Exercises To Keep Low Back Pain Away For Good
One of the interesting things that youre going to notice during the movement described above is how weak the glute medius is.
If you want to reduce the pain over time and keep it away, youll need to strengthen that muscle.
Here are some exercises to strengthen the glute medius and get rid of this pain once and for all.
Hot Or Cold Therapy For Low Back Pain
Hot or cold packs may help ease pain and reduce symptoms. The soothing relief from heat, or the dulling relief from a cold pack, is only temporary and will not treat more serious causes of back pain. However, they may provide greater mobility for people with acute, subacute, or chronic pain, allowing them to get up and get moving.
Whats The Best Way To Sit
Sit in chairs with straight backs or low-back support. Keep your knees a little higher than your hips. Adjust the seat or use a low stool to prop up your feet. To turn in your chair, move your whole body rather than twist at your waist.
When driving, sit straight and move the seat forward. This helps you not have to lean to reach the controls. You may want to put a small pillow or rolled towel behind your lower back if you must drive or sit for a long time.
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What Exercises Can I Do To Strengthen My Back
Always stretch your back and body before you exercise. For a gentle stretch, lay on your back with your knees bent. Slowly raise your left knee to your chest and press your lower back into the floor. Hold for 5 seconds. Relax and repeat the exercise with your right knee. Do 10 of these exercises for each leg.
In addition to back exercises, its important to stay active in general. Swimming and walking are good exercises to improve your overall fitness.
Safeguard Your Back While Lifting
Lifting is a common cause of lower back pain. Common everyday activities, such as unloading grocery bags from the car or lifting your young child, can lead to lower back problems.
Lifting with your back bent, or lifting while twisting, may cause a sudden injury to your lower back or repetitive injury over a period of time, leading to chronic tissue damage.
Follow these lifting-guidelines to prevent lower back injury5:
- Bend at your knees, not at your lower back a completely flexed back can be highly susceptible to a ligament and/or disc injury
- Pivot your feet and hips, rather than twisting your lower back
- Hold the object close to your chest while straightening your spine
While lifting is a part of everyday activities, having a job that includes heavy lifting may increase your risk of developing lower back problems.5
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What Research Is Being Done
The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge of the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world.
As a primary supporter of research on pain and pain mechanisms, NINDS is a member of the NIH Pain Consortium, which was established to promote collaboration among the many NIH Institutes and Centers with research programs and activities addressing pain. On an even broader scale, NIH participates in the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, a federal advisory committee that coordinates research across other U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies as well as the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.
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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Whats The Best Position For Standing
Maintain good posture while you stand. Keep your ears, shoulders, and hips in a straight line, with your head up and your stomach pulled in. Try not to slouch or arch your back. These put added pressure on your lower back. Wear shoes that are comfortable and provide support. If you stand for long periods, rest 1 foot on a low stool to relieve pressure on your lower back. Every 5 to 15 minutes, switch the foot youre resting on the stool.
Hyperextension On The Fitness Ball
If you dont have a gym membership and youd prefer doing this stretch at home, grab a large fitness ball and lay on your stomach. Start by placing both hands behind your head and lowering your shoulders. Stop once you feel a full stretch and then engage your lower back, bringing yourself back up again. You can use this stretch as a back exercise as well by doing more repetitions.
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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.
Low Back Pain Symptoms: Does Your Back Hurt
Low back pain symptoms range from sharp and stabbing to a dull ache. The pains can be constant or intermittent and positional. Acute low back pain can appear suddenly after injury. Chronic back pain is defined as pain lasting more than three months. Consult a doctor if you have prolonged back pain longer than 72 hours.
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Your Back Isnt The Problem
Heres the irony: In most cases, lower back pain isnt actually coming from the low back but an entirely different muscle.
But which one? Is it your abdominal core muscle, hamstring muscles, or tight muscles in general?
To be sure, the first thing we need to do is identify what is truly causing your low back pain. Im going to teach you how below.
But for my money, Im willing to bet that the gluteus medius could be the real cause of your back pain.
The glute medius is sandwiched between the glute maximus and minimus Its actually underneath the glute maximus.
It attaches on the inside of the bony area that is called the posterior superior iliac spine, or PSIS. This attachment point is going to make your job of pinpointing the pain a hell of a lot easier. More on this below.
The glute medius has two main functions:
The first is hip abduction, which means lifting your hip up, and out to the side.
The other thing thats even more important is that it keeps your pelvis level.
You can see this in action every time you lift one leg. Naturally, when you lift the leg, the entire body wants to fall in that direction.
But when your gluteus medius is working right and doing its job, the position of your pelvis level will stay stable.
When you have a weak or underactive gluteus medius, you can develop a postural gait called the Trendelenburg Gait.
This posture is when your hips drop on every step. You dont want that to happen!
Should I See A Chiropractor For My Back Pain
Spinal manipulation is used by chiropractors and osteopathic physicians to treat low back pain in selected patients. Spinal manipulation applies hand pressure to areas of the low back to relax irritated muscle and lessen the intensity of the pain.
