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.
Apply A Warm Or Cold Compress
Applying a cold compress to the affected area can numb the pain temporarily by desensitizing the underlying nerves. Heat application through a heating pad, warm bath, or hot water bottle can stimulate blood circulation in the area and loosen the tight muscles.
You may use each of these therapies for 15 minutes every hour, alternating between cold and warm compresses for best results.
Thermotherapy and cryotherapy can help alleviate acute lower back pain, but mostly when used as an adjunct to standard medical treatment.
Address Back Pain Sooner Not Later
If you have tried adaptations such as improving your work setup or adjusting your posture and dont have any improvement in pain within two to four weeks, you may want to seek a formal consultation with a healthcare provider or physical therapist, says Stephens.
Its not a good idea to live with pain too long physical therapists can usually be of more help if you come earlier in your pain episode, he says.
In the past, many doctors recommended bed rest for back pain, but thats no longer thought to be a good solution, says Stephens. Were pretty sure that doesnt help you get through an episode of low back pain any faster or end up with a better result, he says.
Theres nothing wrong with taking it easy for a day or two, but thats really the most that someone should be following any type of bed rest. After that, they need to try to introduce movement, because thats so important in helping tissue heal, says Stephens.
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Bonus Tip: Soothe The Pain With Cold And/or Hot
Don’t underestimate the pain reduction of simply applying cold packs and/or hot packs to help reduce your lower back pain.
- Cold therapy helps reduce inflammation and pain. Some examples include wrapping ice in a cloth, a pack of frozen peas from the freezer, or a cold gel pack. Always keep at least one layer between your skin and the ice/cold pack.
- Heat therapy helps improve blood flow, relaxation, and pain relief. Heat therapy can come in many forms. It’s best to try several to find what works best for you. Taking a warm bath or shower, soaking in a hot tub, or using a heating pad or heat wrap are all ways to bring warmth to your lower back.
Whether applying ice or a heat pack, limit applications to 15 or 20 minutes with at least 2 hours of rest in between to protect your skin. Never sleep with a heating pad or frozen pack as this can lead to permanent skin damage.
Hopefully these overlooked remedies can help you try some new approaches to better manage your lower back pain and find lasting relief.
Common Causes Of Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back painis usually age-related, but can also result from a prior injury. The mostcommon causes include:
- Arthritis of the spine the gradual thinning of the cartilage inside the spine
- Spinal stenosis narrowing of the spinal canal that may lead to nerve pain
- Disc problems, such as a herniated or bulging disc
- Myofascial pain syndromeunexplained muscle pain and tenderness
In some cases, its difficult to pinpoint the cause of chronic back pain.If your doctor has exhausted all diagnostic options, its time to seek asecond opinion from a back pain specialist, recommends Nava. Itsimportant not to make rushed decisions or undergo extensive medicalprocedures until the origin of the pain is found. Not only may they nothelp they could make the pain worse, warns Nava.
If the source of the pain is not known or cant be treated, your bestoption may be to work with your doctor on reducing the flare-ups and makingthe pain manageable with nonsurgical treatments.
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Exercise To Get Muscles Moving
It can be challenging to get up and move when back pain strikes. However, a short walk, yoga, water exercise, or another low-impact activity can often help alleviate back pain.
Exercise may loosen tense muscles and release endorphins, which are the brains natural painkillers.
A person can also consider starting a daily exercise program, including strength training and stretching, to help keep muscles flexible and strong.
Regular exercise may prevent future episodes of back pain that are due to tight muscles.
Lower Body Or Reverse Plank
- Sit with your legs out in front of you and lean back. Your back should be at a 45-degree angle to the floor.
- Place your hands by your sides with the palms facing down. Your arms should be in line with your shoulders and slightly behind your hips.
- Look up at the ceiling and lift your hips while supporting your weight on your hands and heels. Tighten your core and glutes, keeping your body straight.
- Hold the position for 10â15 seconds before lowering your body.
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What Causes A Back Spasm
A mild strain is one of the minor causes of back spasms. However, for some others, back spasms are triggered by more complex conditions such as a herniated or ruptured spinal disc. If you feel like your back muscles are moving or contracting firmly, you should look out for the following common causes.
The Universal Guide To Lower Back Pain: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know Straight From The Experts
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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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Home Remedies For Lower Back Pain
1. Oil Therapy
- Take 4 tablespoons of mustard oil, sesame oil or coconut oil. Put it on low flames and fry 7-10 garlic cloves till they turn light brown. Then, strain the oil. Allow it to cool. Massage this oil on your lower back. Use this therapy regularly for 15 days or so, to get effective results.
- Massage with warm castor oil also heals lower back pain.
- Mix turpentine oil and warm mint oil. Rub it gently on the affected area for quick relief.
