Stretch Your Hamstrings Twice Daily
One often overlooked contributor to lower back pain is tight hamstrings. If your hamstring muscleslocated in the back of your thighsare too tight hamstrings your lower back and sacroiliac joints will be stressed, leading to more pain. Hamstring stretching should be done carefully and at least twice per day for 15-30 seconds each time.
There are many gentle stretching exercises that should not hurt.
Take A Relaxing Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, works its way through the skin and into sore muscles. Soaking for about 20 minutes can help to ease sore back muscles, especially after exercise.
When taking an Epsom salt bath, youll want to make sure the water is warm. Hot water can cause muscles to swell and cold water can cause muscles to cramp. The Arthritis Foundation recommends a temperature between 92 and 100°F . Temperatures higher than 104°F arent recommended, especially if you have heart problems.
You can also enhance the soothing results by bringing a tennis ball or other rubber ball thats similar in size, with you in the tub. Put it on the small of your back or midback and move side to side. The effect is like a massage to your back, and it further loosens up tight muscles.
An added benefit of Epsom salt is that its great for your skin. Epsom salts can exfoliate dead skin cells, soften the skin, and reduce areas of itchiness.
Improve Your Posture To Reduce Back Pain
Most of us spend a good part of our day sitting down, which may be more harmful than you realize. You can minimize the impact by maintaining good posture. Correct posture in a chair means having all the bones in your spine lined up neatly, like a stack of perfectly aligned blocks. You should keep your feet flat on the floor and your computer keyboard within easy reach so youre not leaning forward or slumping. This is part of proper office ergonomics.
Many apps and devices exist that can help you enhance your posture. If you work at a computer all day, try the software and app Posture Man Pat. This free app interacts with the webcam on your screen, tracking where your face is relative to your screen. If your posture starts to droop and curve, the app will alert you.
If you are looking to get really tech-savvy, try the Lumo Lift Posture Coach. This wearable device has a sensor that will vibrate when you change your posture from what the posture coach is calibrated to.
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What Are Some Common Lower Back Pain Causes
The causes of lower back pain are sometimes viewed as being mechanical, organic or idiopathic. Sometimes spinal conditions are congenital or acquired meaning the disorder develops later in life.
- Mechanical lower back pain is often triggered by spinal movement and involves spinal structures, such as the facet joints, intervertebral discs, vertebral bodies , ligaments, muscles or soft tissues.
- Organic lower back pain is attributed to disease, such as spinal cancer.
- Idiopathic refers to an unknown cause.
These are some of the things your doctor might look for or rule out when you schedule a visit for back pain.
The common symptoms of lower back pain.
Sprains and strains. Ligament sprains and muscle or tendon strains are the most common causes of lower back pain. Theyre often related to overuse.
Degenerative disc disease. While the name sounds worrisome, it just means you have a damaged disc causing pain. Over time, discs become thinner and flatter due to wear and tear. That leaves them less able to cushion the vertebrae and more likely to tear .
Herniated disc. The protective covering on intervertebral discs can tear over time. When this happens, the soft inner disc tissue may push through the outer layer. A disc that bulges or slips out of place is known as a herniated disc, bulging disc, or slipped disc. The herniation may press on nerve roots, leading to symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness or weakness in the area that the nerve serves
How They Work To Provide Support And Aid Posture
Back supports unload weight from the back and transfers it to the abdomen, reducing the load on spinal structures. The decreased pressure reduces muscle tension, a protective reaction to back injury and trauma, and the pain that usually accompanies it.
Back braces also provide proprioceptive input, encouraging people to correct their postures and use proper body mechanics. One study suggests that wearing a brace for 3 weeks may improve a persons proprioception, though this research was only over a 3-week period, and the participants did not have back pain.
Most people will not need to wear a back brace and should only do so under guidance from their doctor.
Wearing a back brace can discourage a person from using their core muscles to support their body.
A 2019 randomized controlled trial found that back brace use had no effect on back muscle thickness over a 4-week period. However, it did not examine the long-term effects of wearing them.
Ultimately, wearing a back brace that is not suitable for a persons needs may only cause further pain and injury.
