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HomeTrendingWhat Can I Do To Reduce Lower Back Pain

What Can I Do To Reduce Lower Back Pain

Is It Muscle Strain Or Sciatica

How to Fix Your Lower Back Pain for Good

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.

What Are Some Complementary Alternative And Emerging Treatments For Lower Back Pain

In some cases, doctors suggest therapies that are not considered standard of care. They probably wont be covered by insurance, but they may be worth considering. Examples include:

Platelet-rich plasma . PRP treatments use a small sample of your own blood that has concentrated amounts of blood building blocks known as platelets. Your doctor then injects the PRP directly into a damaged disc. The theory is that PRP injections use your own healing system to accelerate improvement of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. PRP treatment has a longer track record in knee osteoarthritis, but a recent review article in the Journal of Spine Surgery suggests it may have a useful role for back pain, too. PRP needs a lot more research before it can be considered a proven technique.

Stem cells. In this emerging treatment, your doctor injects stem cells harvested from your hip into the intervertebral disc or discs causing your pain. Doing so may lessen pain and the degenerative effects of aging, though, like PRP, more research is needed before stem cells for lower back pain could eventually become the standard of care.

Acupuncture. Your doctor probably doesnt perform acupuncture , but may support you trying it as a complementary therapy. Acupuncture involves careful insertion of fine, sterile needles into specific points on your body. This may stimulate the release of your natural pain-killing chemicals.

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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How To Sleep With Lower Back Pain

The lower back features an interwoven series of structures. It includes the five vertebrae of the lumbar spine, each of which is bolstered by shock-absorbing discs and held in place by ligaments. Surrounding muscles offer support and are connected to the spine by tendons. Nerves run through the spinal column to deliver signals throughout the body.

The lower back supports most of the bodys weight and is integral to all kinds of movements. Whether standing, sitting, walking, or lying down, the lower back plays a role in mobility and comfort.

Given the complexity of the lower back and how much we depend on it, it comes as no surprise that it is a leading hotspot for pain. Eight out of 10 people have back pain at some point during their life, and lower back pain is one of the top reasons why people see a doctor.

Back pain can range from mild to severe, and it may be short-lived or long-lasting. When serious, it can be debilitating and interfere with nearly all aspects of daily life, including sleep.

Pain and sleep have a complex relationship. Pain can disrupt sleep, and poor sleep can make it more likely that a person will experience pain. In addition, a sleeping position or mattress that doesnt support the lumbar spine can induce or exacerbate lower back pain.

Simple Stretches To Relieve Lower Back Pain

Foam Roller Exercises You Can Do At Home To Relieve Lower ...

Lower back pain can be a debilitating and painful condition.

Fortunately, staying physically active may be the most effective and cost-efficient way to soothe or prevent it.

Here are 8 simple stretches to relieve lower back pain.

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Although its origin varies, changes in the lumbar, or lower back, structure due to musculoskeletal damage are considered to be the main cause .

Your musculoskeletal system is made up of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues that provide form, support, stability, and movement to your body.

Other muscles that play an important role in maintaining the normal curvature of your spinal column are reported to be associated with lower back pain. These include the hip flexor and hamstring muscles .

Minor lower back pain normally gets better on its own within a few days or weeks. It can be considered chronic when it persists for more than three months .

In either case, staying physically active and regularly stretching can help reduce lower back pain or prevent it from returning .

The remainder of this article provides eight stretches for lower back pain, all of which you can do in the comfort of your own home with minimal or no equipment.

Summary Lower back pain is an incredibly common condition that can be relieved or prevented with regular exercise and stretching.

The knee-to-chest stretch can help lengthen your lower back, relieving tension and pain.

To perform the knee-to-chest stretch:

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% 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:

Tips To Prevent Back Pain

Back pain is extremely common and can be caused by many simple everyday activities. Help prevent back pain and protect your spine with these important steps.

Back pain can be the result of trauma, such as a fall or a car accident. But most often back pain is the result of an everyday activity done incorrectly activities as common as twisting to reach or lift an object, sitting at a computer in the same position for hours, bending over to vacuum, and carrying shopping bags. The good news is that back pain prevention isn’t all that difficult, often requiring just a few adjustments that will soon become second nature.

Here are six simple but effective back pain prevention tips.

  • Exercise. One of the most important things you can do for back pain prevention is to get up and get moving. Why does exercise prevent back pain? Muscles are meant to move, says Robin Lustig, DC, a chiropractor at New Jersey Total Health Center in Lodi and Pompton Plains, N.J. If you aren’t in good shape, you’re more likely to hurt your back and feel pain when you do even simple movements, such as lifting your child from his crib. “Also, exercise helps keep your joints fluid,” Dr. Lustig says. Another reason exercise prevents back pain is that exercise helps you keep your weight down being overweight, especially around your stomach, can put added strain on your back.
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    Iii Apply A Cold Pack

    For the first 48-72 hours, carefully apply a cold pack to the area to reduce any inflammation present. Protect the skin from any risk of ice burn with a thin towel before applying the pack. Apply for 20 minutes and use every 1-2 hours as needed.

    Caution:Not everyone benefits from a cold pack. If you find applying cold only numbs your pain while you are still stiff, then either reduce the length of time you apply it, or avoid cold treatment. Some people are more likely to feel even stiffer with cold treatment. The goal is to relax the muscle, not shock it.