2. Heat Therapy
One of the best remedies to use for lower back pain is heat. The warmth from any heat source can relax and calm your muscles and help to soothe aches, pains, and sores. there are a couple of things that you can do to administer heat to a lower back pain ache. The first is investing in a good heating pad. There are all types of heating pads on the market right now but one of the best is an electronic heating pad. With an electronic heating pad, you can control the settings so that you can administer as little or as much heat as you want.
You can also use a microwavable heating pad too. However, these will lose their warm after about half an hour after you heat it up. When you are using a heating pad, try not to use a longer than 15 to 20 minutes. Additionally, be sure that you move your heating pad from one location of your skin to another. This will prevent you from scalding your skin.
3. Cold Therapy
5. Cabbage Leaves
6. Lemon Juice
7. CBD Oil
10. Capsaicin Cream
What Can Cause Lower Back Pain
Most acute low back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning that there is a disruption in the way the components of the back fit together and move. Some examples of mechanical causes of low back pain include:
- Skeletal irregularities such as scoliosis , lordosis , kyphosis , and other congenital anomalies of the spine.
- Spina bifida which involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord and/or its protective covering and can cause problems involving malformation of vertebrae and abnormal sensations and even paralysis.
- Sprains , strains , and spasms
- Traumatic Injury such as from playing sports, car accidents, or a fall that can injure tendons, ligaments, or muscle causing the pain, as well as compress the spine and cause discs to rupture or herniate.
- Intervertebral disc degeneration which occurs when the usually rubbery discs wear down as a normal process of aging and lose their cushioning ability.
- Spondylosis the general degeneration of the spine associated with normal wear and tear that occurs in the joints, discs, and bones of the spine as people get older.
- Arthritis or other inflammatory disease in the spine, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as well as spondylitis, an inflammation of the vertebrae.
Nerve and spinal cord problems
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How Do I Strengthen My Lower Back Back Pain Exercises And Lower Back Stretches
While prevention has been provided, exercise is one of the most important ways to alleviate and prevent lower back pain.
Listed below are a few exercises you can do at home, at the office, in between classes, or at your desk doing homework it takes less than five minutes to do all of these exercises, but you don’t have to do them all in order to stretch your back. Do them all if you feel it is necessary, or feels better, or just pick and choose which exercises feel the best or only have a limited amount of time to do them.
Whichever the case is, exercising your back will make you feel lightyears better than if you omit them.
Reduce Your Stress Level
Stress can affect your breathing. A longer period of stress can harm your health differently, including back. To reduce stress and decrease stress-related issues consider some effective changes to your daily habits. Spend quality time with yourself, eat healthy foods that can keep you stress-free. It will help you to live a healthier life. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results.
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Simple Exercises For Overnight Cure
Simple exercises are also recommended to relieve back pain. You can try the following as soon as you feel good about doing them:
Lie in the prone position on the floor, and slowly rise on your elbows, thus arching your back. Hold for 30 minutes, relax, and repeat.
Stand with your feet slightly apart, hands supporting the lower back, fingers pointing downwards. Very gently bend the back backward from the waist, keeping knees straight.
Hold for 10 sec. Relax and repeat. Do this as many times as you want throughout the day.
You can also massage your back with the help of a tennis ball. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the bed.
Place the tennis ball under the lower back and drop the end on to the ball. Keep changing the position of the ball until the entire affected back is massaged. Oil massage of the back is also beneficial, provided it is done carefully.
Ways To Ease Low Back Pain
Just because it’s possible to inherit low back pain doesn’t mean the matter is completely out of your control. “It’s how we’re born and how we take care of ourselves,” Wisneski says.
If you sit in an uncomfortable chair all day, work a jackhammer, or regularly twist your body into uncomfortable positions, your lower back will suffer for it. Smoking — the bad habit that increases the risk of dozens of diseases — can also lead to backaches. One study found that smokers are nearly a third more likely to have low back pain compared to nonsmokers.
Try these five tips to prevent or ease lower back pain:
- If you smoke, get help to kick the habit.
- Practice good posture whenever you sit or stand. When lifting something, lift with your knees, not with your back.
- Do exercises to strengthen the muscles that support your back — especially the abdominals, hips, back, and pelvic area. Developing strong core muscles can make a big difference in how you feel. “When my abs are in good shape and I’m well worked out, I’m the least susceptible,” Snyder says.
- Fight the urge to crawl into bed whenever your lower back acts up. “Our bodies are meant to be used,” Wisneski says. “If you have pain, sometimes you develop a âdisease of disuse.â”
- See your doctor and get treated for low back pain early on, so you can stay moving and keep active.
Gunnar Andersson, MD, PhD, professor and chairman emeritus, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago.
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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.
% 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:
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Treating Back Pain At Home
Aside from such severe injuries or arthritis, most lumbar pain is short term and may respond well to home care, especially if its a recent occurrence and you suspect you know how you may have caused it. If the level of pain is mild, here are five things you can try at homebut if pain lingers or gets worse, discontinue your efforts and consult your doctor: