Complementary And Alternative Techniques Include:
- Acupuncture is moderately effective for chronic low back pain. It involves inserting thin needles into precise points throughout the body and stimulating them , which may cause the body to release naturally occurring painkilling chemicals such as endorphins, serotonin, and acetylcholine.
- Behavioral approaches include:
- Biofeedback involves attaching electrodes to the skin and using an electromyography machine that allows people to become aware of and control their breathing, muscle tension, heart rate, and skin temperature people regulate their response to pain by using relaxation techniques
- Cognitive therapy involves using relaxation and coping techniques to ease back pain
Spinal injections include:Trigger point injections can relax knotted muscles that may contribute to back pain. An injection or series of injections of a local anesthetic and often a corticosteroid drug into the trigger point can lessen or relieve pain.
If You Have Low Back Pain Try These Steps First
- By Monique Tello, MD, MPH, Contributor
Low back pain, the scourge of mankind: it is the second leading cause of disability here in the United States, and the fourth worldwide. Its also one of the top five medical problems for which people see doctors. Almost every day that I see patients, I see someone with back pain. Its one of the top reasons for lost wages due to missed work, as well as for healthcare dollars spent, hence, a very expensive problem.
Looking At Two Kinds Of Back Pain
Lets talk about the most common forms of back pain: acute and subacute . Most of these cases are due to harmless causes. We lump them into the mechanical back pain diagnosis, which includes muscle spasm, ligament strain, and arthritis. A handful will be due to potentially more serious causes such as herniated discs , spondylolisthesis , a compression fracture of the vertebra due to osteoporosis , or spinal stenosis . Rarely, less than 1% of the time, we will see pain due to inflammation , cancer , or infection.
When someone with acute low back pain comes into the office, my main job is to rule out one of these potentially more serious conditions through my interview and exam. It is only when we suspect a cause other than mechanical that we will then order imaging or labs, and then things can go in a different direction.
But most of the time, were dealing with a relatively benign and yet really painful, disabling, and expensive condition. How do we treat this? The sheer number of treatments is dizzying, but truly effective treatment options are few.
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What Is The Outlook For People With Lower Back Pain
The outlook depends on the cause of pain. Most people with back strains and sprains recover and do not have long-term health issues. But many people will have another episode within a year.
Some people have chronic back pain that doesnt get better after several weeks. Older people with degenerative conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis may have symptoms that get worse over time. Surgery and other treatments are effective at helping people with a range of injuries and conditions live pain-free.
Lower Back Pain Fix #: Maintain Proper Form And Technique
Oh. Oh dear.
This goes without saying but you better be lifting with proper technique.
Too often lifters get overzealous and compromise form to put more weight on the bar.This is unacceptable!If youre serious about fixing your low back pain and becoming a responsible lifter then leave your ego at the door and start emphasizing technique over weight.For a brief reminder on what constitutes proper technique, below Ive provided several common movements that should be a staple within your training program:How to Sumo Deadlift
How to Do a Chin-Up
How to Do a Push-Up
How to Dumbbell Row
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The Best Exercises For Lower Back Pain When Running
Exercise 1 Goblet Squats
Why it works: squats are extremely effective in loading the muscles of the lower back. They have to contract to keep your trunk upright as you squat down. That load can make the muscles feel better in the short term and will make them stronger in the long term. Squats with barbells are also a fantastic way to load and strengthen the muscle of the back, glutes, and legs. Squats fix everything.
Exercise 2 RDL with Dumbbells
Why it works: Romanian deadlifts work the hamstring, glutes, and, you guessed it, the lower back. Dont get overly fixated on your form, but keeping the lower back flat should increase the muscle activity which should make them get stronger faster.
Exercise 3 Bird Dogs + Light Walking
Why it works: This exercise is a nice way to work the muscles of the lower back, upper back, and glutes. It can also help us build that mind-muscle connection that makes us feel comfortable when running. If our lower back hurts, its natural to want to stop moving but sometimes the best thing is to do some easy exercises and a light walk! Research suggests this is a great first step .
You can try these exercises, and even build a custom, lower back focused prehab routine in the Recover Athletics app. The Recover App helps runners fix aches and pains and prevent injury. A years subscription costs less than one trip to physical therapist and we have an unlimited free trial. Give the app a try today!
