Stretch #4 Hamstring Stretch
The hamstring stretch is a great exercise to do at home. The reason the hamstrings need to be stretched when lower back pain is present is that the hamstring attaches to the pelvis. If these muscles are tight of experiencing tone they can affect the position of the pelvis which can be related to low back pain. If the pelvis is tilted by the hamstrings over time that position may produce symptoms further up the spine.
These areas are related through a system called the posterior chain. The posterior chain is all of the muscle from the back of the ankle to the back of the head of the posterior, or back side of the body.
This system works together to regulate anterior, or forward movements of the body. If these muscles are tight or weak that can be a source of issues for the spine.
Stretching the hamstrings can be done several ways, but laying on your back with both knees bent and feet flat is a great starting point.
Once in that position, lift one leg straight up in the air leaving a slight bend in the stretching legâs knee and move that leg closer to your body. There will be a sensation of stretch in the hamstrings between the bottom of the glute and back of the knee. You can use a towel of some sorts if you find that useful.
Exercises To Fix Back Pain At Home
After stretching the area and getting an understanding of your individual range of motion and pain tolerance the next step to fixing back pain at home is to strengthen the surrounding musculature.
This is important to reduce the likelihood of injury again and restore full range of motion in the future â pain-free.
What Exactly Is The Lower Back Anyway
Your lower back is known as the lumbar region of the spine. It has a lot of heavy lifting to do: The lumbar spine carries the weight of your entire upper body, plus biomechanical stresses that occur with movement.
The lumbar spine has five vertebraebackbones. Each vertebra has a large disc cushiony gel wrapped in a tough membrane on its front side that acts as a shock absorber. Each vertebra also has two cartilage-lined facet joints on its back side. Working together, discs and facet joints allow the spine to safely bend and twist.
Your lower back also includes ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Ligaments are strong bands that hold the vertebrae and discs together. Tendons attach muscles to the vertebrae. These structures help limit excessive movement that could harm the spinal cord.
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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.
What Are Some Complementary Alternative And Emerging Treatments For Lower Back Pain
In some cases, doctors suggest therapies that are not considered standard of care. They probably wont be covered by insurance, but they may be worth considering. Examples include:
Platelet-rich plasma . PRP treatments use a small sample of your own blood that has concentrated amounts of blood building blocks known as platelets. Your doctor then injects the PRP directly into a damaged disc. The theory is that PRP injections use your own healing system to accelerate improvement of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. PRP treatment has a longer track record in knee osteoarthritis, but a recent review article in the Journal of Spine Surgery suggests it may have a useful role for back pain, too. PRP needs a lot more research before it can be considered a proven technique.
Stem cells. In this emerging treatment, your doctor injects stem cells harvested from your hip into the intervertebral disc or discs causing your pain. Doing so may lessen pain and the degenerative effects of aging, though, like PRP, more research is needed before stem cells for lower back pain could eventually become the standard of care.
Acupuncture. Your doctor probably doesnt perform acupuncture , but may support you trying it as a complementary therapy. Acupuncture involves careful insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific points on your body. This may stimulate the release of your natural pain-killing chemicals.
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How To Get Out Of Bed In The Morning With Pain
In addition to the fact that a whole nights sleep is essential, it is also necessary to get out of bed after waking up to not increase the pain. After you wake up, you need to stretch the muscles of your legs and arms, bending and unbending them several times while lying in bed. Then you need to slowly, if the dream was on your back, roll onto your stomach, lowering one leg and leaning on your knee, smoothly transfer the weight of the whole body to the area of the arms and the supporting leg. Then rise slowly, without sudden jerks, focusing on both arms and legs, thus unloading the lumbar region. It is important to remember that sharp bends and turns provoke back pain. Smoothness and slowness in movements are necessary.
You can get up by rolling on your side, bending your knees in parallel, lifting your body on your hands, leaning on the corner of the bed while gradually lowering your legs from the bed. The back should be straight when lifting. It is forbidden to get out of bed. Lifting your back and bending your lower back will lead to a sharp attack of pain.
Best Back Brace For Lumbar Support:
This affordable lumbar back brace is reinforced with steel springs and has a dual-layer wrap-around design for maximum support and stability. The removable lumbar pad that comes with the brace gives an added compression.
This brace has the following features and specifications:
- comes in sizes:
The following are common questions and answers about back braces:
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How Heating Pads Work
Applying a heating pad can help ease pain in joints, muscles, and soft tissues. This is a form of heat therapy, or thermotherapy.
