Overlooked Remedies For Lower Back Pain Relief
When lower back pain persists and continues to interfere with your quality of life, multiple treatment options may be needed for adequate relief. Below are some back pain treatments that are commonly overlooked or underused. Try one or more of these remedies to see which one, or combination, works best for you.
Medication From The Store
There are two kinds of over-the-counter pain relievers that frequently help with back pain: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen. Both have some side effects, and some people may not be able to take them. Talk to your doctor before taking pain relievers. And don’t expect medication alone to solve your pain problem. Studies show you’ll probably need more than one type of treatment.
How Your Back Works
The spine, which is also called the backbone or spinal column, is one of the strongest parts of the body and gives us a great deal of flexibility and strength.
Its made up of 24 bones, known as vertebrae, one sitting on top of the other. These bones have discs in between and lots of strong ligaments and muscles around them for support. There are also the bones in the tailbone at the bottom of the back, which are fused together and have no discs in between.
On either side of the spine, running from top to bottom, are many small joints called the facet joints.
The spinal cord passes inside the vertebrae, which protect it.
The spinal cord connects to the brain through the base of the skull and to the rest of the body by nerves that pass through spaces between the bones of the spine. These nerves are also known as nerve roots.
As you grow older, the structures of your spine, such as the joints, discs and ligaments, age as well. The structures remain strong but its usual for your back to get stiffer as you get older.
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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.
People Who Work In Offices Are More Likely To Suffer Chronic Back Pain Than People Who Have Physically Demanding Jobsdr Garima Anandani
How your body is positioned throughout the day is a major contributor to back and neck pain. The three most common causes of back pain are:
- Slouching forward in your chair
- Holding your telephone between your ear and your shoulder
- Lack of movement during the work day
Here are some tips anyone can use to optimize their workstation to reduce back pain.
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Identify The Causes And Fix Coccyx Pain
Is your lower back keeping you up nights? Has suffering lower back pain right above tailbone level forced you to eat NSAIDS like jellybeans?
Do you wake up every morning with a sensation like broken glass in your lower back?
Dont lose hope, keep reading to learn the 4 steps you can take that will soothe the pain, resolve potential causes of your low back pain and put you on the road to recovery.
Don’t Rest An Achy Back
Doctors used to prescribe bed rest for back pain. But now we know that lying still is one of the worst things you can do. It can make back pain worse and lead to other complications. Don’t rest for more than a day or two. It’s important to get up and slowly start moving again. Exercise has been found to be one of the most effective ways to relieve back pain quickly. Try swimming, walking, or yoga.
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Bringing The Knees To The Chest
For this one of the series of lower back pain exercises, you will have to lie on your back and bend up both of your knees.
- Then take one knee and bring it gently toward your chest.
- In order to avoid putting additional stress on your knee, place both of your hands behind the knee, rather than placing them on top of the knee, during the exercise.
- Switch the knee and do the same with the other knee. Repeat the exercise until you start feeling better
Stay on the floor on your back for this exercise as well.
- Bend your knees once more to get ready for the exercise.
- Now, gently lift one foot in the air, stretching it toward the ceiling.
- In order to support your leg while stretching, put both of your hands behind the hamstring, below your knee.
- You should stretch the leg well enough in order to feel the muscles on the back of the leg being pulled on.
- Do this for a few seconds then switch the leg.
- As you can see, these lower back pain exercises are not difficult at all.
This is an exercise that can be performed at work when you feel lower back pain bothering you.
- You will have to be near a table or a desk to do this exercise, which should be at the level of your waist.
- Stand near the table or desk and lean forward, putting your palms on the edge of the table or desk for support.
- Once you have your palms on the table, stretch your entire back until you feel the releasing tension throughout your entire back.
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.
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Clinical Contributors To This Story
Sagar Parikh, M.D. contributes to topics such as Pain Management.
Binge watching movies from a fixed position on your bed all day, every day seems like it may very well be the only option to help you power through the coronavirus pandemic while staying at home but did you know that doing this for too long can potentially lead to body stiffness and increased lower back pain?
According to Sagar Parikh, M.D., an interventional pain medicine specialist at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, about 80% of adults experience lower back pain at some point during their lifetimes due to common causes including:
- Lower back strain
- Improper spine alignment and stability
- Herniated disc
- Radiculopathy or sciatica
- Spinal stenosis
- Other causes related to the musculoskeletal system
And now more than ever with this lockdown, people need to get creative to try to prevent and/or alleviate back pain at home, says Dr. Parikh.
Finding Back Pain Relief
If these 25 options for finding back pain relief fast didnt work for you, there are more intensive options. Surgical options such as spinal fusion and discography are at the extreme end of treatment options. They are more invasive than other treatments listed, but in the hands of an experienced pain management and spine specialist, they can be effective at relieving certain types of severe low back pain.
When tackling lower back pain, your best bet is to work closely with a back pain doctor who can first diagnose the exact cause of your pain and then work diligently to find options that work best for your pain. Click the button below to find a doctor in your area.
