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.
Ways To Avoid Back Pain
If youâve been sidelined by a sore back, youâre not alone. Four out of five people experience back pain at some point, making it the second most common reason for visiting the doctor.
Back pain takes various forms, from a persistent dull ache to sudden sharp pain, and has many causes. Sometimes it results from a sprain, fracture, or other accidental injury. It can stem from a disease or medical condition, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or spinal stenosis . Many people develop back pain in part because theyâre overweight or sedentary.
The good news is that most lower back pain usually gets better within a few days or weeks, and surgery is rarely necessary. Whatâs more, simple self-help strategies such as these can be surprisingly effective at preventing back pain and keeping it from returning:
1. Get more exercise. If your back is hurting, you may think the best way to get relief is to limit exercise and to rest. A day or two of rest may help, but more than that may not help the pain. Experts now know that regular physical activity can help ease inflammation and muscle tension.
3. If you smoke, stop. Smoking restricts the flow of nutrient-containing blood to spinal discs, so smokers are especially vulnerable to back pain.
Perhaps The Problem Actually Does Not Lie Within Your Low Back But In Your Hips
The human body is like an amazingly intricate machine and is constantly performing tasks subconsciously and consciously – no matter what the cost. If one area is not capable of performing the demands required of it, the body will compensate and move the load somewhere else. For many people, the hips are both tight and weak and because of this the body compensates hundreds or even thousands times a day by having the low back do the extra work. Even if you are one of the lucky ones who have avoided low back pain to this point, chances are there is still some amount of dysfunction that can be addressed in your hips to help keep you injury free.
To help your low back we must first work on the mobility of your hips, followed by the stability and proper function of them. A hip is made up of a ball and socket joint. This type of joint requires muscles on all sides of it to hold it in place, which opens up the possibility for a lot of tightness and dysfunction. While there are many options to choose from to address this, I am going to highlight a few stretches and exercises, most of which require only body weight, that I have seen make the biggest difference for my clients.
Hip Flexor Stretch The Kneeling Lunge
Piriformis Stretch Pigeon Pose
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How Do Sleeping Positions Affect Lower Back Pain
Another link between sleep and lower back pain is tied to how sleeping position affects spinal alignment. Although posture is typically associated with sitting and standing, its also critical when lying down.
A sleeping position that involves twisting, contorting, or otherwise putting pressure on the lumbar spine can cause pain and stiffness. This pain is often worse in the morning but may persist throughout the day.
Maintain Correct Posture During Activities
To protect your lower back from injury, its important to maintain proper posture when performing physical activitiesespecially if you play sports or have a job that requires repetitive motions. Avoid slouching as much as possible and aim to keep your spine erect. When lifting, bend and straighten from the knees, not the waist. And be sure to move your hips when twisting from side to side.
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Stop Trying Passive Treatments
Passive treatments like heat, ice or ultrasound may feel good, but their effect is usually only temporary. Most research indicates that active self-care exercise and postural correction is an effective remedy for low back pain.
A visit to your physical therapist can help determine which exercises are best for your specific condition.
If You Are Reading This You Probably Currently Have Have Dealt With In The Past Or Know Of Someone Close To You Who Has Experienced Chronic Low Back Pain
In fact, it is estimated that up to 80% of the population will experience low back pain at some point in their lifetime . If you have low back pain you may have even gone as far to get checked out by a doctor, only to find that you have no structural damage and are left with the advice to strengthen your core and stretch more. Despite doing this you may have had no relief from your symptoms or by chance they have become even worse.
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How Can I Relieve My Lower Back Pain
You feel it each time you bend over or stand up. It’s that groan-inspiring ache that shoots through your lower back and never seems to fully go away. Sometimes called lumbago or spondylosis, lower back pain is one of the most common forms of chronic pain among adults.
Maybe you’ve been resting, hoping the back pain just needs time to heal. But most doctors now encourage lower back pain sufferers to get active and move their backs and related muscles as a better pain relief treatment.
Movement can help relieve back pain, but only the right kind avoid workouts that put too much stress and strain on the back. So which exercises should you choose? That partly depends on how intense your pain is, and what causes it. So, you should always get the recommendation of your doctor before doing any heavy exertion for lower back pain.
The following slides present several simple exercises that can help relieve lower back pain, and also highlight a few activities to avoid. With your doctor’s approval, adding these movements to your workout routine can free you from your nagging, daily pain, leading to better overall health.
What Can I Do To Relieve My Pregnancy Backaches
I’m 7 months pregnant and my back is killing me! How can I get some relief? Fiona
Many pregnant women have achy backs as their bellies grow larger and their muscles and spine strain to carry the extra weight.
During pregnancy, the body also produces the hormone relaxin, which helps prepare the body for childbirth. One of the effects of relaxin is the loosening of ligaments throughout the body, making pregnant women less stable and more prone to injury, especially in their backs.
Here are some ways to help ease your back pain:
Back pain also can be a sign of something else, like labor starting or a urinary tract infection . If you have any questions or concerns, severe pain, pain that isn’t getting better, or other symptoms, talk to your doctor.
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When To Get Help For Low Back Pain
Pain from ruptured discs and arthritis doesn’t have to flatten you. There are a variety of ways to ease lower back pain discomfort and reduce disability, often without drugs.
Spinal problems are the price we pay for walking upright. Wear and tear on our backbones and the constant pull of gravity on our vertebrae take their toll over time. Nearly every adult has had a stiff or sore back at some time.
Sciatica is a term you’ve probably heard people use for pain in the lower back, radiating to the buttocks and down one or both legs. “When patients tell me they have sciatica, they could have one of two conditionsa leaking disc or spinal stenosis ,” says Dr. Steven Atlas, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. These conditions in turn can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, which emerges from the lumbar spine, separates just above the buttocks, and runs down each leg.
