Home Treatment For Lower Back Pain
There are a number of at-home options to treat pain in your lower back:
- Relax. Sometimes just sitting down will relieve enough of the pressure from your lower back to reduce the pain significantly.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . These over-the-counter pain relievers include ibuprofen and naproxen . You can purchase NSAIDs here.
- Exercise and stretching. Although exercise is often good for addressing lower back pain, consult with a professional. Some exercises can make the pain worse. For example, avoid toe touches and situps, but try hamstring stretches. Generally getting into better physical health will help reduce lower back pain when standing and doing other everyday activities.
- Stand and sit up straight. Your posture is important for proper weight distribution. Standing and sitting up straight will help.
- Get supportive shoes and orthotics. Get shoes or shoe inserts that help keep your feet in a neutral, supported position.
- Mattress support. Find a mattress that gives you better support than your current one.
- Use heat and ice. As soon as the pain starts, put an ice pack on your lower back for 20 minutes several times a day. After 48 hours, alternate using ice and heat.
- Avoid heavy lifting. Avoid lifting heavy objects. If you must, keep your back straight and bend your legs so the leg muscles do the majority of the work.
- Lose weight. If youre overweight, getting to a healthy weight will improve strain on your back.
Ankle Pumps And Rotation Stretch
A simple ankle pump can relieve stress around your ankles to prevent blood clots. Sit on a chair with your back straight, and stretch your legs apart then point your toes up for a count to 10. Next, point your toes down for a count to 10. Repeat the exercise for about thirty minutes to stretch muscles around your ankles.
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.
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The Deep Squat Rest Method
Step 1: Stand upright with feet shoulder width apart.
Step 2: Slowly lower your body to a full squat position while keeping your upper body vertical.
Step 3: As you come lower, bring your belly button to your thighs and relax while resting your arms in front. Your knees and legs should be tucked in.
Step 4: Rest in this position for 1 minute or until you feel that your stomach and chest are fully resting on your thighs.
Tip: Contract your abdominals towards your thighs for 10-20 seconds at a time to strengthen them. This helps to counter the anterior pelvic tilt.
If you cant keep your feet flat on the floor, just put something under each heel to help you. The more you stretch your calves, the easier it will be to get them flat on the floor.
If you find it difficult to maintain your balance and posture while performing this movement, use a stationary support such as a post or a wall to avoid falling forward or backwards.
Use a set of books to squat down upon to your lowest possible level. Maintain this height and allow your joints to relax and settle into this position. Remove a book or two when possible and settle into the next lower level. Resettling time varies on your own degree of tightness. This can take days to weeks. Let your body decide the appropriate time frame.
I can feel that my back is beginning to become less tight. It feels more open and my muscles dont feel as if they are always clenched.
Alternate Between Sitting & Standing
I bet when you are standing there in pain you are dreaming of a nice, comfortable chair to plonk down into.
After all, life would be so much better if you could sit all day instead of standing up right?
In fact prolonged periods of sitting are just as bad than the same amount of time spent standing.
However, the trick to beating back pain at work is to be able to combine them both.
Now I know that this may not be an option for everyone as your job may not allow it.
But if there’s a chance to be able to switch regularly between sitting and standing throughout the day. it can make a big difference to the health of your back.
As this gives you the best of both worlds.
Because your muscles remain active while standing but get some rest while sitting.
And this can prevent the muscle fatigue that comes with standing still too long and also help you avoid the weakened muscles that comes from too much sitting.
However, for this to work properly you need to get the sit-to-stand time ratio right.
As one study found that spending 15 minutes sitting and 45 minutes standing every hour didn’t help workers with their lower back pain.
However spending 40 minutes sitting and 20 minutes standing did have a positive effect.
So if you have a chance to sit instead of stand for 40 minutes every hour take it!
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Straight Leg Calf Stretch
The calf stretch is another good exercise that will strengthen the muscles that support your foot. To do this exercise, place both hands against a wall at chest height, place the injured foot about a step behind the other foot, making sure that both feet are flat against the floor. Then simply leans towards the wall, hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then release and repeat.
