Back Exercises And Stretches
Simple back exercises and stretches can often help reduce back pain. These can be done at home as often as you need to.
For information about exercises and stretches that can help, see:
A GP may be able to provide information about back exercises if you’re unsure what to try, or you may want to consider seeing a physiotherapist for advice. Read about how to get access to physiotherapy.
Doing regular exercise alongside these stretches can also help keep your back strong and healthy. Activities such as walking, swimming, yoga and pilates are popular choices.
Finding Lower Back Pain Relief
Nearly everyone will experience some form of back pain in his or her lifetime. The low back is the area behind the belly from the rib cage to the pelvis and is also called the lumbar region. Back pain is a major cause of missed work. Low back pain usually resolves on its own and is commonly the result of a strain injury. There are many treatments for low back pain.
At Risk for Lower Back Pain?
Low back pain can start in a person’s early twenties and continue on throughout adulthood. Studies have shown that up to 80% of the general population are affected by low back pain at some time during their lives. Learn to prevent lower back pain by knowing what activities could be putting you at risk.
Common Causes of Low Back Pain
- Manual materials handling
- Twisting of the trunk
- Bending the trunk to the side
- Excessive reaching
- Extreme tallness
What Are Other Uncommon Causes Of Low Back Pain
Infection of the cartilage and/or bone of the spine
Infection of the discs and bone is extremely rare. These conditions lead to localized pain associated with fever. The bacteria found when these tissues are tested with laboratory cultures include Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis . TB infection in the spine is called Pott’s disease. These are each very serious conditions requiring long courses of antibiotics. The sacroiliac joints rarely become infected with bacteria. Brucellosis is a bacterial infection that can involve the sacroiliac joints and is usually transmitted in raw goat’s milk.
Aneurysm of the aorta
In the elderly, atherosclerosis can cause the weakening of the wall of the large arterial blood vessel in the abdomen. This weakening can lead to a bulging of the aorta wall. While most aneurysms cause no symptoms, some cause pulsating low back pain. Aneurysms of a certain size, especially when enlarging over time, can require surgical repair with a grafting procedure to repair the abnormal portion of the artery.
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Degenerative Disc Disease Treatment Goals
The vast majority of people with degenerative disc disease experience low back pain symptoms that flare up periodically, but do not get worse over time. For those people, the main goals for managing lower back pain caused by degenerative disc disease are usually:
- Achieving enough pain relief to be able to engage in lower back pain exercises and a rehabilitation program
- Trying to manage the low back pain and maintaining an ability to function at home and at work.
Once a disc has degenerated, the degenerative process cannot be reversed. Instead of trying to rehabilitate the disc itself, treatment focuses on improving the health of surrounding structures, such as the spinal nerves, vertebral bones and joints, and supporting muscles and ligaments.
The main goals of the rehabilitation program include a therapist-guided and individual approach, which aim to2:
- Increase, restore, and/or maintain the range of motion in the affected spinal segment
- Build physical strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, and endurance in the lower back and legs
- Guide patients to make ergonomic changes in their workspace and home to support the spine and prevent recurrence of pain
- Teach the correct use of posture while sitting, walking, sleeping, and lifting to promote maximum function with lesser pain
Bulging Disc Treatments: 7 Ways To Find Natural Relief From Back Pain
A bulging disc is a very common occurrence that results in a spinal disc compressing against an adjacent nerve root. The disc essentially pushes out of its normal place and starts impinging on nearby nerves of the spine, sometimes causing pain. For some people, bulging discs can cause a good deal of discomfort, at times progressing enough that they can become disabling and affect someones quality of life greatly.
There are different severities of bulging or herniated discs some that are more problematic than others. Not everyone with a bulging disc experiences pain or even any noticeable symptoms at all, although many do. In fact, its now understood that many people with bulging herniated discs function without any pain at all and arent even aware of the problem.
Studies show that bulging discs are common more than 50 out of 100 older people examined using magnetic resonance imaging have some degree of a bulging disc but the underlying causes arent well-understood, which makes appropriate treatment difficult.
If youve visited a doctor about a painful bulging disc, you might have been given medications, such as over-the-counter painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxers or steroids to help control your symptoms. While these might work in the short term to keep you more comfortable, they wont target the underlying cause of the bulging disc or prevent another one from forming.
1. See a Chiropractor for Spinal Adjustments
2. Visit a Physical Therapist
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Is Your Job Causing Back Pain
A job that involves pulling, lifting, or twisting with the low back can cause injury and low back pain. Even prolonged sitting in an awkward position can cause low back pain. Standing on your feet for hours on end? That can cause lower back pain too. The best way to prevent back pain is to know if you are at risk.
Jobs That Can Cause Lower Back Pain
- Airline crew
- Office personnel
What Are The Treatments For Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain usually gets better with rest, ice and over-the-counter pain relievers. After a few days of rest, you can start to get back to your normal activities. Staying active increases blood flow to the area and helps you heal.
