a lumbar support or footstool if you need.
Keeping a healthy weight is also important. Excess fat can strain your back and lead to back pain, sciatica and inflammation.
Practise safe lifting in your home or workplace. Whenever you pick up a heavy load, squat down, hold the object close to your body, and lift with your legs.
- Quit smoking Smoking increases your chances of developing persistent back pain.
- Relax Learning relaxation techniques and mindfulness can help to reduce stress and muscle tension in your back.
- Avoid high heels wearing high heels can place strain on your back.
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Address Back Pain Sooner Not Later
If you have tried adaptations such as improving your work setup or adjusting your posture and dont have any improvement in pain within two to four weeks, you may want to seek a formal consultation with a healthcare provider or physical therapist, says Stephens.
Its not a good idea to live with pain too long physical therapists can usually be of more help if you come earlier in your pain episode, he says.
In the past, many doctors recommended bed rest for back pain, but thats no longer thought to be a good solution, says Stephens. Were pretty sure that doesnt help you get through an episode of low back pain any faster or end up with a better result, he says.
Theres nothing wrong with taking it easy for a day or two, but thats really the most that someone should be following any type of bed rest. After that, they need to try to introduce movement, because thats so important in helping tissue heal, says Stephens.
What Causes A Back Spasm
A mild strain is one of the minor causes of back spasms. However, for some others, back spasms are triggered by more complex conditions such as a herniated or ruptured spinal disc. If you feel like your back muscles are moving or contracting firmly, you should look out for the following common causes.
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When To Speak With A Doctor
It is best to speak with a doctor if back pain worsens. Keeping a diary to monitor the severity of the pain and how it impacts a personâs daily activities may assist the diagnosis.
People should also seek medical advice if they experience any of the below symptoms, which may indicate an alternative or additional underlying problem:
- a persistent curve in the lower back, even when bending forward
- tingling or numbness in the back, arms, or legs
- muscle spasms
Treatment Options For Lower Back Pain
If you see a physiotherapist or GP for lower back pain, they will probably encourage you to try the self-help measures outlined above first. They can also advise you on what exercises you can do to help your back, or may refer you to a group exercise programme. But if your pain doesnt improve, they may be able to recommend other options you can try. They can also refer you to a specialist if necessary.
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One Back Pain Treatment You Probably Dont Need
Back pain can be incredibly frustrating, and going under the knife may seem like the quickest, easiest fix to bring relief. But the truth is, many people dont need surgery for lower back pain management, Dr. Park says.
If your back pain is musculoskeletal, you will not require surgery, but if its a pinched nerve thats due to a disc herniation or something else, you may need to have surgery, he says. But even in those people, when you go through a six-to-eight-week course of treatment that includes physical therapy and activity modification, 85 to 90 percent of the time, they wont need surgery.
However, if you try the treatments above and dont see any improvement or still feel pain, talk to your doctor about a referral to a pain management specialist, as more specific tests or treatments may be required to get to the bottom of whats going on.
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Type And Severity Of Pain
Muscle pain feels like a dull ache or soreness. Certain body movements can trigger or worsen muscle pain, the intensity of which can range from mild to severe and may fluctuate in response to stretching.
People with nerve pain may experience a burning or stabbing sensation that travels to other areas of the body.
Sciatica is a form of nerve pain that affects the back. People develop sciatica when the sciatic nerve becomes pinched or compressed, which causes a burning pain in the lower back that radiates through the buttocks.
Bone pain can result from vertebral fractures or an irregularly shaped spine. This type of pain comes on suddenly. Bone pain ranges from moderate to severe and usually worsens in response to movement.
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Treating Back Spasms With Chiropractic Care
During your initial visit, your chiropractor will determine the cause of your muscle spasm. If it is caused by strain or injury, they might perform spinal adjustments or soft tissue therapy to ease the pain and discomfort.
However, if the chiropractor finds an issue with a spinal disc, then you may require different treatment or further imaging. The requisite rehabilitation may involve different exercises and stretches. In some instances, you may also be referred back to your medical doctor for additional care.
If youre worried about the treatment hurting, dont worry chiropractic care is gentle and is always a discussion between you and the treating practitioner.
Ways To Relieve A Back Spasm
Several home remedies can provide relief for back spasms, especially in the early stages of the condition. A simple shift in your daily habits such as exercising regularly and good posture will set you on the right road to recovery. Common relief methods for back spasms include:
Lets get into the specifics of each remedy in detail.
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When Is Not Helpful
Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people visit a health care provider. The good news is that the pain often goes away on its own, and people usually recover in a week or two. Many people want to stay in bed when their back hurts. For many years, getting bed rest was the normal advice. But current studies recommend no bed rest at all and stress that staying in bed longer than 48 hours not only wont help but it may, in fact, actually delay your recovery. Heres why:
Staying in bed wont help you get better faster.If youre in terrible pain, lying down for a day to help ease the distress may seem like a good idea, but moderating your activities and staying active in a limited way is a more effective way to control your symptoms. Research suggests that if you can find comfortable positions and keep moving, you may not need bed rest at all.Research shows that:
- Lying down longer than a day or two day isnt helpful for relieving back pain.
- People can recover more quickly without any bed rest.
- The sooner you start moving, even a little bit, or return to activities such as walking, the faster you are likely to improve.
You Have A Pulled Tendon
Lifting boxes or hauling heavy objects can lead to a sore back. This could mean that you have sprained some of the muscles in your back or it may mean that you have a pulled tendon. Back pain that stems from a strained muscle or ligament can also cause things like spasms. If you have a back issue then the best thing that you can do is visit MyEvolveChiropractor for some help and advice.
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Need Help For Chronic Pain We Got Your Back
Anytime youre experiencing back pain that lasts longer than two weeks with no improvement, we strongly recommend you seek care.
If you think you need care right away, you can also go to your nearest orthopedic urgent care location.
If you have a new injury or you dont think youre ready for an intensive program like TRIA Neck and Back Strengthening Program, a great place to start is to find a physical therapy location and make an appointment. Our physical therapists will tailor strengthening and mobility exercises to your unique needs, and you can plan on about six visits.
But if youre experiencing yet another chronic back pain flare up, home remedies and short-term treatments alone wont provide lasting relief. While chronic pain is long-lasting, it doesnt have to be permanent and you probably dont need surgery. And thats where the TRIA Neck and Back Strengthening Program spinal strengthening program might be able to help.
So, if youre ready to find a better way to manage and heal your back pain, schedule an in-person or video visit consultation with TRIA Neck and Back Strengthening Program today.
Is TRIA Neck and Back Strengthening Program right for you? Schedule a consultation appointment.