Engage In Simple Stretching Exercises To Prevent Stiffness
Exercises that include gentle stretching of the lower back, buttocks, hips, and legs can improve blood flow to these areas and increase range of motion, preventing stiffness.
To prevent further injury, it is advisable to wait for a couple of weeks before engaging in intense workouts and other strenuous physical activities.
How Can You Prevent Lower Back Pain
While you cant stop aging or change your genetic makeup, lifestyle changes can help manage and prevent lower back pain. Having a healthy lifestyle may make you less likely to suffer an accidental injury, too.
Improve your physical fitness. People who are not physically fit are more likely to develop lower back pain because strong core muscles help support the lower back.
Stay active. People who lead sedentary lives may be more likely to injure themselves when they do exert themselves. As far as back health is concerned, its better to do a smaller amount of physical activity most days of the week than to sit all week and over-exert yourself on the weekends.
Lose weight if necessary. The more you weigh, the more pressure you have on your lumbar vertebrae. Being overweight or obese can put stress on the back and lead to lower back pain.
Lift heavy objects the right way. Be sure to squat while lifting so that your hips and knees do much of the work. Keep the load close to your chest while you lift.
Your legs, not your lower back, should be the main driver when you’re lifting something heavy.Make your workspace as ergonomic as possible. If you sit at a desk, make sure your chair has plenty of low-back support and your hips are at a right angle to the floor.
Dont use tobacco products. In addition to all the other health problems tobacco use causes, it can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the discs, causing them to degenerate faster.
Lack Of/too Much Physical Activity
If you sit most of the day, it weakens your core muscles, which support your spine. A spine that is not properly supported is easily susceptible to injuries, such as strains, pinched nerves, bulging discs and herniated discs.
Exercising on a daily basis is a great way to get your blood flowing and your blood circulation increased .
Release those feel-good endorphins, and help clear nasty toxins from your body.
Swimming is also very beneficial for lower back pain.
Heres a good video showing 5 effective morning stretches for back stiffness:
If your lower back is stiff after working out , heres the #1 way to prevent it.
Also Check: Advil For Back Pain Dosage
When To Get Medical Help And Advice
Nine out of 10 people find their lower back pain improves within four to six weeks. You may find that you feel better sooner than this, in a few weeks. But contact your GP if the pain is severe, getting worse over time or isnt improving after four to six weeks. Also, contact your GP urgently if you feel unwell or have a high temperature. And if you have had cancer or osteoporosis, your GP may want to check that there isnt a more serious cause.
Seek medical attention right away if you:
- have numbness or tingling around your bottom or genitals
- cant control when you pee or cant go at all
- lose control of your bowels
- are unsteady when you walk, your legs feel weak or your foot is dropping or dragging
These may be signs that the nerves at the bottom of your spine are being squashed. This is called cauda equina syndrome and needs urgent treatment.
Less Common Causes Of Low Back Pain
Inflammation of the joints of the spine sometimes causes back pain. Osteoarthritis is the common form of arthritis and usually occurs in older people. Ankylosing spondylitis is another form of arthritis that can occur in young adults and which causes pain and stiffness in the lower back. Rheumatoid arthritis may affect the spine but you are likely to have other joints affected too.
Various uncommon bone disorders, tumours, infection and pressure from structures near to the spine occasionally cause low back pain .
The rest of this leaflet is mainly about nonspecific low back pain – the common type of low back pain.
You May Like: How Does A Diuretic Help Back Pain
Injections And Other Procedures
Depending on the source of your pain for example, if you have sciatica epidural injections may be helpful. Injections in the spine arent recommended for non-specific lower back pain though. If your back pain is chronic and other treatments havent helped, there is a procedure called radiofrequency denervation that uses a needle to treat the pain. This is only suitable for some people and you may need to have other tests beforehand. Speak to your specialist for advice.
Rest In Moderation To Calm The Tissues
A short period of rest, for a few hours on the first day, can help calm sore muscles in the lower back and avoid sudden or unnecessary movements that may induce pain. Resting for several hours or days is not advisable, as too much inactivity can make the back stiff and healing more difficult.
Read Also: Aleve Or Ibuprofen For Back Pain
So You Feel Like Turning Japanese
Like the 80s English band, The Vapors, you might feel like turning Japanese, but of course you cant. You might not be able to move to Japan or even buy sushi where you live. But you could have your own amazing miniature Japanese doll house! This one is sold as a kit from Billy, a Japanese dollhouse company.
More Easy Ways To Relieve Lumbar Stiffness
If theres one thing Ive learned over the years, is that the first step of healing is natural pain relief.
And while most people reach for muscle relaxants like Motrin and pain relievers like Aleve to get them going, you dont need to.
1. Hot Shower a hot shower serves as a means to induce sweating, promote blood circulation and release muscle spasms. Simply stand under the hot water and relax.
2. Massage You can either try to massage the stiff area yourself or ask someone else to do that for you. If theres no one around , a trigger-point foam roller is an excellent solution.
You lay flat on the foam roller and move back and forth while the little trigger points massage and relax your lower back in just minutes. I highly recommend the Grid Foam Roller for this purpose.
3. Infrared Heating Pad aninfrared heating pad is in my opinion superior to the regular electric heating pad because the infrared rays penetrate deeper into your tissues and promote the healing of the area, not just relieve the pain .
If you havent heard about this natural pain relief method, its time to find out.
4. Damage Control Exercises after a hot shower, do some gentle knee bends. As far as you can go without falling. This exercise works almost 90% of the skeletal muscles.
Find a counter or a chair for support, then exhale and squat as low as you can, then inhale and stand up again. Try to do 10 of these.
What will you do next?
To your health and happiness,
Don’t Miss: Is Aleve Good For Back Pain
What Is Lower Back Pain
Low back pain can result from many different injuries, conditions or diseases most often, an injury to muscles or tendons in the back.
Pain can range from mild to severe. In some cases, pain can make it difficult or impossible to walk, sleep, work or do everyday activities.
Usually, lower back pain gets better with rest, pain relievers and physical therapy . Cortisone injections and hands-on treatments can relieve pain and help the healing process. Some back injuries and conditions require surgical repair.
Best Vitamins And Minerals
When it comes to inflammation control, these are the 2 most important vitamins and minerals.
Its been proven if you lack one or both of these, your chances of suffering from chronic inflammation are almost double.
1. Vitamin D
A number of studies have linked low levels of vitamin D with increased levels of chronic pain.
One 2009 study looked at the vitamin D levels of people with chronic pain who were using opioid painkillers.
Those who had a deficiency of vitamin D needed almost twice as high a dose of medication to control their pain.
Make sure you get the natural form of Vitamin D, which is Vitamin D3.
Magnesium deficiency is becoming a widespread problem around the world. Vegetables contain less and less Magnesium each year and its very easy to become Magnesium deficient.
From personal experience, I can tell you that using Magnesium oil has worked wonders for me and family with any kind of muscle pain and even restless leg syndrome.
The most absorbed type of Magnesium is called Transdermal magnesium, which gets in your body through your skin and is better absorbed than oral Magnesium supplements.
The best Transdermal supplement I know is this one you can read all about Magnesium oil benefits in this post.
Don’t Miss: Advil Vs Ibuprofen For Back Pain
What Are The Treatments For Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain usually gets better with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain relievers. After a few days of rest, you can start to get back to your normal activities. Staying active increases blood flow to the area and helps you heal.
Other treatments for lower back pain depend on the cause. They include:
- Medications: Your provider may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or prescription drugs to relieve pain. Other medications relax muscles and prevent back spasms.
- Physical therapy : PT can strengthen muscles so they can support your spine. PT also improves flexibility and helps you avoid another injury.
- Hands-on manipulation: Several hands-on treatments can relax tight muscles, reduce pain and improve posture and alignment. Depending on the cause of pain, you may need osteopathic manipulation or chiropractic adjustments. Massage therapy can also help with back pain relief and restore function.
- Injections: Your provider uses a needle to inject medication into the area thats causing pain. Steroid injections relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
- Surgery: Some injuries and conditions need surgical repair. There are several types of surgery for low back pain, including many minimally invasive techniques.
Six Stretches To Help Alleviate Low Back Pain And Tightness
Letâs admit it, having low back pain is no fun, especially when you wake up in the morning with it knowing that you have a full day at work ahead of you. That is why we believe that every morning you should spend a few minutes stretching out the most important and most engaged muscles in the low back.
Sitting at your desk all day can lead to lower back pain, neck pain, shoulder tightness, and other ergonomic issues. Performing daily stretches can help you loosen your muscles and improve your flexibility, making your body more resilient and better able to handle a full day at your desk.
- Knee to Chest
Use this stretch to align pelvis and stretch lower back and rear end muscles. Lie flat on your back with toes pointed to the sky. Slowly bend your right knee and pull your leg up to you chest. Wrap your arms around your thigh, knee or shin, and gently pull the knee towards your chest. Hold for 20 seconds and slowly extend the leg to starting position. Repeat three times each leg.
- Lying Knee Twist
- Use this movement to stretch the paraspinal muscles and strengthen the abdominal muscles. Lie on your back with your legs extended straight out. Bend the right knee up and cross it over the left side of your body. Hold in a position that allows you to feel a gentle stretch through the back and buttocks muscles for 20 seconds. Tighten your core muscles and rotate back to center. Repeat three times on each side.
Recommended Reading: Aleve And Back Pain
Exercise To Loosen Muscles
Although it may seem counterintuitive to exercise when lower back pain is causing you grief, the right kind of movement can help eliminate the discomfort. Its always important to consult your physician before you engage in exercise when you have pain, but this conversation is well worth having if youre suffering.