Lower Back Pain Fix #: Learn To Use Your Glutes
The glute complex comprises the largest muscle group in the entire body and has major implications in strength, performance, posture and surprise, surprise lower back health.
To prevent this compensation pattern from occurring its necessary to teach our glutes how to fire effectively. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways so below Ill provide a few my favorite recommendations:
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The Universal Guide To Lower Back Pain: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know Straight From The Experts
In This Article: | | | | | | | | | |
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.
Best Exercises For A Hurt Lower Back
When your back is feeling better, theres no need to jump straight back into performing back squats. In fact, in the same study above with walking, exercise can also help heal an injury, assuming you use the correct load and dont jump straight back into heavy sets. Well, the good thing is you wont have an issue finding a great squat alternative as there are more than a few really good back squat substitutes.
The front squat is a great alternative to the back squat. Actually, alternative makes it sound like the front squat is sub par which is completely inaccurate. The front squat is an amazing lower body exercise and is actually the preferred squat by many strength and conditioning coaches, especially within the athletic sector. That aside, because the bar is in front of the body, the torso will be in a much more vertical position. While it does require more mobility, this torso positioning causes significantly less stress on the lower back making it a great option when recovering from a hurt back.
Goblet squats are another awesome exercise to use when recovering from an injured back. The reasoning is exactly that of the front squat in that you hold a kettlebell or dumbbell in front of your body. This forces you to keep an upright torso thus having less stress on the lower back.
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How To Fix Lower Back Pain
First and foremost, your lower back pain could be caused by any number of issues including but not limited to the issues you mentioned.
If I had to guess, though, Id assume your back pain stems from a combination of:
- Insufficient hip mobility
- Excessive anterior pelvic tilt
- And even psychological factors
While this certainly looks like a laundry list of issues, theyre all interrelated with one another and are extraordinarily common in young, athletic populations .
Id also note that there could be a variety of other issues at play here as well. For example, poor breathing patterns, lack of ankle mobility, insufficient knee stabilitythe possibilities are endless. That being said, I believe the above-listed issues are the most common and likely what youre dealing with at the moment.
Below are my recommendations:
Low Back Pain Treatment
Most people who have low back pain can treat it on their own. Often the pain goes away in a few days or weeks. You may need 1 to 2 days of rest for a hurt back. However, too much rest can cause your muscles to weaken. This can slow your recovery. Even if it hurts, try to walk around for a few minutes each hour. This helps keep your back muscles strong.
There are a few positions that provide relief when your back hurts. These help to take the pressure and weight off your back. Lay on your back on the floor:
- With pillows under your knees.
- With your hips and knees bent.
- With your hips and knees bent and your feet on a chair.
Heating pads can help to relax painful muscle spasms. Use heat for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. Ice packs and massages may give relief as well. Over-the-counter medicines can reduce pain and swelling. These include aspirin, acetaminophen , naproxen , and ibuprofen .
People who have ongoing back problems need treatment to manage the cause. Being overweight can make back pain worse. If you are overweight, you may need to lose weight. You may need to exercise or improve your posture when you are sitting, standing, sleeping, or lifting.
Severe cases of low back pain could require physical therapy or wearing a brace to support your back. Your doctor may prescribe pain relievers or injections for severe pain. These prescriptions can be addictive, so its best to seek other treatment methods, if available.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lower Back Pain
Symptoms of lower back pain can come on suddenly or appear gradually. Sometimes, pain occurs after a specific event, such as bending to pick something up. Other times, you may not know what caused the pain.
Pain may be sharp or dull and achy, and it may radiate to your bottom or down the back of your legs . If you strain your back during an activity, you may hear a pop when it happened. Pain is often worse in certain positions and gets better when you lie down.
Other symptoms of lower back pain include:
- Stiffness: It may be tough to move or straighten your back. Getting up from a seated position may take a while, and you might feel like you need to walk or stretch to loosen up. You may notice decreased range of motion.
- Posture problems: Many people with back pain find it hard to stand up straight. You may stand crooked or bent, with your torso off to the side rather than aligned with your spine. Your lower back may look flat instead of curved.
