Adjust Your Sleeping Position
If you think your neck pain is due to an uncomfortable sleeping position, this can be easily be remedied. One way to do this is to try sleeping on a firmer mattress. Some people find that sleeping without a pillow helps. However, if this is too uncomfortable for you there are specially designed pillows available to buy that could help, such as a water pillow.
Muscle Sprain Or Strain
Sprains are the tearing or stretching of ligaments. Strains are the tearing or stretching of muscles and tendons. Regularly lifting heavy objects, especially without proper form, can easily cause a person to sprain or strain their back. Sprains and strains can also occur after an awkward, sudden movement.
Exercises To Help With Pain
To prevent and ease less serious lower back pain, physical therapists recommend doing the following exercises every day, up to twice a day.
1. Supine bridge
Lie on your back with your arms on the floor at your sides, your legs bent at the knees and your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdomen and glutes and slowly lift your hips off the floor, while keeping your back straight. Then, slowly lower your butt and hips back down to the floor. Do 10 repetitions.
2. Bird Dog
Get down on all fours, with your hands on the floor directly under both shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Keep your head in line with your spine and lift your right arm forward and your left leg straight behind you until they are both parallel to the floor. Pause, then return to the starting position. Repeat with the left arm and the right leg. Be sure to keep your abdominal muscles tight, your back flat and your hips level throughout the exercise. Do 10 repetitions on each side.
3. Cat Camel
Start on all fours, with your hands on the floor directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Tuck your chin toward your chest and slowly round your back up toward the ceiling pause for a couple of seconds, then slowly draw your shoulders away from your ears, relax your back and arch it slightly while gazing ahead of you. Return to the starting position. Do 10 repetitions.
4. Childs Pose
5. Double Knee-to-Chest Stretch
6. Lower Back Rotation Stretch
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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.
Find Relief Through Ice And Heat
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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Exercise And Physical Therapy
Bed rest, which used to be what doctors advised for back pain, may do more harm than good. It could slow your recovery and cause new problems.
With acute pain, you should be able to start normal, easy activity, like walking, within a few days. After that, gradually ramp back up to your usual exercise level.
Strengthening both your abdominal and back muscles helps stabilize your spine. Pilates exercises build these core muscles. You can help prevent further back injury by learning — and doing — gentle stretching exercises and the right way to lift things.
Exercising in the water is especially safe for a sore back. The water supports some of your weight, which can make you more comfortable, and it offers gentle resistance, which builds your strength. Aquatic therapy can make you more flexible and lessen pain for chronic low back problems.
Yoga may help your flexibility, strength, and sense of balance. It’s good for stress relief, which will also help you deal with the pain.
Physical therapy focuses on managing or preventing injuries or disabilities. PT helps relieve pain, promote healing, and restore function and movement.
Your treatment plan may involve visits to a specialist called a physical therapist. They focus on easing pain with passive or active therapy. Examples of passive physical therapy include:
- Manual therapies
Examples of active physical therapy include:
Preventing Pain And Injury
Posture. Using correct posture and keeping your spine in alignment are the most important things you can do for your neck and back . The lower back bears most of your weight, so proper alignment of this section can prevent injury to your vertebrae, discs, and other portions of the spine. If you have back or neck pain, you may need to make adjustments to your daily standing, sitting, and sleeping habits and learn proper ways to lift and bend. Your workspace may need to be rearranged to keep your spine from slouching. Because extra pounds can make back pain worse, you should maintain a weight that is appropriate for your height and body frame.
Exercise. Regular exercise is important to prevent back pain and injury. A program of strengthening, stretching and aerobic exercises will improve your overall fitness level. Research has shown that people who are physically fit are more resistant to back injuries and pain, and recover quicker when they do have injuries, than those who are less physically fit .
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Applying Cold Packs And Heat To Your Back
Regular hot or cold therapy can loosen the tightness around your back muscles and relieve spasms. Both therapies help to relax your muscles and ease the side effects of muscle spasms.
Hot Therapy for Muscle Spasms
Apply a heating pad to the area around the spasms for 15 to 20 minutes. After this, massage the area with a cold compress to calm any inflammation caused by the heating pad.
If youd rather do without the pad, try having a warm bath, hot tub or spa session, or a hot shower.
Cold Therapy for Muscle Spasms
Stretch #2 Prayer Stretch
Starting with prayer stretch is a great way to gauge your range of motion, pain sensation, and still get benefits of a stretch. It is important when dealing with low back pain to move slowly and purposefully to avoid positions and movements that reproduce symptoms dramatically.
For this exercise you will want to start out on your hands and knees with your eyes looking down at the floor. A straight line from your glutes to the top of your head for proper spinal alignment.
Once in that position, take a deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth slowly releasing the air as you sit your hips back on your heels. The lower you can get the better, drop your chest and head down as you fully exhale and hold the position for 30 seconds.
This stretch targets the low back specifically but also helps get the pelvis into a more favorable position to stretch the back muscles entirely in a safe manner. Repeat this stretch and attempt to get lower each time until your hips can comfortably sit on your heels. This is a great stretch to start or end the day.
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Top 10 Ways To Manage Low Back Pain At Home
Back pain can range from a dull, continuous pain at the back of the body, to sudden sharp excruciating pain that restricts movement. The location of pain also differs from being an upper back pain, lower back pain or pain along the sides.
The causes of a back pain can also vary. Wrong posture while sitting, standing, walking or lifting heavy objects is the most common cause of all back pains. Other causes of back pain include slipped disc, sciatica, whiplash, frozen shoulder and ankylosing spondylitis.
There are various ways to get relief from back pain. Natural remedies for back pain depend on the conditions that cause the pain and also its location. Some simple home remedies are mentioned below:
Soothe the Pain with Cold or Hot Packs
Ice or gel packs can be applied to the location of pain. A cold pack reduces inflammation and also numbs the nerve endings, thus alleviating the pain. Cold pack can be made at home by sealing a mixture of one cup rubbing alcohol with 2 cups of water in a plastic freezer bag. This can be kept in a freezer for an hour before using it on the back to relieve pain. Cold packs can be used for severe back pain as it numbs the endings of nerves that carry the pain signal to the brain.
Get Some Sleep in a Comfortable Mattress
Correct Your Posture Sitting, Standing and Walking
Posture correction to avoid back pain can be done in the following ways:
Be on the Move
Shed the Extra Weight
Exercise and Yoga for Backpain
Massage Therapy for Back Pain
Finding A Position Of Comfort
For immediate relief, finding a position of comfort or applying pressure is helpful. You can try lying face down, applying ice to the affected area, or alternatively, getting a gentle massage. It can also be helpful to practice some stretching exercises to help relax your muscles. Yoga, in particular, can be helpful. However, do remember to stop immediately if you feel sharp or increased pain.
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Home Remedies: Treatments And Therapies For Back Pain
Most acute back pain gets better with a few weeks of home treatment. However, everyone is different, and back pain is a complex condition. For many, the pain doesn’t go away for a long period, but only a few have persistent, severe pain.
For acute back pain, over-the-counter pain relievers and the periodic use of heat might be all you need. But bed rest is not recommended. Keep moving. Continue your activities as much as you can tolerate. Certainly stop activity that increases pain, but don’t avoid activity out of fear of pain. If home treatments aren’t working after several weeks, your health care provider might suggest stronger medications or other treatments and therapies.
Stretching The Area Of The Spasm
Common back stretches for back spasms include the tennis ball stretch, foam roller stretch, and exercise ball stretch.
How to Do Tennis Ball Stretches
How to Do the Foam Roller Stretch
How to Do Exercise Ball Stretches
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Massaging Your Lower Back
Sometimes, a good back massage may relieve the pain and discomfort that comes with muscle cramps and back spasms.
If you cannot get a professional massage, you can try out a home alternative. Gently rub the affected area of the muscle spasm over and over again, until you feel some sort of relief.
