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.
Workouts That Can Cause Low Back Pain
Most athletic injuries to the back are sprains of the ligaments or strains of the muscles surrounding the spine. Serious conditions or complications can have similar symptoms to those of a routine sprain or strain. The most common sports injuries occur after repetitive overuse of the spine either through twisting, compression, or flexion. High impact sports such as running, football, or volleyball can often cause low back pain. Sports like golf, in which repetitive twisting is often involved, can also cause low back pain.
% 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:
Don’t Miss: Does Aleve Help Back Pain
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.
Tips Before Starting A Stretching Routine
As with any kind of exercise, its important to treat the body with care. Remember that a good stretch puts pressure on the problem areas, but its not supposed to cause sharp pain. Be mindful of the bodys limits and pay attention to proper breathing.
Here are other tips to maximize the exercises effects without causing further harm to the body:
- Wear comfortable clothes that wont restrict movements.
- Prepare the right materials for exercise, such as a yoga mat, yoga block, and foam roller.
- Dont force the body to follow painful and difficult positions.
- Follow every step slowly to prevent muscle strain.
- Perform the exercises on clean and flat surfaces that wont restrict movements.
- Hold the poses for at least 10 seconds to improve the bodys range of motion.
Don’t Miss: Does Motrin Help With Back Pain
Welcome To Your Physio Sri Petaling
Our Physio will first provide a detailed assessment for each patient according to their conditions to fully understand the problems in depth before starting the treatment.
We treat every patient with genuine care as we understand the difficulty of going through the pain. Nothing makes us more happy than seeing our patients feel relieved and joyful again after the recovery!
Exercises To Strengthen And Relieve Pain
Core and back strength is incredibly important when it comes to low back pain. The following exercises are designed to help you strengthen these areas and ease the pain in your back. Well begin with the easy ones and move on to the more difficult ones.
Note: Most of these exercises require that you engage your ab muscles. The proper form calls for a drawing-in of the muscles, instead of a bulging-out. Your lower stomach should flatten in a little bit. If youre pushing your abs out, youre likely over-flexing.
Recommended Reading: Advil Vs Ibuprofen For Back Pain
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.
What Causes Degenerative Discs And Herniated Discs
Why is the lower back a target area for pain? “Generally speaking, the lower back is subject to a lot of mechanical stress and strain,â says Gunnar Andersson, MD, PhD, professor and chairman emeritus of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. âThe reason is the weight of the upper body, which always puts loads on the lower back.”
Supporting all that upper body weight is the spine, which is made up of more than 30 small bones called vertebrae stacked one on top of the other. A spongy piece of cartilage, called a disc, sits between each vertebra. It acts as a shock absorber, preventing the bony vertebrae from grinding against one another.
With age, these cushioning discs gradually wear away and shrink, a condition known as degenerative disc disease. Discs can also tear or become injured. Sometimes the weakening of a disc can put pressure on its jelly-like center. Wisneski describes this process as similar to a bubble forming on your car’s tire.
“You hit a bump in the road, then all of a sudden that tire goes pop,” he says. In the case of your back, that pressure can lead to a herniated disc , in which the center of the disc bulges.
A herniated disc in the lower back can put pressure on the nerve that extends down the spinal column. This commonly causes pain to radiate to the buttocks and all the way down the leg. This condition is called sciatica.
Read Also: Advil For Back Pain Dosage
When To See A Doctor For Back Pain
Most of the time, minor back pain responds well to home remedies. But sometimes, back pain is a sign of another medical condition. Seek medical care if the back pain:
- Comes on suddenly without an obvious cause.
- Is severe or unbearable.
- Lasts more than a day or two and doesnt respond to over-the-counter painkillers.
- Comes with other symptoms like fatigue or weight loss.
What kind of doctor should you see for back pain? Start with your primary care physician, who can rule out conditions that may be causing the pain, Dr. Bolash says. A pain management or spine specialist is an option for people who have severe or ongoing pain. A specialist can often work toward identifying the source of your pain and provide targeted treatment options.
Another option is to ask your doctor about seeing a spine-certified physical therapist. These therapists specialize in back pain and guide you through exercises to help relieve your specific issue.
Back pain is your bodys way of telling you somethings wrong. If the pain doesnt get better with home remedies, dont ignore it contact your doctor.
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.
Don’t Miss: Will Aleve Help Back Pain
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.
How Excess Belly Fat Places Stress On Lower Back Muscles
A protruding midsection and lack of strong, flexible muscles can be manifested in what I call the paper clip syndrome.
Heres how it works: a person walks into a room and sees a paper clip on the floor. He bends to retrieve it and his lower back explodes in pain. A paper clip is used to signify that no heavy lifting was involved and the only event was bending over. The key is, the person was poised for disaster and all that was required was a minor effort to trigger it.
Excess belly fat places considerable and relentless stress on the lower back muscles. Why? The bodys anatomy and upright posture results in a natural tendency to lean forward, and its the job of lower back muscles to resist the forward lean and keep the body upright. Thus, even under the best conditions, the lower back muscles are constantly being challenged.
A protruding midsection adds to the challenge because additional weight in the front of the body pulls it forward, and the lower back muscles must work harder to keep the body upright.
Whats more, leverage works against the lower back muscles. An increase in abdominal fat of just a few pounds can exert a stress of many times that amount on the lower back muscles to keep the body upright.