Low Back Pain Symptoms
Low back pain symptoms vary greatly from person to person. They are different depending upon the cause of the pain. Your pain may be dull or sharp. It may come and go. And depending upon its source, pain may get worse with standing, sitting, bending, or walking. Pain can even extend into your buttock or leg. Along with this shooting pain may come feelings of numbness, tingling, or weakness down your leg. Called sciatica, these symptoms may be a common result of a herniated disk in the lower back, where the disk bulges out toward the spinal canal.
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Exercising At Work To Help With Standing
If you stand all day, doing stretching exercises throughout the day can interrupt the routine posture you hold. Doing a simple back stretch every hour is easy to do and can be especially helpful for people who are unable to sit at work. For example, the physiologist suggests doing the Standing Cat Camel:
- Stand with your feet under your shoulders
- Slightly bend the knees
- Put your hands on your legs just above the knees
- Round the back and curve the shoulders
- Arch the back and open the chest while rolling the shoulders back
- Alternate the rounding and arching of the back for 2 minutes every hour
Some other exercises you can do while at work include squats, shifting from one foot to another, rolling from tiptoes to heels and back, stretching towards the ceiling with arms reaching up and then stretch downward while keeping the legs straight, and side bends, to name a few.
Fall Asleep Faster And Sleep Longer
When you have a restful nights sleep, your back will feel less sore during the day.7 A night of restorative sleep can have healing benefits and make you feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and less stressed.
Try these natural sleep aids, one at a time, to see which one works best for you:
- Vitamins C and B6. The natural steroids in your body control your metabolism and promote good sleep.8,9 Supplements of vitamins C10 and B611 are known to help the body produce and regulate natural steroid hormones.
- Melatonin. Your natural sleep hormone, melatonin can be taken as a supplement to improve your sleep cycle.
- L-theanine. An amino acid found in tea leaves, L-theanine may help some people feel relaxed and get better sleep.
- Valerian. Supplements made from the root of the valerian plant may help you sleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Another option is cherry juice or cherry extractscherries contain certain enzymes that help promote better sleep.4
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Tips To Relieve Back Pain While Standing All Day
As your calendar alerts chime through another workday, it seems like that reminder to give yourself frequent breaks always takes a back seat to higher priority tasks. Before you know it, youve spent eight hours on your feet while daydreaming about that comfy couch to rest your sore back. Weve heard about the risks associated with dormant butt syndrome and sitting for extended periods, but what should you do to relieve lower back pain from standing too long?
Our bodies are designed to move and switch positions throughout the day, so taking breaks to sit and rest can be helpful. If you find yourself spending too much time on your feet, you can also practice these helpful techniques to beat lower back pain.
Spryng Active Compression Solution
SPRYNG is an untethered, active compression therapy solution which can be used while on the job, when you are commuting to work, or even at home. Remember that skeletal muscle pump in your calves we spoke about earlier? SPRYNG mimics muscle pump to rejuvenate your tired legs while standing.
Whether your leg pain, associated from standing for too long, is a result of work or play, it’s important to keep your legs healthy and comfortable. While leg pain has many causes and symptoms that overlap if the pain persists or worsens, do visit a doctor to obtain timely intervention.
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Inversion Tables & Inversion Chairs
An inversion table is designed to decompress your spine, increasing space and circulation to the vertebrae. Dr. Alf Nachemson did an extensive amount of research into inversion tables and found that sitting can increase the amount of pressure on your spine up to 250% compared to standing. The only thing that brings that number to 0 is inverting at 60 degrees .
According to Edward R. Laskowski, M.D., people with high blood pressure, heart disease, or glaucoma shouldn’t invert as your blood pressure increases and there’s more pressure in your eyes when you remain inverted for more than a couple of minutes.
There are many other benefits to inversion in addition to the benefits to your spine, including better circulation to your brain, muscular relaxation, increased circulation, and reduced stress.
Tips For Avoiding Back Pain From Standing At Work
Prolonged standing puts pressure on the muscle groups stabilizing the lower spine and hips. According to the OSHA Back Injury Instructor Guide, low back pain that develops for any reason usually involves spasms of the large muscles alongside the spine. Symptoms include muscle pain or discomfort in the back, leg pain, swelling, and tiredness. Your back may hurt while standing, and you might experience pain when standing up or sitting down.
Standing for hours can lead to inflammation of the veins and cause joints in the spine, hips, knees and feet to become immobilized. The immobility can cause pain now but also lead to degenerative damage to the ligaments and tendons.