If youre experiencing persistent back spasms, consider pinching the area around the sensations and holding the pinch for a few minutes. You can ask someone to help out if your hands cant reach the area.
Treating Back Spasms With Chiropractic Care
During your initial visit, your chiropractor will determine the cause of your muscle spasm. If it is caused by strain or injury, they might perform spinal adjustments or soft tissue therapy to ease the pain and discomfort.
However, if the chiropractor finds an issue with a spinal disc, then you may require different treatment or further imaging. The requisite rehabilitation may involve different exercises and stretches. In some instances, you may also be referred back to your medical doctor for additional care.
If youre worried about the treatment hurting, dont worry chiropractic care is gentle and is always a discussion between you and the treating practitioner.
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Back Pain Remedy: Muscle Creams And Patches
Another way to cure back pain at home is to use muscle creams and patches. Many different companies make these products, but the two most popular are Ben Gay and Icy Hot. The medication in the patch or cream works to confuse the nerve endings in your back muscles. By making them feel hot or cold, they are distracted from the pain of the muscle tissue. In addition, the heat from these patches goes a long way toward soothing the muscles that have been strained or sprained. Large patches are probably more convenient, but creams may work better if your muscles are strained higher up on the back, to the side, or over a large area. Dont miss these lower back pain relief treatments that really work.
The Changing Face Of Spinal Surgery
Only a small percentage of patients with back pain are candidates for surgery, but for these patients, advances in techniques have made recovery a much easier road, says Boden of The Emory Orthopaedics and Spine Center.
Fifty years ago, a spine fusion meant a two-week hospital stay, a body cast or brace for months, and a minimum of six months away from normal activities. A spinal fusion is performed by fusing the vertebrae together with bone grafts to eliminate motion between two adjacent vertebrae where motion is causing lower back pain.
Today, minimally invasively techniques allow for smaller incisions, less blood loss, and faster recovery time, Boden says. Some spine fusion techniques can be done on an outpatient basis.
Fifty years from now, Boden predicts that disc replacement will be an alternative to spinal fusion. Moreover, gene therapy will be able to prevent or reverse disc degeneration, and genetic research will help discover genetic sources of back pain, he says.
“Gene therapy for disc regeneration may be more than five years off, but less than 20,” he predicts.
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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.
How To Fix Lower Back Pain At Home
Lower back pain is an increasingly common experience for so many people around the world. It can strike after exercise, traumatic event, or even lifting the laundry bin. The spine and its muscles are a robust network to support the body and its movement but can also be the source of discomfort and pain.
The most important aspect of dealing with low back pain is getting the right care at the right time.
If you experience a traumatic injury or event that leads to back pain seek immediate medical attention. The list of stretches and exercises below assume that your back pain is a non-emergency injury and you can tolerate a pain-free range of motion throughout each movement.
These movements are in order of intensity and complexity, if you are trying them at home do work through the list progressively.
All of the stretches should be done daily and exercises can be completed in 3 sets of 10 repetitions 3-4 times a week. Also, if you have a foam roller that can too be a good way to carefully releave pain.
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How Is Sciatica Treated
The goal of treatment is to decrease your pain and increase your mobility. Depending on the cause, many cases of sciatica go away over time with some simple self-care treatments.
Self-care treatments include:
- Appling ice and/or hot packs: First, use ice packs to reduce pain and swelling. Apply ice packs or bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel to the affected area. Apply for 20 minutes, several times a day. Switch to a hot pack or a heating pad after the first several days. Apply for 20 minutes at a time. If youre still in pain, switch between hot and cold packs whichever best relieves your discomfort.
- Taking over-the-counter medicines: Take medicines to reduce pain, inflammation and swelling. The many common over-the-counter medicines in this category, called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen . Be watchful if you choose to take aspirin. Aspirin can cause ulcers and bleeding in some people. If youre unable to take NSAIDS, acetaminophen may be taken instead.
- Performing gentle stretches: Learn proper stretches from an instructor with experience with low back pain. Work up to other general strengthening, core muscle strengthening and aerobic exercises.
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