Other treatments for lower back pain depend on the cause. They include:
- Medications: Your provider may recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or prescription drugs to relieve pain. Other medications relax muscles and prevent back spasms.
- Physical therapy : PT can strengthen muscles so they can support your spine. PT also improves flexibility and helps you avoid another injury.
- Hands-on manipulation: Several hands-on treatments can relax tight muscles, reduce pain and improve posture and alignment. Depending on the cause of pain, you may need osteopathic manipulation or chiropractic adjustments. Massage therapy can also help with back pain relief and restore function.
- Injections: Your provider uses a needle to inject medication into the area thats causing pain. Steroid injections relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
- Surgery: Some injuries and conditions need surgical repair. There are several types of surgery for low back pain, including many minimally invasive techniques.
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What Are Some Less Invasive Or Noninvasive Back Pain Treatments
Your doctor has a wide range of treatments that may help your lower back pain. In general, expect your doctor to take a stepped care approach. That means starting with simple, low-cost treatments and moving to more aggressive approaches later. Keep in mind that many treatments take time to reach their full effect.
Medications. When over-the-counter pills and topicals dont do enough to relieve back pain, your doctor may recommend a prescription drug. Examples include:
- Antiseizure medication, such gabapentin or pregabalin, for nerve-related pain
- Muscle relaxants, such as baclofen or carisoprodol
- Prescription NSAIDs, such as celecoxib, diclofenac, or fenoprofen
- Opioids, such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, on a short-term basis.
Physical therapy . PT for lower back pain involves passive and active therapies to help the patient build core muscle strength, improve spinal flexibility and range of motion, correct posture and more. Your physical therapy sessions may include:
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
Injections. An epidural steroid injection or a selective nerve block may provide short-term pain relief when lower back pain causes sciatica symptoms, such as leg pain.
Yoga: Stretching For Back Pain
If back pain doesn’t go away in three months, there’s evidence that yoga can help. In one recent study, people who took 12 weeks of yoga classes had fewer symptoms of low back pain than people who were given a book about care for back pain. The benefits lasted several months after the classes were finished. The study suggests conventional stretching also works just as well. Make sure your instructor is experienced at teaching people with back pain and will modify postures for you as needed.
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Look Into Getting A New Mattress
How old is your bed? You may be surprised to learn that the average life span of a mattress is less than 10 years. Theres no hard-and-fast rule, says Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, chief of the division of pain medicine at Stanford University, but if your mattress is sagging significantly or is more than six to eight years old, Id think about getting a new one.
Something else to consider: A firm mattress may not do your back any favors, says Carmen R. Green, MD, a physician at the University of Michigan Back & Pain Center. A number of studies over the years suggest that people with lower back pain who sleep on medium-firm mattresses do better than those with firm beds, she says.
When To See A Doctor
People can often treat back pain with home remedies and some patience. However, a person should speak to a doctor about chronic or severe back pain.
A doctor may recommend physical therapy, medication, or other treatments. People who have existing health conditions or who take regular medications should speak to a doctor before trying any herbs or supplements.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration do not monitor supplements for purity or quality, so it is essential to research reputable companies first.
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Back Pain Pressure Points
If there is an overly vital area to be attentive to when suffering from back pain, its the pressure points that an improper mattress can cause on your body. These points mean that there is extra push back to a specific area. This can cause misalignment throughout your body and your spine.
Once it has moved out of alignment, there is an increased amount of pressure placed on your spine. Thats one of the common causes of back pain. Thinking about it that way may just help you answer the question, Is a firm mattress good for your back? from a whole new angle.
With this said, its essential to ensure that you arent sleeping on a bed that places too much pressure on your spine. This is also true for any major joints. Thats whats going to allow your body to rest in a relaxed state. The chance of pressure points forming along the spine as well as the lower back is diminished dramatically when the appropriate product is picked.
Pressure points are capable of causing long-term deformations and pains along your spine. This isnt something that you can likely afford as it can quickly turn into a chronic condition.
Remedies To Relieve Lower Back Pain Fast
by North Texas Medical Center | Jan 28, 2020 | Physical Therapy
We all want to know the best way to relieve lower back pain fast. At best, backache can be frustrating, perhaps draining. At its worst, this kind of discomfort can be utterly debilitating. If you have ever awakened with a terrible backache, you may have also learned how quickly such an ailment can derail your day, your week, or even several months or years.
Fortunately, there are remedies to combat that ache. From exercising to getting better sleep to reducing your stress levels, you can choose from a variety of strategies. The next time you have a backache , consider the following methods of back pain relief. Remember to discuss at-home back pain remedies with your doctor before you make use of them.