    I recommend that you go with what works for you. Personally, I prefer heat instead, but everyone has their own preferences.

    What Causes Degenerative Discs And Herniated Discs

    Effective Core Exercises To Relieve Lower Back Pain

    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.

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    When Is Lower Back Pain An Emergency

    Most episodes of lower back pain eventually resolve on their own, but there are times when you should seek urgent medical attention. Some of these situations include:

    • Patient is a child
    • Pain is severe, constant, suddenly or progressively worsens, and/or doesnt go away
    • Pain interrupts sleep

    While some situations may warrant immediate intervention, most cases are not urgent and can be scheduled at a time convenient for the patient.

    Sleep On A Quality Mattress

    Lower back pain sufferers usually benefit from sleeping on a medium-firm mattress. However, your preferred sleep position also should influence your mattress selection. To maintain good posture, side sleepers should select a softer mattress. Back and stomach sleepers should choose a firmer mattress. If you have lower back pain, its a good idea to avoid sleeping on your stomach altogether.

    If your lower back pain doesnt improve after 4 to 6 weeks of home care using these suggestions, you should see your doctor. You also should contact your doctor right away if you have any red flags, including:

    • A history of cancer or a recent infection
    • A recent fall or other accident
    • Extreme fatigue
    • Signs of infection, such as fever, chills, sweats
    • Nerve problems, such as shooting pain, numbness or tingling
    • Changes in bowel or bladder function

    Other options for treating lower back pain may include physical therapy, pain management with cortisone injections or, in certain cases, surgery. Although lower back surgery can be beneficial for patients who are experiencing nerve problems and injured discs, its not typically recommended for patients with other types of lower back pain.

    Download the Virtua Health Guide to Back Pain, or call to request a consultation with a Virtua back pain specialist.

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    What Is The Outlook

    Most of us will have a bout of nonspecific low back pain at some point in our lives. The severity can vary. However, it is difficult to quote exact figures as to outlook . This is partly because it is so common and many people with back pain do not consult a doctor. Roughly, it is thought that:

    • Most nonspecific back pains ease and go quickly, usually within a few weeks.
    • In about 4 in 10 cases, the pain has completely gone within four weeks.
    • In about 7 in 10 cases the pain has completely gone within one year.

    However, once the pain has eased or gone it is common to have further bouts of pain from time to time in the future. Also, it is common to have minor pains on and off for quite some time after an initial bad bout of pain. In a small number of cases the pain persists for several months or longer. This is called chronic back pain.

    Find Relief Through Ice And Heat

    Prevent Back Pain: Exercises To Help Strengthen Your Back

    Break out that bag of frozen peas for the first 48 hours after the pain sets in, and put it to use for 20 minutes a session, several sessions per day. After those two days are behind you, switch to 20-minute intervals with a heating pad.

    Localized cooling shuts down capillaries and reduces blood flow to the area, which helps ease the swelling, says Lisa DeStefano, DO, an associate professor at Michigan State Universitys College of Osteopathic Medicine in East Lansing. Cold also thwarts your nerves ability to conduct pain signals. Heat, on the other hand, loosens tight muscles and increases circulation, bringing extra oxygen to the rescue.

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    Lying On Your Side While Crossing Your Arms As You Hunch Forward Can Help

    Gradually increase the extension slight fractions of an inch and hold.

    Extending take several minutes to accomplish. If possible, have someone assist you in with the extension. Maintain very slow, controlled inward and outward breaths to become calm and to relax, even though you are uncomfortable.

    Note: You are only trying to lengthen the muscle. Dont overstretch.

    Only allow very slight increments. By increasing the length of the muscle, you will relieve that muscle. Youll also reduce the injury to the area that the muscle is trying to protect.

    Alternate periods of stretching with resting pauses. Dont allow the muscle to contract during your rest phase as it may start again.

    Reducing the intensity of the contraction can take anywhere from several minutes to hours if necessary. The degree of injury is a major factor. Each time that you attempt to relax and lengthen the muscle, it will try to respond by tightening up. Holding your position will help you avoid this.

    If you have taken a very long time to use this tip for your pain, then please consider medical help initially. My site is loaded with lots of help for you also but you should also get your doctors support.

    Stretching/back Traction To Relieve Lower Back Pain

    No matter how great your sitting posture and how excellent your chair is you have to take a few breaks from sitting during the day .

    Use this break to perform a good stretch to relieve your pain, and here are the 2 best options:

    1. A simple 30-second stretch

    • Sit in your chair, making sure your sitting bones are firmly in contact with the chair. Keep your feet flat on the floor and placed wide apart.
    • Sit up tall and then slowly slide your hands down your legs until you reach the floor. Visualize rolling down one joint at a time, head first.
    • Breathe into the stretch and try to slide slightly further down. Hold for 30 seconds.
    • Repeat three times.

    You can find more simple and effective deskercisesHERE.

    2. Use a Back Traction Device

    For a more powerful stretch, I recommend bringing a compact, portable back traction device to your office space.

    When you do back traction, your aching muscles get a chance to relax and you take a bit of the pressure off your discs.

    If you want to take the first stretch to a higher level without worrying whether youre doing it right use the CoreStretch tool:

    One more back traction option which can be great in your workspace is the True Back traction device:

    The True Back stretcher is a portable and compact lower back lumbar traction device, and easy to use. No assembly is needed and no parts can break down ever.

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