It is best to follow recommendations from a doctor or a physical therapist when choosing a style, material, and type of back brace.
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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.
Support Your Body In A Warm Pool
The buoyancy of the water lets you enjoy the benefits of exercise with less pain. Exercising in water also helps regulate the functioning of nerves and muscles, relieving pain.14
If you prefer warmer pools, look into water exercise classes and hydrotherapy pools. Water therapy exercises are often done in water that is about 83 degrees to 88 degrees. Hydrotherapy pool temperatures are often more than 90 degrees.
When Is Lower Back Pain An Emergency
Most episodes of lower back pain eventually resolve on their own, but there are times when you should seek urgent medical attention. Some of these situations include:
- Patient is a child
- Pain is severe, constant, suddenly or progressively worsens, and/or doesnt go away
- Pain interrupts sleep
While some situations may warrant immediate intervention, most cases are not urgent and can be scheduled at a time convenient for the patient.
What Should I Know About Back Pain
Back pain is a very common problem and will affect many of us at some point during our lives.
The good news is that in most cases it isnt a serious problem, and it might just be caused by a simple strain to a muscle or ligament.
As far as possible, its best to continue with your normal everyday activities as soon as you can and to keep moving.
Being active and exercising wont make your back pain worse, even if you have a bit of pain and discomfort at first. Staying active will help you get better. Taking painkillers can help you do this.
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Secret #: Heat/ice Therapy And Your Feet
Heat and ice therapy work wonder when you have back pain for two different reasons. Ice will reduce swelling and limit inflammation. Heat will relax the muscles and bring healing nutrients to damaged tissues through improved circulation.
If you have injured your back or had some sort of accident, apply ice for the first 48 hours. Even if your back has been hurting you for a while, try ice first to see if it will stop the pain. However, after 48 hours, you should switch to moist heat.
Remember to never place ice directly on the skin as you can actually burn your skin or give yourself frostbite! Wrap ice or ice packs in a cloth or towel first. Give your skin a break in between ice sessions, generally using it for 10-15 on, then 10-15 minutes off.
Its important to note that, occasionally, back pain isnt caused by problems in your back. Sometimes, other conditions, such as peritonitis, which is an inflammation of the very thin layer that covers your abdomen and the internal organs. Applying heat, even to your back, will cause the inflammation to increase substantially.
If you think you might have peritonitis, you can feel better by applying heat to your feet or your bottom and see your doctor ASAP.
Schedule an Appointment and Receive
So Why Is This Happening To Me
Even if you have never had back pain before, it can seemingly spring out of nowhere and feel as if it will never go away.
Back pain, especially lower back pain, is a very common problem that will affect almost every person on earth at one time or another.
Did you know that it is the #2 reason people go to the emergency room? Its also the #1 cause of disability claims.
Some people believe that back pain is inevitable as we age, but this isnt true.
Our backs are both complicated and fascinating, but when they hurt, they really mean business!
Check With Your Doctor About Over
Were very aware of some of the long-term health risks associated with excessive use of NSAIDs. They have a place when it comes to helping manage pain, but a patient needs to follow the advice of their doctor to minimize any negative effects of that medication, says Stephens.
NSAID use can increase the risk for severe or life-threatening gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers in some people, and taking too much of these drugs can also lead to liver or kidney injury or failure.
Need Help For Chronic Pain We Got Your Back
Anytime youre experiencing back pain that lasts longer than two weeks with no improvement, we strongly recommend you seek care.
If you think you need care right away, you can also go to your nearest orthopedic urgent care location.
If you have a new injury or you dont think youre ready for an intensive program like PNBC, a great place to start is to find a physical therapy location and make an appointment. Our physical therapists will tailor strengthening and mobility exercises to your unique needs, and you can plan on about six visits.
But if youre experiencing yet another chronic back pain flare up, home remedies and short-term treatments alone wont provide lasting relief. While chronic pain is long-lasting, it doesnt have to be permanent and you probably dont need surgery. And thats where the PNBC spinal strengthening program might be able to help.
So, if youre ready to find a better way to manage and heal your back pain, schedule an in-person or video visit consultation with PNBC today.
