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What Should I Do For My Lower Back Pain

How To Get Up From The Floor

How to Relieve Lower Back Pain IN SECONDS

To get up safely from lying face down:

  • Bend your stronger knee and slowly raise it and your upper body to a crawling position
  • Move towards a chair that can be used for support
  • Pause for breath
  • Support yourself on the chair with your arms
  • Move your stronger leg forward from a kneeling position
  • Lean forward and use the chair to support you as you straighten both legs, starting with the strongest
  • Understanding The Structure Of Your Neck

    The neck, or rather the cervical spine is very similar to the lumbar spine, in that it should have a backward bend to it. Unlike the ellipse shape of the lower back, the neck should forma circular curve. The top of this curve, where the head sits on the spine, should be over the bottom of the curve, this is vitally important as well see later. The muscles of the neck work to support this alignment very much like the strings on a bow, holding the C-shape, alongside the deep and numerous ligaments of the back of your neck which maintain the alignment more passively. If youve seen any of our posts on the lower back youll know that it is this balance of ligaments that maintain adequate neck alignment, the muscles can then effectively act on this alignment. Problems arise when the alignment is significantly abnormal. More on that later.

    The forces at play here can be quite large, a short google images search will give you a visual of just how small your neck is in comparison to the size of your head. Typically the average head will weigh close to the typical bowling ball, and its balanced on this tiny little stick of a cervical spine. Yes we have tremendous ligamentous and muscular support. As anyone whos experienced neck pain will tell you, when your neck is injured you suddenly become very aware of the weight and balance of your head on your neck, even if you dont have a deep understanding of why its so profound.

    You’re Having Problems With Your Bowels Or Urination

    If your back pain is paired with a loss of control over your bowels or urination, then it’s time to seek help immediately at a local emergency room. These symptoms point to cauda equina syndrome, where the nerves in the lower spine have become paralyzed. While rare, this syndrome can be permanently damaging to the nerves if left untreated. If you experience these symptoms, especially accompanied by numbness in the legs, then you may need surgery to decompress the nerves and preserve their overall function.

    Learn More: About urinary incontinence

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    Can Back Pain Be Prevented

    Recurring back pain resulting from improper body mechanics may be prevented by avoiding movements that jolt or strain the back, maintaining correct posture, and lifting objects properly. Many work-related injuries are caused or aggravated by stressors such as heavy lifting, contact stress , vibration, repetitive motion, and awkward posture.Recommendations for keeping ones back healthy

    Do Pay Attention To Your Posture

    What three core exercises should I do every day to strengthen my back ...

    Your mothers advice to stop slouching was spot on! Too many people spend hours slumped over a keyboard, slouching on the sofa looking at television, or slumped over looking down at their cell phones.

    Put your back against the backrest of your chair and sit up straight. Your back will thank you for it! If you arent sure what proper posture should be, speak with your chiropractor.

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    When To See A Specialist For Lower Back Pain

    If you’re experiencing lower back pain that’s not responding to rest and self-care, it’s time to consider seeing a spine specialist.

    “A spine specialist will likely perform a physical exam as well as one or more imaging scans to diagnose the root cause of your lower back pain. Depending on your diagnosis, he or she will then design a treatment plan aimed at alleviating your pain and preventing it from disrupting the everyday activities you enjoy,” says Dr. Palmer.

    Next Steps:

    Which Lifestyle Factors Contribute To Lower Back Pain

    There are three major lifestyle factors that may affect your chances of developing lower back pain:

    • Multiple studies have established a link between smoking and lower back pain. Smoking raises inflammation inside the body and hinders the body from healing itself.
    • Obesity is also associated with several types of chronic pain, including lower back pain. In people with high body mass index , the stress on the spine increases, contributing to even more wear and tear.
    • Your level of physical activity can also play a role in your lower back health. While a sedentary lifestyle could increase your risk of developing lower back pain, so can excessive or strenuous physical activity. Check with your doctor if you are unsure about your ideal level of physical activity.

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    Complementary Alternative Emerging Treatments

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

    . 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.

    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.

    . 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.

    More on this topic

    Pay Attention To Body Mechanics And Posture

    Best exercises to strengthen your lower back – Best exercises for low back pain

    Body mechanics are the way you use your body. Posture is the way you sit or stand.

    • Take extra care when you lift. When you must lift, bend your knees and keep your back straight. Avoid twisting, and keep the load close to your body.
    • Stand or sit tall, with your shoulders back and your stomach pulled in to support your back.

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    Fractures And Lower Back Pain

    are often very difficult pain problems and indicate the possible presence of . In patients with severe osteoporosis, spinal fractures can occur with no early warning and no significant trauma the patient does not have to fall to fracture a vertebrae.

