Coping With Secondary Symptoms
What Can I Do If I Have Acute Low Back Pain
The following advice will benefit a majority of people with back pain. If any of the following guidelines causes an increase of pain or spreading of pain to the legs, do not continue the activity and seek the advice of a physician or physical therapist.
The key to recovering from acute low back pain is maintaining the normal curve of the spine . Supporting the hollow of your back will help decrease your recovery time.
Follow these guidelines for 10 to 20 days after you experience acute low back pain:
- Sit as little as possible, and only for short periods of time .
- Sit with a back support at the curve of your back.
- Keep your hips and knees at a right angle. Your legs should not be crossed and your feet should be flat on the floor.
Here’s how to find a good sitting position when you’re not using a back support or lumbar roll:
Correct sitting position without lumbar support.
Correct sitting position with lumbar support.
- Use a back support at the curve of your back. Your knees should be at the same level or higher than your hips.
- Move the seat close to the steering wheel to support the curve of your back. The seat should be close enough to allow your knees to bend and your feet to reach the pedals.
Stooping, squatting, and kneeling
Sleeping and lying down
Other helpful tips
If you sleep on your back, put pillows under your knees and a small pillow under the small of your back.
Acupuncture For Low Back Pain Relief
Acupuncture can be moderately effective for chronic low back pain. With acupuncture, fine needles are inserted into various points around the body.
Acupuncture practitioners hypothesize that when these thin needles are inserted into the skin and then stimulated by twisting or tapping, naturally occurring chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin, and acetylcholine are released to relieve pain.
Anecdotal evidence suggests acupuncture can be an effective pain reliever. Further scientific and clinical studies are underway to prove the efficacy of acupuncture therapy.
Don’t Miss: Aleve Lower Back Pain
Use A Supportive Mattress
Its important to invest in a good mattress. As we said before, you want your spine to feel supported so that it doesnt need to strain itself any more than necessary. The best way for this is by using a pillow or a support cushion beneath your knees, although if the pain isnt particularly bad then you may not even need these aids. When sleeping with back pain it can be difficult because most people dont have time during sleep cycles for their muscles to relax enough so they are not tense when waking up again therefore causing further discomfort! If there is one thing worth doing right now , it might just be investing some money into something new.
Back pain is a common problem that affects people of all ages. While there are many different causes of back pain, some simple tips can help you manage the condition and reduce your discomfort.
Who Gets Back Pain
Most people have back pain at some point in their lives. Its one of the most common medical problems. Youre more likely to experience back pain as you get older.
Many people hurt their backs when they lift, push, or pull something that’s too heavy.
You may also be at risk for back pain if you:
- Are pregnant
- Have poor posture
- Arent physically active
- Fall or have an accident
- Have a health problem that can cause back pain
Read Also: Does Aleve Help With Back Pain
Will Bed Rest Help Back Pain
Doctors often recommend continuing your usual activities of daily living as soon as possible. Studies suggest that strict bedrest can often prolong or worsen low back pain. Bed rest can also lead to secondary complications such as depression, decreased muscle tone, and blood clots in the legs. You should try and keep moving while avoiding activities that noticeably aggravate or worsen back pain. By staying active, those who suffer from low back pain can gain greater flexibility and quicker recovery.
Managing Low Back Pain
Manage back pain with regular exercise and professional help as requiredIf you have an attack of lower-back pain that is severe, continuous and not improving, assessment and treatment by a health care professional who focuses on the back or other musculoskeletal problems may help. These practitioners may use both active and passive techniques to help you feel better. Examples of passive techniques that may be used to get you moving include:
- Heat or ice
An active approach, like walking or water aerobics is usually the most effective. Exercise is often the best way to relieve lower-back pain.
Check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.
Work with an expert. It may help to work with a health professional who can explain which activities are right for you.
Choose exercises you enjoy. Many activities can help relieve back pain. Try to include activities that strengthen the muscles around your trunk, your abdominal muscles as well as those in your lower back. Studies show the following activities help relieve back pain:
- Lifting light weights
Don’t Miss: Mayo Clinic Lower Back Pain Exercises
Find Back Pain Relief: Lighten Your Bags
Carrying an overstuffed purse, briefcase, or handbag can strain the low back. If you must carry a heavy load, consider using a wheeled briefcase instead. By reducing the amount of weight you’re carrying, you reduce the amount of pressure on the spine. Help keep your kids’ backs healthy by making sure their backpacks are not overloaded. A heavy backpack could mean future back pain for your little ones.