Don’t Miss: Will Naproxen Help Back Pain
Ways To Relieve Back Pain Naturally
There are a wide variety of natural remedies to soothe your back, which can help reduce the intake of medications or provide an added benefit to your existing medical treatment.
Take a look at these natural pain-relieving strategies and find out what works best for you:
Read on to learn more about effective pain-relieving strategies for chronic back pain from natural methods.
How Is Back Pain Treated
You can do several things to manage back pain. A conversation with your doctor or physiotherapist can help address any concerns you may have and help you to better understand your treatment. Remember that not all information is trustworthy, so let your healthcare team know about treatments you are considering before you begin them.
Ways to manage back pain include the following:
Strong pain medication is not recommended for back pain. Research shows strong pain medication provides little benefit and can cause side effects such as drowsiness, sedation and/or dependence.
If you have severe back pain and your current medication is not adequately managing it, talk to your doctor about a suitable treatment plan. In some cases, your doctor may suggest an injection that can numb the pain such as an epidural injection, or a surgical procedure, such as a laminectomy to help manage your pain.
There are many other treatments to manage back pain, but they have not been well proven. These include:
- herbal medicines
- laser therapy
- heat and cold therapy
FIND A HEALTH SERVICE The Service Finder can help you find doctors, pharmacies, hospitals and other health services.
You May Like: Mayo Clinic Low Back Pain Exercises
What Are Some Other Causes Of Lower Back Pain
The shape of your spine, and well as spinal diseases, are other culprits in lower back pain. Depending on a range of factors, your doctor may look for:
Abnormal spinal curvature. A normal spine resembles a gently curved letter S when seen from the side. Abnormal curves include:
- Lordosis, in which the spine curves too far inward at the lower back
- Kyphosis, in which the spine is abnormally rounded in the upper back
- Scoliosis, in which the spine curves from side to side, often in a C shape
Normal and abnormal curves of the spineArthritis. There are more than 100 types of arthritis, many of which can cause lower back pain. The most common types include osteoarthritis , rheumatoid arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.
Cauda equina syndrome . Compression of the bundle of nerves that forms below the spinal cord in the lumbar spine. It is a rare but serious disorder that requires immediate medical attention and possibly emergency surgery. CES got its name from the fact that the fanned-out bundle of nerves resembles the base of a horses tail.
Discitis or osteomyelitis.Both infections of discs and bone can cause severe pain and require prompt medical attention.
Spinal tumors. When cells divide and multiply unchecked, the result is a tumor. Both benign and malignant tumors can cause lower back pain. They can either originate in the spine or metastasize there, meaning theyve spread from somewhere else in the body.
Triangle Pose Lengthens Torso Muscles To Build Strength
Triangle pose is great for strengthening the back and legs and can help lengthen your muscles along the sides of your torso while stretching the muscle fibers along your outer hip .
Try it: Start standing straight with your feet together. Next, lunge your left foot back three to four feet, and point your left foot out at a 45-degree angle. Turn your chest to the side and open up the pose by stretching your right arm toward the ground and the left arm toward the ceiling, keeping both your right and left legs straight. You may not be able to touch the ground with your right arm at first, so dont overstretch only bend as far as you can while maintaining a straight back. Hold the position for 5 to 10 breaths, then switch to the other side, and repeat as needed.
Read Also: Tylenol Or Aleve For Back Pain
Extension Exercises To Relieve Lower Back Pain Naturally
Once youve been doing your flexion exercises for a while, you should start to become more comfortable and feel your back muscles begin to lengthen and strengthen. Now its time to start your extension exercises. Gravity naturally pulls your back forward and down. But, extension exercise programs have become very popular in recent years because theyre a great way to strengthen the muscles you need to counteract the force of gravity. These are just three of the most common extension exercises.
Stretch Your Hamstrings Twice Daily
One often overlooked contributor to lower back pain is tight hamstrings. If your hamstring muscleslocated in the back of your thighsare too tight hamstrings your lower back and sacroiliac joints will be stressed, leading to more pain. Hamstring stretching should be done carefully and at least twice per day for 15-30 seconds each time.
There are many gentle stretching exercises that should not hurt.
Read Also: Does Aleve Help With Back Pain
Lower Back Stretches To Reduce Pain And Build Strength
Lower back pain is a fairly common health concern, as so many things can cause it.
In some cases, it might be a symptom of an underlying condition, like kidney stones or acute pancreatitis. Other times, its simply a side effect of a sedentary lifestyle or repetitive motions.
While stretching isnt a remedy for all lower back pain, in many instances, it can provide relief. If youve been living with some mild discomfort or stiffness, these seven stretches may help reduce the pain and strengthen the muscles in your lower back.
Injections For Low Back Pain Relief
Epidural steroid injections are a commonly used short-term choice for treating low back pain and sciatica. These injections work by reducing inflammation to relieve pain. Injections are intended for short-term use and should not be utilized for an extended period of time as they may worsen pain in the long run.
For those with chronic pain or sever spinal injury, a nerve block may be utilized to prevent nerve conduction in a certain area. This essentially blocks all feeling from nerves. Nerve blocks are typically only used in extreme cases of severe pain.
Don’t Miss: Does Aleve Work For Back Pain