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What Are The Best Creams For Back Pain
When aches and pains become an obstacle to living a fulfilling life, you should consider applying a pain cream gel. If applied directly to the skin, ultra strength creams reduce inflammation and minor pains temporarily as a natural pain reliever.
Different types of pain relievers are needed for different conditions, according to dermatologists. Others are intended for open wounds such as cuts and scrapes some reduce inflammation, while others are suitable for reducing swelling.
Weve compiled a list of the top pain relieving ointment according to your needs. But first, lets find out how to choose the best pain relief solution. If you are looking for the best cream for sciatica pain, check out this article as well.
Other Causes Of Back Pain
There are many other potential causes of back pain, but most of these are rare. Be sure to see your doctor if you experience regular back pain that does not go away.
After ruling out the more common causes of back pain, your doctor will perform tests to determine if you have a rarer cause. These can include:
- displacement of one vertebral body onto another, called degenerative spondylolisthesis
- loss of nerve function at the lower spinal cord, called cauda equina syndrome
- fungal or bacterial infection of the spine, such as Staphylococcus, E. coli, or tuberculosis
- cancer or nonmalignant tumor in the spine
- kidney infection or kidney stones
Back pain can have many symptoms, including:
- a dull aching sensation in the lower back
- a stabbing or shooting pain that can radiate down the leg to the foot
- an inability to stand up straight without pain
- a decreased range of motion and diminished ability to flex the back
The symptoms of back pain, if due to strain or misuse, are usually short-lived but can last for days or weeks.
Back pain is chronic when symptoms have been present for longer than three months.
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Tips For Dealing With Lower Back Pain
By Robert Greenleaf, MD, Spine Surgeon
Lower back pain is extremely common and one of the top reasons for missed workdays. Thats because the lower back supports the weight of the upper body and is subject to a lot of stress and strainespecially during everyday movements like lifting and twisting.
One of two things typically causes lower back pain: a sudden injury or the wear and tear of aging, arthritis and physical activity. No matter the cause of your lower back pain, here are 10 recommendations that can help you relieve it and prevent future problems.
How Your Back Works
The spine, which is also called the backbone or spinal column, is one of the strongest parts of the body and gives us a great deal of flexibility and strength.
Its made up of 24 bones, known as vertebrae, one sitting on top of the other. These bones have discs in between and lots of strong ligaments and muscles around them for support. There are also the bones in the tailbone at the bottom of the back, which are fused together and have no discs in between.
On either side of the spine, running from top to bottom, are many small joints called the facet joints.
The spinal cord passes inside the vertebrae, which protect it.
The spinal cord connects to the brain through the base of the skull and to the rest of the body by nerves that pass through spaces between the bones of the spine. These nerves are also known as nerve roots.
As you grow older, the structures of your spine, such as the joints, discs and ligaments, age as well. The structures remain strong but its usual for your back to get stiffer as you get older.
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Bonus Tip: Soothe The Pain With Cold And/or Hot
Don’t underestimate the pain reduction of simply applying cold packs and/or hot packs to help reduce your lower back pain.
- Cold therapy helps reduce inflammation and pain. Some examples include wrapping ice in a cloth, a pack of frozen peas from the freezer, or a cold gel pack. Always keep at least one layer between your skin and the ice/cold pack.
- Heat therapy helps improve blood flow, relaxation, and pain relief. Heat therapy can come in many forms. It’s best to try several to find what works best for you. Taking a warm bath or shower, soaking in a hot tub, or using a heating pad or heat wrap are all ways to bring warmth to your lower back.
Whether applying ice or a heat pack, limit applications to 15 or 20 minutes with at least 2 hours of rest in between to protect your skin. Never sleep with a heating pad or frozen pack as this can lead to permanent skin damage.
Hopefully these overlooked remedies can help you try some new approaches to better manage your lower back pain and find lasting relief.
What Type Of Mattress Is Best For People With Low Back Pain
Back pain is one of the top reasons that people begin to lose mobility in middle age. Pain can keep people from engaging in physical activity, making it more difficult for them to maintain a healthy weight and keep up their strength, stamina, and balance as they age. So treating and managing back pain that results from injuries or health problems is crucial for staying on the path of a healthy and active life.
Considering that most people spend roughly a third of their lives lying in bed, choosing the right mattress is essential for managing low back pain. It can make the difference in whether you can sleep at night and function the next day.
In the past, doctors often recommended very firm mattresses. But one survey of 268 people with low back pain found that those who slept on very hard mattresses had the poorest sleep quality. There was no difference in sleep quality between those who used medium-firm and firm mattresses.
Soft mattresses, on the other hand, can also be problematic. While a soft mattress that conforms to your body’s natural curves may help the joints align favorably, you might also sink in so deeply that your joints twist and become painful during the night.
If you want to find out whether a firmer mattress would feel better than the one you’re currently using, try putting a plywood board under your mattress to dampen the movement from the bedsprings, or try placing your mattress on the floor.
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