First, you should keep in mind that not all exercise is beneficial in combating back pain. Try to avoid toe-touch exercises and sit-ups, which may add to the stress on your spine instead of relieving it. Leg lifts are another exercise to stay away from when you are hurting. If your core is not strong, leg lifts could be too demanding on your body if youre already experiencing pain.
Several types of exercises can be useful when you need to relieve back pain. Partial crunches can aid in strengthening your core without applying too much pressure to the area. Slow and controlled wall-sit exercises may also be useful. Other repetitions to consider include bringing each knee to the chest in succession, pelvic tilts, and swimming.
Relieving Your Back Pain
When you are suffering from an ache or struggling to get lower back pain relief, it may seem difficult to take a proactive approach to the matter. However, alleviating such aches may be largely within your control. If you make some simple changes in habit and lifestyle, you might be pleasantly surprised by the results. At North Texas Medical Center, we take great pride in helping our community achieve better health. If you are suffering from backache, call us at , or contact us online today.
Also Check: Aleve For Lower Back Pain
% Of People Will Experience Back Pain At Some Time But There Are Ways To Find Relief
As people enter middle age, they are more likely to experience bouts of low back pain. In fact, according to the Harvard Special Health Report Men’s Health: Fifty and Forward, back pain affects about four in five Americans at some point in their lives and equally strikes men and women.
Age is often the culprit. Over time, the bones and joints in your lower back begin to change. Your discs tend to wear out and sometimes become fragmented. These structural alterations sometimes cause pain.
Another cause of low back pain, although it occurs less often, is a herniated disc. Sometimes, a disc pushes outside the space between the bones and compresses a nerve at the point where it branches off the spinal cord. When the sciatic nerve that leads into the buttocks and leg is affected, the pain is called sciatica.
Yet, most cases of low back pain stem from strain or sprain due to simple overuse, unaccustomed activity, excessive lifting, or an accident. In most cases the best move is to wait and see if the pain resolves on its own. If the pain does not improve after three to four days, then it’s time to see a doctor.
However, depending on the source of your back pain and its severity, you might try a few home remedies for low back pain to help ease the pain until your back returns to normal. Here are several options to consider:
Complementary therapies. Several types of complementary therapy may be helpful for relief from low back pain. These include:
Hyperextension On The Fitness Ball
If you dont have a gym membership and youd prefer doing this stretch at home, grab a large fitness ball and lay on your stomach. Start by placing both hands behind your head and lowering your shoulders. Stop once you feel a full stretch and then engage your lower back, bringing yourself back up again. You can use this stretch as a back exercise as well by doing more repetitions.
Read Also: Back Pain Cleveland Clinic
When It Is An Emergency
You should seek emergency treatment for the following.
- The stiffness and pain after an acute injury are so severe that you are unable to move
- Changes in vision or eye pain
- Weakness in your legs, sensation changes in your legs or groin, and/or loss of control over bowel and bladder function
- Systemic symptoms such as fever and fatigue along with severe back pain
When & How To Seek Medical Care
If low back pain lasts for longer than one to two weeks, seek medical care. First, make an appointment with your primary care physician.
Seek immediate medical attention if any of the following symptoms are present in addition to back pain:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Unexplained fever
- Loss of control of your bowels or bladder
Recommended Reading: Is Aleve Or Ibuprofen Better For Back Pain
What Is The Role Of Invasive Procedures In Chronic Low Back Pain
A recently published review summarised the available evidence about the efficacy of surgery and other invasive interventions for low back pain and sciatica. A number of interventions, including facet joint, epidural, trigger point, and sclerosant injections, have not clearly been shown to be effective. No sound evidence is available for the efficacy of spinal stenosis surgery. Surgical discectomy may be considered for selected patients with sciatica due to lumbar disc prolapse that do not respond to initial conservative management. The role of fusion surgery for chronic low back pain is under debate. Recent randomised clinical trials comparing fusion surgery with conservative treatment showed conflicting results.- Recommendations that fusion surgery should be applied in carefully selected patients are difficult to follow because no clear and validated criteria exist to identify these patients in advance.
Box 3: Recommendations in the European clinical guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of chronic low back pain
RecommendedCognitive behaviour therapy, supervised exercise therapy, brief educational interventions, and multidisciplinary treatment, short term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and weak opioids.
Common Causes Of Stiff Back And How To Get Relief
80% of the population will experience a back problem at some point in their lives. Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010. Fortunately, most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic, meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture, or cancer. There are many who have pulled a back muscle in their lifetime by simply doing a daily activity. The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture discs, compress nerves, and irritate joints – all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. In addition, risk factors such as arthritis, poor posture, sleeping position, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain.
You May Like: Does Aleve Help With Back Pain