Our Pt Team Notes That It Also Helps Increases Lower
How to do it: Start on hands and knees. Squeeze glutes, draw stomach in, pull your shoulder blades down, and keep head in line with spine. Holding the position, lift the right arm and left leg so that each reaches a straight extension. Bend your right arm and left leg, bringing right elbow to left knee. Hold for three seconds, then extend and repeat. Do 10 reps, then repeat on the opposite side.
This is a favorite at elevate. Its great for your back. As Tim noted in Mens Journal, in the morning, this move is a great way to wake up every part of the spine. So, its prepared for the activities youll perform during the day.
How to do it: Start on hands and knees with hands directly below your shoulders and knees right under your hips. Inhale, dropping your chest as you push your hips and shoulder blades back into cow position. Lift your chin and chest and gaze forward. For cat, exhale as you draw your belly button to your spine and round your back toward the ceiling like a cat. Do 10 reps.
Why you should do it: Most guys suffer from tight, shortened pecs and a weak upper back. Adam Rosantev author of The 30-Second Body explained. Sound familiar? This move helps to mobilize the tissues in the front of the body and activate the postural muscles in your upper back. So, you can stand taller all day long.
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Stretch #3 Lumbar Rotation
This is the first stretch in the series that is progressive assuming the previous movements were tolerable.
Laying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat, put your knees and feet together as if you had a mermaid tail. Next, take a deep breath in a and as you exhale slowly drop your knees to the side, inhale bringing the legs back up to the starting position and exhale again as you drop them to the other side.
You do not need to have your knees touch the floor, work within your own pain-free range of motion.
Working this movement side to side creates a rotational motion in the lumbar spine and can help reduce tension if you are trying to fix lower back pain at home. This is a great exercise because it is an unassisted stretch that targets the low back which can be a difficult area to alleviate pain on your own.
Maintain Correct Posture When Sitting
You can avoid lower back pain by maintaining proper posture when sitting. If you have a desk job, keep your feet planted on the floor and use a chair that provides lower back support. Also, avoid hunching forward to see your computer screen and reaching far in front of you to use your mouse or keyboard.
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How Is Low Back Pain Diagnosed
Along with a complete medical history and physical exam, tests for low back pain may include:
Stretch #1 Knees To Chest
More than anything this stretch it to make sure you are in a position to move forward to more complex and intense movements. But it also allows an opportunity to get simple range of motion in the legs and pelvis to stretch the surrounding musculature.
Doing this exercise to fix lower back pain at home you will want to start with finding a comfortable place to lay down on your back.
Slowly bring your knees to your chest and grab the front of your knees with your hands pulling your legs closer to your body as able. You should feel a sensation in the glutes and hamstring as well as the lower back where you are experiencing pain.
Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, take a break, and then repeat to give your low back relief.
The Worst Sleep Position: On Your Stomach
Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position for your spine, according to Raymond J. Hah, MD, a spine surgeon at Keck Medicine of USC and assistant professor of clinical orthopedic surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. This position puts the most pressure on your spines muscles and joints because it flattens the natural curve of your spine, he says. Sleeping on your stomach also forces you to turn your neck, which can cause neck and upper back pain.
Research shows that theres a correlation between pain and sleep, so it makes sense to incorporate simple changes in your sleep style that alleviate back pain and less pain means better sleep.
What Can I Do For Low Back Pain At Home
If your lower back pain has just started, the best thing you can do is start a log. Record your symptoms, times, dates and which activities trigger the pain or make it worse or better. Take this information to your family physician if the pain doesnt resolve on its own. It will make diagnosing the cause much easier.
Once you know which motion or position causes your lower back pain, try to avoid it and see if you get better. Icing the painful spot can also help. And so can over-the-counter pain relievers that help reduce inflammation. Just remember that pain killers treat only the symptom pain and not its cause.
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What Causes Lower Back Pain
Many injuries, conditions and diseases can cause lower back pain. They include:
- Strains and sprains: Back strains and sprains are the most common cause of back pain. You can injure muscles, tendons or ligaments by lifting something too heavy or not lifting safely. Some people strain their back by sneezing, coughing, twisting or bending over.
- Fractures: The bones in the spine can break during an accident, like a car crash or a fall. Certain conditions increase the risk of fractures.
- Disk problems: Disks cushion the vertebrae . Disks can bulge from their position in the spine and press on a nerve. They can also tear . With age, disks can get flatter and offer less protection .
- Structural problems: A condition called spinal stenosis happens when the spinal column is too narrow for the spinal cord. Something pinching the spinal cord can cause severe sciatic nerve pain and lower back pain. Scoliosis can lead to pain, stiffness and difficulty moving.
- Arthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis to cause lower back pain. Ankylosing spondylitis causes lower back pain, inflammation and stiffness in the spine.
- Disease:Spine tumors, infections and several types of cancer can cause back pain. Other conditions can cause back pain, too. These include kidney stones and abdominal aortic aneurysm.
- Spondylolisthesis: This condition causes the vertebrae in the spine to slip out of place. Spondylolisthesis leads to low back pain and often leg pain as well.
Sleeping On Your Back To Reduce Lower Back Pain
First, if youre on your back, having your knees raised or elevated is a more comfortable way to sleep. It takes pressure off of the lower spine by counter rotating the pelvis.
So, if your legs are straight, the pelvis then rotates in this vicinity, or this direction, and it creates more pressure on the lower back.
You can use a pillow underneath your knees, if this elevation is enough. However, if you have severe back pain, or significant lower back pain, or even chronic lower back pain, then you would want to raise your legs higher, and have a higher pillow, or a higher knee bolster.
As the pelvis rotates in a higher position, it takes pressure off of the lower back.
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