How To Manage And Deal With Back Pain
Everybody wants a pain-free life. However, there are cases when people suffer from pain, especially back pain. Back pain is intrusive and keeps you from doing your work normally and comfortably. Back pain takes the joy out of life, and, in worst cases, people are not able to do any of their tasks at all because of the severe pain they are experiencing.
Although back pain may feel like a serious ailment, you can adjust your lifestyle and your habits to make the discomfort less intrusive. There are some home remedies that can help alleviate the pain. Normally, these home remedies and adjustments in lifestyle can keep you from undergoing full-blown surgery. This is a good thing because it means that you can cure your back pain anytime and anywhere you want.
The following are the methods on how to manage back pain:
Also Check: How Does A Diuretic Help Back Pain
What Are The Risks
Long bed rest can lead to slower recovery.Staying in bed for any prolonged period can make you stiff and increase pain. When you dont move and bend, you lose muscle strength and flexibility. With bed rest, you lose about 1 percent of your muscle strength each day. And you can lose 20 to 30 percent in a week. It becomes more difficult to return to any activity. As you become weaker and stiffer your recovery takes longer.
Who needs bed rest?Almost no one! The only people who might require time in bed are those with unstable spinal fractures awaiting surgery.
What can I do for the pain?Hot or cold packs often help. Some people can get pain relief from non-prescription analgesics or anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen . But no medication should be taken for an extended period of time.
When should I see a health care provider?You should see your health care provider right away if:
- You have severe continuous back pain that lasts longer than 48 hours.
- You have severe continuous back pain and fever.
- You have back pain with accompanying pain, numbness or weakness in one or both legs or feet. Your leg symptoms are more disabling than your back symptoms.
- You have back pain and the onset of numbness in your private/genital region or changes in your ability to control your bladder and bowel function.
Relieving Your Back Pain
When you are suffering from an ache or struggling to get lower back pain relief, it may seem difficult to take a proactive approach to the matter. However, alleviating such aches may be largely within your control. If you make some simple changes in habit and lifestyle, you might be pleasantly surprised by the results. At North Texas Medical Center, we take great pride in helping our community achieve better health. If you are suffering from backache, call us at , or contact us online today.
Also Check: Does Motrin Help With Back Pain
Stop Looking For A Specific Diagnosis
Stop focusing on a specific diagnosis. Up to 85% of low back pain can be classified as “non-specific.” This means that the origin of your pain cannot be localized to one specific structure or problem.
While common diagnostic tests for low back pain can show the bones, discs, and joints with great detail, no test can tell the exact cause of your pain with 100% accuracy.
Is It Muscle Strain Or Sciatica
Back pain that occurs after excessive exercise or heavy lifting is frequently a strain injury. However, occasionally these activities cause disc injury and rupture or herniation. When a herniated disc irritates the sciatic nerve, it can cause back pain and, in some people, leg pain.
What is Sciatica?
Sciatica is a form of nerve pain caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that runs down through the buttocks and extends down the back of the leg. Pressing on or pinching of the sciatic nerve causes shock-like or burning low back pain. Sometimes people feel as if the pain radiates down through the buttocks and down one leg, sometimes even reaching the foot.
Don’t Miss: Is Advil Good For Back Pain
Daily Habits To Stop Back Pain
Bending the wrong way while lifting heavy items can be a real problem. Back pain can also result from degenerative conditions like arthritis. Irrespective of the cause, once there is lower back pain, it can be tough to get rid of. Approximately 1 in 4 Americans have had recent low back pain bouts. Almost everyone can experience back pain at some point in life.
Sometimes, it can be really serious. This is more so when one feels numbness, weakness or tingling in the legs or serious injuries are experienced. For routine back pain, though, here are the daily habits you must inculcate:
Chronic Conditions That Cause Back Pain
Conditions that can lead to chronic low back pain include spinal stenosis, spondylitis, and fibromyalgia. Spinal stenosis is narrowing of the normal spinal canal through which the spinal cord passes. Spondylitis is chronic inflammation of the spine. Fibromyalgia is a muscle disorder that features chronic muscle pain and tenderness.