Heat increases the blood flow to the affected area, relaxing the muscles and helping to reduce stiffness in the joints.
Thermotherapy can help ease:
- pain following an injury
- arthritis pain
During the healing process, increased blood circulation brings more oxygen to the injured cells. Oxygen accelerates the healing of tissues.
Heating pads are a popular method of thermotherapy. A hot bath or shower may also help.
Do not use heat therapy in the immediate aftermath of an injury. This is the inflammatory phase of healing, and heat could cause more swelling and tissue injury. Immediately after an injury, a cold compress can help reduce swelling.
Young children and elderly adults should not use heating pads.
Also, people with heat sensitivity issues should not use any form of thermotherapy. This includes people with neuropathy that results from diabetes or other conditions. They may not be able to feel a burn right away.
Women who are pregnant should not apply heating pads to the abdomen or pelvic area. They should also avoid hot tubs and bathing or showering in very hot water.
When Might A Person Need One
An individual may need a back brace for the following reasons:
- spine stabilization after trauma or injury
- to correct posture issues
- for work activities or lifestyles that increase the risk of back strain or injury
A doctor or medical professional can advise on when using one is safe or beneficial.
Spine immobilization through bracing is beneficial post-surgery. It allows structures to heal, maintains correct alignment, and reduces spinal compression.
It may also be helpful for people with back conditions such as:
How Long Does Lower Back Pain Usually Last
Lower back pain can be categorized as acute, subacute or chronic. Acute episodes of lower back pain usually last from a few days to 4 weeks and subacute lower back pain lasts between 4 to 12 weeks. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, about 20 percent of people with acute back pain go on to develop chronic back paindefined as pain that lasts 12 weeks or longer. Even in these cases, there are many different treatment options to help relieve lower back pain symptoms.
When your back is really killing you, you might worry something is seriously wrong. The same goes for back pain that seems unending. The good news is that while back pain is a major inconvenience, it is rarely an urgent medical issue. In fact, most of the time you dont have to treat it. Back pain usually resolves on its own unless you have a major underlying issue.
Stretches To Ease Lower Back Pain
My back is killing me. These five words are said by co-workers, family, friends, almost every person we regularly come in contact with will say them sooner or later. In fact, a study performed at the University of North Carolina found that more than an overwhelming 80 percent of people will experience an episode of back pain at some point in their life. As people age, often the spine will experience degenerative changes. As these changes occur, there is less space between the vertebrae, which can increase back pain. When the spine is flexed, pressure is off-loaded. Because of this, a flexion based program is often used to help relieve symptoms of lower back pain. Here are four stretches for lower back pain that almost everyone can do.
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Symptoms Of Herniated Lumbar Disc:
Lower back pain Leg pain Leg numbness or tingling Pain is worse from sitting Restricted trunk flexionSciatica pain
Please note, a herniated disc DOESNT always cause pain, so you must get a proper diagnosis.
Lower back pain is typically the first symptom of a lumbar disc herniation. Often this pain will last for a few days and then subside, but leg pain, numbness or tingling, and/or weakness of the lower extremity often follows.
Typically the leg pain eventually travels below the knee and can even affect the ankle and foot.
How long does the pain last?
Most patients with a lumbar disc herniation will improve gradually over a period of days to weeks, with most patients being symptom free within 3 to 4 months.
Patients that actively participate in an exercise program often report a significant reduction of pain and improved ability to perform their activities of daily living.
Core Stability Pelvic Tilt
Lack of core control and stability is a key player in lower back pain. When the abdominal muscles are not performing, the muscles of the lumbar spine have to work harder to stabilize the body in balance. An excellent way to improve core stability is to lie flat with the knees bent up. Tighten abdominal muscles and press the small of the back into the floor. Hold this contraction for 10 seconds and repeat 10-20 times. You can either have your arms resting by your sides or behind your head, depending on whats more comfortable. With this stretch, it is important remember:
- Keep your feet flat on the floor
- Keep your shoulders pressed to the floor, but relaxed
- Do not hold your breath as you perform this exercise
While lower back pain is extremely common, it is not something you have to live with every day. Improving hip flexibility and core stability as well as lengthening the back muscles by stretching can help reduce the symptoms of lower back pain. However, if your back pain is chronic, the above stretches may help but additional treatment may be warranted.