Traction, using pulleys and weights to lengthen and stretch the spine can result in temporary relief. Both techniques will not treat any underlying causes of back pain, but rather offer a temporary relief from lower back pain.
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Tips For Managing Inflammatory Back Pain
These approaches wont cure your condition, but they may help you manage the discomfort and prevent additional injury.
Also see a doctor if the pain is constant, wakes you up at night, and includes leg pain or follows an injury.For less-serious back pain symptoms, the best way to keep them at bay is to stay active, Dreisinger says. The natural response to pain is to do less, but the opposite holds true with back pain symptoms, he says. Thats because exercise helps muscles relax and increases blood flow to the area.Heres expert advice on what might work and wont for your back pain symptoms.1. Dont just lie there.Its tempting to rest until pain subsides, but taking to bed for more than a day or two may make your back pain symptoms worse, according to the National Institutes of Health .
When Should You See A Doctor About Lower Back Pain
Back pain is common and often recedes quickly, but its important to talk with a doctor if:
- The pain began with a specific injury
- Pain continues or worsens for more than a few days
- Pain is debilitating
- Pain radiates to the legs or other parts of the body
- You experience weakness or numbness in your lower body
- There are signs of infection like redness, warmth, swelling, or fever
- You have a personal history of cancer
- You have other unexplained health changes like weight loss or urinary problems
A doctor can review your symptoms and determine the appropriate next steps for testing, diagnosis, and treatment.
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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.
Avoid Prolonged Static Posture
It is important to pay attention to the joints and muscles of your spine and hip. Prevent fatigue and stresses on these joints by following simple tips, such as:
- Avoid excessive sitting or consider using a standing desk while you work. When you sit for a long duration, the pressure on your spinal discs increase. Aim to get up every hour and walk a short distance to take the load off your discs.
When you have a flare-up of symptoms, consider less exertive activities, such as reading a book, listening to music, or crafting. These activities can help divert your mind from the pain and let your back rest at the same time.
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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.
How Are Sleep And Lower Back Pain Related
Researchers have long seen an association between lower back pain and sleeping problems, and growing evidence points a two-way relationship in which they can be mutually reinforcing.
Discomfort from pain can be a major barrier to sleep. Lower back pain makes it hard to get comfortable enough to fall asleep or may provoke nighttime awakenings when pain surges.
At the same time, people with sleep problems are more likely to start having pain or to have pain get worse. Experts arent certain why this happens, but there are several potential explanations. Sleep deprivation may impair healing, affect mood in a way that heightens pain sensitivity, or disrupt chemicals in the brain that are involved in how we experience pain.
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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.
What Causes Low Back Pain
Injuries are a common cause of low back pain. Examples include a muscle strain or spasm, ligament sprain, joint problem, or a slipped disk. A slipped disk, or herniated disk, has to do with your spine. It occurs when a disk between the bones of your spine swells or bulges and presses on your nerves. Twisting while lifting often causes this. Many people who have a slipped disk do not know what caused it.
You may have low back pain after doing an activity you arent used to, such as lifting heavy furniture or doing yard work. Sudden events, such as a fall or a car wreck, can cause low back pain. You also may have low back pain from an injury to another part of your body.
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Rest Your Back After Prolonged Bending
When you bend forward for a long time, such as while weeding your garden, certain changes take place in your discs and ligaments. These changes last for a few minutes, during which time, the stability of your spine is reduced. The joints also become temporarily stiff during this period.5
Your lower back is at risk for sustaining a sudden injury after these tissue changes if you exert stress on your back immediately afterward, such as lifting a bag of soil right after youâve been bending and weeding for a long time.5
It is advisable to stand upright for a few minutes and allow the spinal tissues to recover and re-shape after prolonged stooping or bending before attempting strenuous exertions.5
Prone Lying Prone Props And Press Ups
In the case of sudden onset of acute low back pain, you should try the emergency back pain exercises first. Lie on your stomach for a few minutes, then prop onto your elbows for a minute or two. Monitor your symptoms for centralization.
After a few minutes in the propped up position, try a few press ups. Try to keep your hips and back relaxed as you use your arms to press your upper body up. Try to press up as far as possible to restore the normal forward curve in your low back. Say to yourself, “Further, further, further” as you press up. Move your spine through the full, pain-free, range of motion. Perform 10 repetitions and monitor your symptoms.
If your pain does not fully centralize with the press up exercise, you may need to move on to the next exercise: the press ups with your hips off center.
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Find Activities That Make You Happy
Ongoing back pain can wreak havoc on your life, affecting your cherished relationships, finances, and your ability to get stuff done at work and at home. Finding activities that make you happy can help reduce some stress and may relieve some pain.
Some people find that even doing just 3 things that make them feel good each daysuch as enjoying a comforting cup of tea or coffee, calling an old friend, walking the dog, or receiving a longish 30-second hug from a loved onecan make pain more tolerable.