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Flexion And Extension Mobilization
To relieve flexion related pain you can perform extension mobilizations to coax the disc back into position. Mckenzie exercises are an effective way to do this:
The Mckenzie method, also called mechanical diagnosis and therapy was developed by New Zealand physical therapist Robin McKenzie in 1981 and is based on repeated movements and sustained positions to centralize and eventually eliminate lower back pain.
Flexion mobilization is how were going to stabilize the disc in extension related back pain:
These movements arent exercises theyre ways to gently manipulate a protruding disc back into the neutral position, relieving pressure on the nearby nerves.
Flexibility is an important factor in injury prevention and rehabilitation, which brings us to step 2.
Apply Heat To The Pulled Back Muscle
Try applying heat directly to the area that is strained or sprained right after the ice. This is a powerful way to double-shock your back muscles out of the pain-spasm cycle.
Apply 20 minutes of ice followed by 20 minutes of heat and repeat up to three times.
This should provide some relief from even severe lower back pain.
There are many ways to apply heat, including a long hot shower, ultrasound, heating pad, and pain cream.
If you want the gold standard in heat for pain relief, try a far infrared heating pad, which produces heat that penetrates much deeper than the superficial heating a standard heating pad offers.
As heat is applied, your back muscles relax and circulation increases again as your body sends fresh blood supply to cool the area back to normal. Repeat heat treatments as necessary.
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Addressing The Source Of The Spasm
Relax And Stay Positive
Trying to relax is a crucial part of easing the pain as muscle tension caused by worrying about your condition may make things worse.
Read more about:
Although it can be difficult, it helps to stay positive and recognise that your pain should get better. People who manage to stay positive despite their pain tend to recover quicker.
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Consider If Prescription Medications Could Work For You
While not recommended for long-term, chronic pain, some prescription medications can be very effective in treating short-term, acute back pain. Opioids have a controversial history that includes an increase in the rates of dependence and a decrease in effectiveness, as we covered in our post Sorry, Opioids Probably Arent Helping Your Lower Back Pain. For specific types of back pain, however, other types of medications may help, such as muscle relaxants or antidepressants.
Things You Can Do To Ease Back Pain
Any of these conditions can cause inflammation or pressure on nerves or pain. When this happens, Cleveland Clinic back pain specialists recommend:
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Head In For Physical Therapy
Often used in conjunction with other methods of pain relief, physical therapy can be one of the best ways to learn proper and appropriate rehabilitation techniques for lower back pain. Exercise is great, but many people with good intentions hit the gym and use equipment improperly, causing further injury. A physical therapist works with a patients doctor to help design a specific program and then teaches proper form to get the most benefit. They can also map out an exercise plan for further strengthening and injury prevention.
Hold Some Static Poses With The Egoscue Method
While this method of stretching is fairly new with less empirical research behind it, it encourages healing by creating movement and activity in areas of the body that are typically static. The ModernHealthMonk gives a great overview of this therapy, with some stretches to try. Its not one of the fastest ways to find lower back pain relief, but it may be one of the more simple ways.
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What Are The Most Common Lower Back Surgery Procedures
Spine surgery is not necessary for most people who have lower back pain. If you do need it, your doctor will recommend an appropriate procedure to address your specific symptoms and medical situation. Common spine surgeries include:
Spinal Fusion. Two or more vertebrae are permanently fused together to limit excess spinal motion. Your surgeon will use a combination of bone, bonelike material, screws, plates and rods to hold the vertebrae together so they can heal into a single unit. Spinal fusion may be done to correct spinal deformities or to increase the spines stability in severe cases of spinal osteoarthritis or herniated discs.
Laminectomy and laminotomy. Laminectomy is a surgery in which your surgeon removes the back portion of one or more vertebrae to create more space for the spinal cord or other nerves. In people with severe arthritis, bone spurs within the spinal canal can grow large enough to press on the spinal cord, causing pain and limiting mobility. In a similar surgery known as laminotomy, your surgeon will remove a small piece of bone called the lamina from the back of the vertebra.
Try Out Back Pain Injections
Facet joint injections and medial branch blocks are two minimally-invasive surgical techniques that can be used both as a diagnostic tool and as a way to relieve low back pain. In this outpatient treatment, doctors inject a numbing agent either directly into the joint or into the affected nerve . If pain relief is achieved, the treatment is successful and can be repeated up to three times per year. If it is not effective, then the doctor has eliminated a possible cause of pain. Side effects are minimal and usually eliminated by proper placement of the needle.
Other back pain injections include:
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Be Diligent And Get Rid Of The Pain
Youve got all the information youll need to fix that lower back pain right above the tailbone. Follow each step consistently, and perform the movements exactly as Ive shown them. If youre careless, youll risk worsening the pain and lengthening your recovery time.
If youre diligent about following this pain-relief routine, youll not only get rid of that back pain, but youll enjoy the benefits of increased hip mobility and a powerfully developed core.