Living With Lumbar Strain
Cold reduces swelling. Both cold and heat can reduce pain. Protect your skin by placing a towel between your body and the ice or heat source.
- For the first few days, apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes .
- After the first few days, try heat for 15 minutes at a time to ease pain. Never sleep on a heating pad.
- Over-the-counter medicines can help control pain and swelling. Try aspirin or ibuprofen.
Lower Back Pain Fix #: Achieve Adequate Hip Mobility
Woah, thats a little too much mobility
Granted, we probably dont need as much hip mobility as herbut its important to understand that a lack of hip mobility may drastically increase your chances of experiencing lower back pain.As such, its of the utmost importance to achieve and maintain sufficient hip mobility to help us perform and function at our best.Many professionals like to over-complicate the process and make improving hip mobility out to be some kind of voodoo magicRest assuredit isnt.In fact, its honestly very simple.With a few simple movements and the due diligence to consistently practice these movements, most of us can achieve more than sufficient hip mobility in a relatively short period of time.Some of my favorite drills to improve hip mobility are:Half-Kneeling Hip Flexor Mobilization
Rear Foot Elevated Hip Flexor Mobilization with Lat Stretch
Split Stance Adductor Mobilizations
Lateral Lunge with Overhead Reach
Walking Spiderman with Overhead Reach
Squat to Stand with Overhead Reach
These exercises can be performed every day as part of your standard daily routine or prior to strength training. Regardless of when you do them, performing roughly 1-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions per drill should be sufficient in a given day.
Lower Back Pain From Kidney Problems
Patients may notice painful symptoms in the lower right back when bacterial or viral infections affecting the urinary tract spread to one or both kidneys. Failure to seek treatment can lead to complications such as chronic kidney disease, kidney failure or sepsis. Sepsis is a potentially life-threating ailment caused by the bodys inability to release chemicals into the bloodstream to fight infections.
Telltale symptoms include nausea and vomiting, pain on one or both sides of the back, foul-smelling urine, frequent urination, burning sensation while urinating, cloudy, dark or bloody urine, chills and fever. Board-certified spine doctors can help ease patients painful symptoms by prescribing antibiotics and stronger pain relievers.
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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.
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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.
Lower Right Back Pain Symptoms
The back provides both strength and stability to the entire body, leaving it vulnerable to many kinds of injury. It’s possible for even severe back pain to be confined to just one side of the back. When the pain is entirely on the lower right side, it may suggest a specific type of injury or illness, and it’s important to have it examined. Low back pain is also called lumbago or sciatica.
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Check Out Your Mattress If You Have Lower Back Pain While Sleeping
It might not be immediately apparent that your mattress is all or partially to blame for your back pain, but there are a few telltale signs to look out for. The most important thing to evaluate is how you feel after waking. Feeling any sort of stiffness, numbness, or achiness in the joints could be a sign that you need a new mattress.
Secondly, how old is your mattress? If its several years old and looks lumpy or has springs poking out, it may be time to invest in a new one. While many mattresses are rated to last ten to 20 years, they dont always last that long. The Better Sleep Council recommends people examine their mattresses every five years or so to identify excessive wear and tear, and buy a replacement if necessary, according to WebMD. On Prevention.com, they also mention a study from Oklahoma State University that found that most people who switched to new bedding after 5 years slept significantly better and had less back pain.
Skeletal Disease Or Injury
Skeletal disease or injury affecting the nerves on the right side of the back can lead to pain.
- Cartilage deterioration: This is wearing away of the cartilage at the ends of the bones, due to either age or disease.
- Bony growths: Small overgrowths of bones in the spine may crowd the spinal cord and cause pain and numbness or pinch other nearby structures. A general narrowing of the spinal canal is known as spinal stenosis.
- Scar tissue: This may form due to injury or the result of spinal surgery.
- Injury or disease of the discs: These are the “cushions” between each of the spinal vertebrae. A disc may be partly pushed out of place, causing pressure on a nerve. A disc may also rupture and lose some of its contents, causing pain and pressure on the surrounding nerves .
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Lower Back Pain From Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic condition that manifests from inflammation in the lining of the large intestine, or colon. Ulcerative colitis typically provokes ongoing diarrhea, which may contain blood or pus. Ulcerative colitis can also produce abdominal discomfort and cramping that radiates to one or both sides of the back. Other common symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis consist of appetite loss, nausea, frequent and painful bowel movements, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, fever, and anemia. Unfortunately, there currently is no cure for ulcerative colitis. Nonetheless, patients can still receive treatment with the goal of achieving remission, meaning a period with few to no symptoms.
Tips To Relieve The Pain
- Stay active and continue your daily routines. Resting is likely to make your pain worse.
- Apply heat or ice for about twenty minutes frequently throughout the day to ease your pain and any inflammation.
- Try exercises for back pain and activities including walking, swimming, yoga and Pilates.
- Take over-the-counter pain relief such as ibuprofen.
- Stretch tight muscles for a few minutes every day.
- Keep good posture as this will ease the pressure on your lower back.
- Maintain a healthy weight to ensure an optimal load on your lower back.
- Ensure you lift safely by bending with your knees to a squat position and holding the load close to your chest.
- Drink plenty of water every day and limit your intake of animal protein and salt to reduce your risk of kidney stones.
- Wipe from front to back when going to the toilet to prevent infection from bacteria in your colon passing to your urinary tract.
- Give up smoking as the nicotine in tobacco can weaken your spinal bones and remove nutrients from your discs that may lead to spine problems.