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Organization Of Rest Against The Background Of Back Pain
To give rest to tense muscles and ligaments, you should have a high-quality sleep to reduce pain. However, against the background of lower back pain, it is not easy to find a comfortable position and a bed. Suppose soreness and discomfort have become almost everyday companions. In that case, a mattress change is good, and often even bed models feather beds, soft sagging mattresses, and iron bunks with a sinking bottom fall under the ban.
A bed for a good rest should have a rigid frame, and if there are problems with the skeleton, a wooden shield is a base, and a mattress is on top. Under the bodys weight, there should be no deflections of the ground due to soft materials, especially in the lower back area. But no less harmful is sleeping on the floor or on a bare wooden board without a mattress at all. The sleeping place should take physiological bends along the spine to relieve the muscles.
Special orthopedic mattresses or a waterbed can provide a whole nights rest with a density regulator. Sleeping on such a mattress for lower back pain helps to take the most relaxed position for the back, allows you to relax tense muscles, and relieve their reflex spasm. You can discover some new things about mattresses for lower back pain.
Myofascial Release And/or Massage May Help Reduce Pain
While myofascial pain may not be the original source of lumbar pain, it may be a secondary source of pain originating from a lumbar herniated disc as well as other structures.2 This can be worsened by poor posture and inactivity. Myofascial release is a form of manual therapy that has been shown to improve low back pain. While postural training and myofascial release can be initiated in physical therapy, there are methods that can be done at home in the meantime.
- Use a lacrosse ball or massage cane to put pressure on tender/trigger points in the lumbar area.
- Once a tender/trigger point is identified, maintain constant pressure for 1 to 2 minutes to allow for release of the muscle.
- Repeat these steps for multiple trigger points in the lumbar area.
- This technique may initially worsen pain as pressure is being placed onto inflamed muscles. It is highly recommended to use cold therapy after myofascial release to reduce pain.
Read more about Myofascial Release Therapy
While the pain from most lumbar herniated discs typically resolve in 6 weeks, you will want to manage it in the meantime and take control of your pain management. These tips may not work for everyone, and it may take time before finding what works best to help relieve your lumbar herniated disc pain.
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Manage Or Reduce Stress
Stress can trigger muscle tension and painful spasms, including in the back. If long-term stress or a traumatic event seems to have caused back pain, a person can try stress-relief techniques, such as:
- Mindfulness meditation.One study showed that mindfulness-based stress reduction improved back pain. Mindfulness involves being aware of what the body is doing and using meditation techniques to assist with the pain.
- Deep breathing. Taking deep breaths in and out for several minutes can calm the bodys stress response.
- Progressive muscle relaxation. This involves tensing and relaxing muscles in the body, focusing on one muscle group at a time. Lying on their back, a person can start with their feet and gradually move up to the shoulders.
- Guided imagery. This involves focusing on specific mental images to bring about a feeling of relaxation. One study found guided imagery and music helps with work-related chronic stress.
- Yoga. Yoga focuses on particular poses and breathing and can help with relaxation, especially when practiced regularly. One review found yoga to be an effective stress management tool.
Many smartphone apps are available to guide a person through relaxation techniques and meditation.
How To Fix Lower Back Pain At Home
Lower back pain is an increasingly common experience for so many people around the world. It can strike after exercise, traumatic event, or even lifting the laundry bin. The spine and its muscles are a robust network to support the body and its movement but can also be the source of discomfort and pain.
The most important aspect of dealing with low back pain is getting the right care at the right time.
If you experience a traumatic injury or event that leads to back pain seek immediate medical attention. The list of stretches and exercises below assume that your back pain is a non-emergency injury and you can tolerate a pain-free range of motion throughout each movement.
These movements are in order of intensityand complexity, if you are trying them at home do work through the list progressively.
All of the stretches should be done daily and exercises can be completed in 3 sets of 10 repetitions 3-4 times a week. Also, if you have a foam roller that can too be a good way to carefully releave pain.
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Temporary Pain Relief: Ice Heat Or Both
Heat and ice both have a place in temporarily relieving back pain, says Stephens. Theyre both going to help calm down that pain signal and help relax the nervous system a little bit, he says.
Normally, with most injuries, we would counsel ice early on during the acute phase of the injury, he says.
As a general recommendation, ice the painful area with a frozen wet towel or an ice pack keeping a towel or other cloth between your skin and the cold pack to protect your skin at least three times a day. Dont apply ice for longer than 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
After a couple weeks, we would transition to using a heating agent, says Stephens. There is some research that suggests that moist heat during acute low back pain can be a useful adjunct to exercise and other interventions, he says.