Is PNBC right for you? Schedule a consultation appointment.
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Natural Remedies To Reduce Inflammation And Pain
1. Ice Pack:
This is the simplest and one of the most beneficial home remedies for pain and inflammation. The cold ice constricts the blood vessels leading to the painful area. This reduces the supply of blood to the affected part and as such the swelling decreases.
- Take a few ice cubes and wrap them in a thin cloth or towel.
- Press this ice pack to the painful area with gentle pressure.
- Do this for twenty minutes at a stretch in every alternate hour until the pain disappears which will soon enough.
- Do this daily for a week and the pain will be completely gone.
Also Read: Natural Treatments to Reduce Swelling
2. Apple Cider Vinegar:
The alkalizing impact of apple cider vinegar breaks down the building up of harmful toxins in the swollen and painful area of the body. This vinegar helps to enhance mobility and alleviates the pain to a great extent.
- Take two cups of water in a bowl and two teaspoonfuls of apple cider vinegar into it.
- Mix this well. Take small sips of this mixture throughout the entire day.
- Do this daily and the pain and inflammation will heal in a week or so.
3. Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar is highly effective in treating aching and inflamed joints, and when combined with some olive oil, then even more so.
- Take a tablespoon each of olive oil and apple cider vinegar in a bowl.
- Stir this well and then gently massage the affected area in circles with this mixture.
- Do this twice daily for a couple of weeks and the pain will go away.
What Are Some Less Invasive Or Noninvasive Back Pain Treatments
Your doctor has a wide range of treatments that may help your lower back pain. In general, expect your doctor to take a stepped care approach. That means starting with simple, low-cost treatments and moving to more aggressive approaches later. Keep in mind that many treatments take time to reach their full effect.
Medications. When over-the-counter pills and topicals dont do enough to relieve back pain, your doctor may recommend a prescription drug. Examples include:
- Antiseizure medication, such gabapentin or pregabalin, for nerve-related pain
- Muscle relaxants, such as baclofen or carisoprodol
- Prescription NSAIDs, such as celecoxib, diclofenac, or fenoprofen
- Opioids, such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, on a short-term basis.
Physical therapy . PT for lower back pain involves passive and active therapies to help the patient build core muscle strength, improve spinal flexibility and range of motion, correct posture and more. Your physical therapy sessions may include:
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
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Who Should Treat Your Back Pain
Depending on the cause of your back pain, different health care providers will be treated â pain specialists who are trained to diagnose and treat different types of pain. General practitioners or general practitioners. Orthopedists who treat and operate on bone and joint conditions.
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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Treat Yourself To A Massage
A massage therapist can offer relief for back pain, though they might not be focused on your back itself. One of the things that we joke about here is that we spend 50 to 75 percent of our time rubbing moms bums, says Mickeler. The glutes often contribute to back pain because the shift in the pelvis causes women to tuck their tailbones under, which tightens those muscles. A massage therapist will be able to loosen them up, which will offer you some relief. Rebong says moms-to-be can also use a foam roller at home to loosen up their glutes, hamstrings and calves so those muscles dont pull on the lower back.
The Universal Guide To Lower Back Pain: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know Straight From The Experts
In This Article: Lower Back Anatomy | How Long Does Lower Back Pain Usually Last? | Common Causes | Other Causes | Home Remedies | Nonsurgical Treatments | Complementary, Alternative, and Emerging Treatments | Surgery | When Is Lower Back Pain an Emergency? | Lower Back Pain Prevention |
If youve ever had lower back pain stop you from doing what you want, youre not alone. Lower back pain is one of the most common medical problems in the world. It is a leading reason why people visit a doctor, affecting more than 80% of adults at some point in their lives. According to the Global Burden of Diseasea significant study published in the Lancet medical journallower back pain is also a leading cause of disability.
While severe lower back pain can cause worry, pain severity is not always an indication something is seriously wrong. Photo Source: Shutterstock.
You may not be able to prevent lower back pain, especially as you age and your back loses some strength and resilience. Fortunately, there are many ways you can get relief, no matter the cause of your back pain.
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