Following are some tips for standing for long periods of time that may help you find relief if you experience lower back pain when standing still.
- Take a break from standing by sitting down at intervals throughout the day
- Use an adjustable height work table so your work is kept at waist level
- Use anti-fatigue floor mats but not thick rubber mats that are too soft
- Wear supportive shoes or shoe inserts that keep feet in a neutral position
- Change work positions by periodically placing a foot on a footrest while standing
- Use good body posture
If work permits and you experience lower back pain from standing too long, ask your employer for a sit-stand workstation.
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How To Relieve Back Pain From Standing
Back pain is one of the most pervasive disorders in the United States. Around 80 percent of adults struggle with lower back pain some time in their life. If you have a job that requires you to stand all day, you may develop back pain that ranges from mild pangs to severe discomfort.
Your backs anatomy is designed to support the weight of your upper body while you stand. The back is made up of vertebral bones with round, rubbery pads called discs between each which act as shock absorbers. Add to this the ligaments, tendons and thirty-one pairs of nerves, and theres a lot of different parts that can go wrong and cause pain while youre standing.
Stress on your back from poor posture is the most common cause of back pain for people who stand at work all day. It creates increased pressure on your spine that makes lower back muscles tighten and then spasm, which causes pain. However, your lower back sees a lot of action every single day. From bending to moving around, its the most used part of your spine, making it susceptible to injury and wear and tear over time. If youve developed a spinal condition, standing can aggravate inflammation increasing lower back pain.
Back pain is one of the leading causes of missed workdays. If you struggle with back pain while standing, dont let it make you miss one more day of work. Here are some tips on how to relieve back pain caused by standing all day.
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.
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Top Ways To Eliminate Lower Back Pain When Standing
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It may surprise you, but one of the most common causes of a doctors visit is lower back pain. According to NINDS , lower back pain is also the dominant cause of disability arising from jobs and work. In fact, an estimate says that roughly 80% of the US population experiences lower back pain at some time in their lifetime. Among the various reasons for lower back pain, the most prominent and common one is the result of an injury.
For example, poor body mechanics or strains while lifting heavy objects can cause lower body pain. Chances are, you may also have witnessed lower back pain at some time in life after lifting heavy objects. If the injury is not severe, such pain usually goes away on its own after few days. But more severe cases of lower back pain may require treatment from a qualified doctor and would not be clear on their own.
Types of Lower Back Pain.
Depending on the severity, we can classify the lower back pain into two types:
As mentioned above, back pain can be classified into acute and chronic. The acute back pain is not a sign of serious concern and can go away within few days but can take few weeks in some cases. On the other hand, chronic back pain usually lingers much longer and can last more than 3 months.
Causes of Lower Back Pain when standing.
Seeking The Help Of A Doctor
Some people experience lower back pain after standing for a few minutes. This may indicate a spinal medical condition may have developed. Fortunately, lower back pain due to excessive standing is usually treatable by following some basic guidelines. However, if the self-care options do not help and the pain persists for more than a few weeks or spreads further down the legs, it is important to see a doctor. Standing for long periods of time may be aggravating an undiagnosed medical issue, like a bulging disk or osteoporosis.
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Common Posture Mistakes That Lead To Back Problems
So many of us are guilty of the same common mistakes that increase postural stress and ultimately cause back pain. Over our lifetime, subconscious habits form and make it easy for us to miss when we’re putting additional stresses on our bodies. Here are the most common causes of back pain and what you can do to correct them:
1. You’re looking down at your screen, phone, or desk, and your head tips forward.The human head weighs, on average, 10 lbs. Any slight angle forward puts a strain on the muscles of your neck and upper back. The further that you lean your head forward, and how long you keep that straining posture, determines how much extra work your neck and upper-back need to do.
2. Your shoulders are rolled forward. Some of the most common causes of lower back pain are a lack of lumbar support from a chair thats too soft or one that doesnt encourage good posture, a muscular imbalance in which your pectoral muscles are stronger than your back muscles , or habit. If youre wondering if youre guilty of this, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and let your arms hang down at your sides. If your thumb points forward, youre probably balanced. If your palms are pointing behind you, you probably have an imbalance.
3. You’re leaning forward from your lower back. This posture puts even more pressure on the vertebrae of your lower spine , as it compresses your disks.