Read Also: Advil For Lower Back Pain
Other Types Of Diagnosis
- A chiropractor will diagnose through touch, or palpation, and a visual examination. Chiropractic is known as a direct approach, with a strong focus on adjusting the spinal joints. A chiropractor may also want to see the results of imaging scans and any blood and urine tests.
- An osteopath also diagnoses through palpation and visual inspection. Osteopathy involves slow and rhythmic stretching, known as mobilization, pressure or indirect techniques, and manipulation of joints and muscles.
- A physical therapist focuses on diagnosing problems in the joints and soft tissues of the body.
Try Hot And Cold Therapy
You can also minimize lower back pain by using hot and cold therapy. Cold compresses are best for easing discomfort from sore muscles in the first few weeks. The exercise requires you to place ice or frozen package on the affected area. You can do this many times a day but always ensure each session lasts 20 minutes. Also, make sure your skin is not exposed to the frozen package as it can result in frostbite. On the other hand, hot therapy helps improve blood circulation, soothe muscles, increase flexibility, and ease discomfort. The methods include warm compresses, heating pad, or warm baths.
You May Like: Is Aleve Or Ibuprofen Better For Back Pain
Why Moms Complain Of Backache After An Epidural
A recent study revealed that epidural analgesia is to blame for backaches. The study argues that when moms go for days without sensitivity, it is practically impossible for them to know when their posture affects the spine. Poor positions for prolonged periods are reasons for lower backache. Lower back pain could also be a result of muscle and ligament trauma during the insertion of the epidural needle.
How To Treat An Annoying Back Pain
Back pain is a pain that can occur with or without radiation to the buttocks and legs anywhere in the back. The cause of back pain varies from basic strain and sprain to debilitating intervertebral disc-impacting disease. There may be acute or chronic pain that may even need some form of surgical intervention by pain management doctors.
Factors that contribute to back pain include:
You May Like: Advil Vs Ibuprofen For Back Pain
Are You Making Your Back Pain Worse
Don’t be guilty of exacerbating your already achy back. Try these tips for preventing added low back pain:
- Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes if you are on your feet all day.
- Don’t slouch when standing or sitting.
- At home or work, make sure work surfaces are at a comfortable height.
- Warm-up and stretch before exercise or other strenuous physical activity.
- Don’t try to lift objects that are too heavy and don’t twist while lifting.
- Live a healthy lifestyle, stop smoking, and keep off the extra weight.
Tips For Dealing With Lower Back Pain
By Robert Greenleaf, MD, Spine Surgeon
Lower back pain is extremely common and one of the top reasons for missed workdays. Thats because the lower back supports the weight of the upper body and is subject to a lot of stress and strainespecially during everyday movements like lifting and twisting.
One of two things typically causes lower back pain: a sudden injury or the wear and tear of aging, arthritis and physical activity. No matter the cause of your lower back pain, here are 10 recommendations that can help you relieve it and prevent future problems.
Read Also: Aleve For Lower Back Pain
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.
When To Get Immediate Medical Advice
You should contact your doctor immediately if you have back pain and:
- numbness or tingling around your genitals or buttocks
- difficulty peeing
- unexplained weight loss
- a swelling or a deformity in your back
- it does not improve after resting, is worse at night or does not improve within 3 to 4 weeks or gets worse over time
- it started after a serious accident, such as after a car accident
- the pain is so bad, you are having problems sleeping and/or doing your daily activities
- it is made worse when sneezing, coughing or pooing
- it is coming from the top of your back, between your shoulders, rather than your lower back
- you are worried about the pain or struggling to cope
These problems could be a sign of something more serious and need to be checked urgently.
Also Check: Advil Or Aleve For Back Pain
Find A Comfortable Position
When you have back pain, you may have trouble with certain positions. It is important to experiment with different positions to find one that will give you the most comfort and ease.
A comfortable position is especially important when you are lying down to sleep. Some people will find that they have to use pillows to bolster their back and limbs. A good position that people usually find comfort in is lying on their back with a pillow underneath their knees to keep the spine in a neutral position. Depending on your particular case, you will have to experiment on different positions to find the solution that works for you.
Also, it would help a lot if you use ergonomic furniture that will conform to your movements and the shape of your body.