- Muscle spasms: After a strain, muscles in the lower back can spasm or contract uncontrollably. Muscle spasms can cause extreme pain and make it difficult or impossible to stand, walk or move.
One Back Pain Treatment You Probably Dont Need
Back pain can be incredibly frustrating, and going under the knife may seem like the quickest, easiest fix to bring relief. But the truth is, many people dont need surgery for lower back pain management, Dr. Park says.
If your back pain is musculoskeletal, you will not require surgery, but if its a pinched nerve thats due to a disc herniation or something else, you may need to have surgery, he says. But even in those people, when you go through a six-to-eight-week course of treatment that includes physical therapy and activity modification, 85 to 90 percent of the time, they wont need surgery.
However, if you try the treatments above and dont see any improvement or still feel pain, talk to your doctor about a referral to a pain management specialist, as more specific tests or treatments may be required to get to the bottom of whats going on.
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Even The Nonprescription Pain Relievers Are Not Risk Free
Medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen can be helpful, but they can cause stomach inflammation and ulcers, as well as possible bleeding, and even kidney damage, especially in the elderly. Muscle relaxants can be sedating, and can interact with other common medications. Benzodiazepines and opiates not only can cause sedation, making it hard to think clearly and function normally, they are also addictive. Basically, for acute and subacute low back pain, the risks of these medications outweigh the benefits. Other medications, like acetaminophen, steroids, antidepressants, and anti-seizure medications, were not significantly helpful for acute and subacute low back pain at all.
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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How To Get Rid Of Lower Back Pain Fast At Home
June 25, 2015 By Sara
Do you have pain in lower back? Of course, you do have it otherwise why would your search for remedies to relieve lower back pain. The right question would be, since how long do you have lower back pain. And is it a mild pain or a sharp lower back pain? In fact, the symptoms of your lower back pain can only reveal the cause behind it. And when you rightly know the cause then only can you take right steps to get rid of lower back pain.
What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Low Back Pain
Anyone can have back pain. Factors that can increase the risk for low back pain include:
Age: The first attack of low back pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50, and back pain becomes more common with advancing age. Loss of bone strength from osteoporosis can lead to fractures, and at the same time, muscle elasticity and tone decrease. The intervertebral discs begin to lose fluid and flexibility with age, which decreases their ability to cushion the vertebrae. The risk of spinal stenosis also increases with age.
Fitness level: Back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit. Weak back and abdominal muscles may not properly support the spine. Weekend warriorspeople who go out and exercise a lot after being inactive all weekare more likely to suffer painful back injuries than people who make moderate physical activity a daily habit. Studies show that low-impact aerobic exercise can help maintain the integrity of intervertebral discs.
Weight gain: Being overweight, obese, or quickly gaining significant amounts of weight can put stress on the back and lead to low back pain.
Genetics: Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis , have a genetic component.
Smoking: It can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the discs, causing them to degenerate faster.
Backpack overload in children: A backpack overloaded with schoolbooks and supplies can strain the back and cause muscle fatigue.
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How Can You Prevent Lower Back Pain
While you cant stop aging or change your genetic makeup, lifestyle changes can help manage and prevent lower back pain. Having a healthy lifestyle may make you less likely to suffer an accidental injury, too.
Improve your physical fitness. People who are not physically fit are more likely to develop lower back pain because strong core muscles help support the lower back.
Stay active. People who lead sedentary lives may be more likely to injure themselves when they do exert themselves. As far as back health is concerned, its better to do a smaller amount of physical activity most days of the week than to sit all week and over-exert yourself on the weekends.
Lose weight if necessary. The more you weigh, the more pressure you have on your lumbar vertebrae. Being overweight or obese can put stress on the back and lead to lower back pain.
Lift heavy objects the right way. Be sure to squat while lifting so that your hips and knees do much of the work. Keep the load close to your chest while you lift.
Your legs, not your lower back, should be the main driver when you’re lifting something heavy.Make your workspace as ergonomic as possible. If you sit at a desk, make sure your chair has plenty of low-back support and your hips are at a right angle to the floor.
Dont use tobacco products. In addition to all the other health problems tobacco use causes, it can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the discs, causing them to degenerate faster.