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How Is Lumbar Strain Treated
Specific treatment for a lumbar strain will be discussed with you by your healthcare provider based on:
- Your age, overall health, and medical history
- Extent of the injury
- Your tolerance for specific medicines, procedures, and therapies
- Expectation for the course of the injury
- Your opinion or preference
- Ice packs and/or heat and compression applied to the back
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
- Education regarding the use and wearing of appropriate protective equipment
Medicines, such as anti-inflammatories and spinal injections, may also be used to relieve pain and inflammation.
Simple Stretches To Relieve Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain can be a debilitating and painful condition.
Fortunately, staying physically active may be the most effective and cost-efficient way to soothe or prevent it.
Here are 8 simple stretches to relieve lower back pain.
Although its origin varies, changes in the lumbar, or lower back, structure due to musculoskeletal damage are considered to be the main cause .
Your musculoskeletal system is made up of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues that provide form, support, stability, and movement to your body.
Other muscles that play an important role in maintaining the normal curvature of your spinal column are reported to be associated with lower back pain. These include the hip flexor and hamstring muscles .
Minor lower back pain normally gets better on its own within a few days or weeks. It can be considered chronic when it persists for more than three months .
In either case, staying physically active and regularly stretching can help reduce lower back pain or prevent it from returning .
The remainder of this article provides eight stretches for lower back pain, all of which you can do in the comfort of your own home with minimal or no equipment.
Summary Lower back pain is an incredibly common condition that can be relieved or prevented with regular exercise and stretching.
The knee-to-chest stretch can help lengthen your lower back, relieving tension and pain.
To perform the knee-to-chest stretch:
% 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:
What Is The Outlook
Most of us will have a bout of nonspecific low back pain at some point in our lives. The severity can vary. However, it is difficult to quote exact figures as to outlook . This is partly because it is so common and many people with back pain do not consult a doctor. Roughly, it is thought that:
- Most nonspecific back pains ease and go quickly, usually within a few weeks.
- In about 4 in 10 cases, the pain has completely gone within four weeks.
- In about 7 in 10 cases the pain has completely gone within one year.
However, once the pain has eased or gone it is common to have further bouts of pain from time to time in the future. Also, it is common to have minor pains on and off for quite some time after an initial bad bout of pain. In a small number of cases the pain persists for several months or longer. This is called chronic back pain.
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Pay Attention To Your Spine’s Position To Prevent Lower Back Pain
Admittedly, the true fix to back pain is highly individual. Regardless. One of the easiest ways that we can potentially fix our low back pain, or at least provide some relief or prevent lower back pain from developing in the future, is by paying attention to the position of our spine throughout the day.
For instance, lets take a look at the results of this research paper. Researchers analyzed the stress placed on the discs of the lower back in various positions – with standing upright used as the reference.
As you can see in the following graph:
- Simply bending forward into a slouched posture increased the relative load on the spine by almost 50%
- Sitting in a slouched posture increased the relative load on the spine by about 50% as well
The study also analyzed lifting a 20kg object with poor form. And the results were even worse. When subjects lifted a 20 kg object by bending over at their backs, the load on the spine increased by almost 150 kgs when compared to lifting the right way by bending at the knees and hips and keeping the back neutral!The researchers also stated that this spinal load would be increased significantly more had the subjects not been of a slim build and instead much heavier.
The Daily Stress On Your Spine Compounds And Can Contribute To Lower Back Pain Over Time
All this helps illustrate the importance of proper spinal hygiene throughout the day. Why? Well, because the gradual wear and tear of the discs add up. And can over time contribute to disc bulges and lower back pain.
World-renowned back pain researcher Dr. Stu McGill explains this quite well with a simple analogy. The spine can be thought of as a wire coat hanger. If you constantly bend the hanger back and forth over and over, eventually it will fatigue and break. The spine experiences the same cumulative effect with repeated bending.
Meaning that if you:
- Are currently suffering from chronic back pain OR
- Experience acute episodes of back pain OR
- Would like to minimize the risk of developing low back pain in the future
…Then moving in the most spine conserving way possible is the key.
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Add A Few Pillows For An Easy Fix
Another easy and customizable way to improve your sleeping situation is to use pillows for additional support while sleeping.
For back sleepers, place a pillow under your knees to bring your body back into natural alignment. If you sleep in the fetal position, WikiHow suggests using a pillow in between your knees to relieve lower back pain. Their illustration of this is below. Side sleepers should also make sure to alternate sides during the night.
Maxs Lower Back Pain Question
Ive been trying to eradicate some mild but noticeable lower back pain over the past couple months. Nothing in my life health wise has changed. Still do my best to have a moderate to intense workout 3-5 days per week with a decent balance of lower, upper and core work.
Almost always build in a row or run for 15 minute intervals. I stretch hamstrings, hip flexors, quads and groin after I get a sweat going usually a mix of dynamic and static.
From my research, it seems like my lower back pain could be from uneven lower body work OR poor hip mobility. Any thoughts? Totally not expecting a diagnosis, but if you know of best practices or common alleviating exercises/stretches for lower back, Id love to read about em. Max
Thanks for reaching out!
You ask a great question and I hope my answers will help to alleviate your back pain. Its important for me to note, though, that it may be in your best interest to first get the opinion of a local physical therapist. While I can offer suggestions based on the current literature and my practical experiences, Im not a physical therapist nor am I able to provide a diagnosis. That being the case, please use my recommendations with caution and consult a local physical therapist prior to beginning any exercise protocol.
With that disclaimer out of the waylets get to the good stuff, shall we?
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