    Patients with spinal compression fractures experience spasms and, often, very high pain levels.

    In patients with low back pain where the cause is difficult to determine, especially for elderly patients with osteoporosis, a fracture in the sacrum may be the cause of the pain. A standard X-ray or bone scan may not show a sacral fracture. Imaging techniques such as CT scan or MRI can often reveal these fractures.

    It is very important that patients with acute lumbar compression fractures be tested for osteoporosis. A bone density study is needed, unless the patient has no other osteoporosis risk factors and has had a very high impact fracture. Studies have shown that many patients with fractures in the U.S. are discharged from hospitals with no plans for management of their bone density problems, which then are left to worsen.

    Although pain can be very intense, it is best for patients with lumbar fracture to resume activity as soon as possible. This is especially true for elderly patients, who can too easily become weakened, and develop other complications, if mobility is reduced for too long. may be needed for pain control, for as brief a period as possible.

    Strengthening The Core Muscles To Reduce Lower Back Pain

    Another way to reduce lower back pain is by strengthening the core muscles. The core muscles are the abdominal and back muscles that support the spine. Strengthening these muscles will help to work more efficiently and reduce stress on the lower back.

    To strengthen the core, try doing exercises such as planks, bird dogs or side planks with knee lifts. If someone having difficulty balancing while doing these exercises, practice them with one foot on a chair or bench until one gets comfortable balancing with both feet on the floor before trying this advanced version of the exercise.

    One should aim for at least 10 repetitions of each exercise once a day but it’s best if he/she can do 2-3 sets per day .

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    What Should You Do To Help Neck Pain

    One of the first steps to take is to understand that modern life has us looking down a lot, and that when injured there is an instability created, your neck musculature will get very tired trying to balance with this injury, bad alignment or not. So having a regular way to give the muscles a break is vitally important. A personal favorite, just like in the lower back, is the towel exercise. This has the effect of supporting the normal alignment of the neck, whilst giving the joints and muscles a break. Just lying flat on your back will often flatten the neck curve more, creating trouble, so the towel provides the support for the natural circular curve the neck lordosis.

    Do Regular Stretching Exercises

    What three core exercises should I do every day to strengthen my back ...

    No matter how much your back hurts, chances are that doing stretching exercises will help reduce the pain. Yoga and tai chi are probably the best stretching exercises for those with back pain. You can find free yoga classes and tai chi basics online or pick up one of the many videos available for sale. If any stretching exercise makes your back hurt, stop!

    Dont be afraid to modify stretches in order to avoid low back pain. Dont push stretching beyond your limits. You should feel a gentle stretch and not a burning or hard pulling sensation.

    Your chiropractor can offer you valuable advice about what exercises and stretching programs would work best for you and recommend other ways that can help lower back pain.

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    When & How To Seek Medical Care

    If low back pain lasts for longer than one to two weeks, seek medical care. First, make an appointment with your primary care physician.

    Seek immediate medical attention if any of the following symptoms are present in addition to back pain:

    • Severe abdominal pain
    • Unexplained fever
    • Loss of control of your bowels or bladder

    How To Get Into Bed

    To get into bed safely:

  • Feel the bed at the back of your legs
  • Brace your tummy muscles
  • Sit down slowly pushing your thighs for a bit of extra support
  • Support your body with the arm closest to the top of the bed and use your other arm to slowly lower yourself down
  • Roll onto the side you feel most comfortable
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    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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    More Advanced Care Options

    4 Exercises to Relieve Lower Back Pain In 60 Seconds

    Surgery When other therapies fail, surgery may be considered to relieve pain caused by worsening nerve damage, serious musculoskeletal injuries, or nerve compression. Specific surgeries are selected for specific conditions/indications. However, surgery is not always successful. It may be months following surgery before the person is fully healed and there may be permanent loss of flexibility. Surgical options include:

    Implanted nerve stimulators

    • Spinal cord stimulation uses low-voltage electrical impulses from a small implanted device that is connected to a wire that runs along the spinal cord. The impulses are designed to block pain signals that are normally sent to the brain.
    • Dorsal root ganglion stimulation also involves electrical signals sent along a wire connected to a small device that is implanted into the lower back. It specifically targets the nerve fibers that transmit pain signals. The impulses are designed to replace pain signals with a less painful numbing or tingling sensation.
    • Peripheral nerve stimulation also uses a small implanted device and an electrode to generate and send electrical pulses that create a tingling sensation to provide pain relief.

    Read Also: What To Do For Sudden Lower Back Pain

    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.

    Low Back Pain Diagnosis

    Getting diagnosed with a specific cause of low back pain is the first step to getting treatment. If you land in your doctors office hoping for back pain relief, theyll use a variety of diagnostic tools and methods, such as:

    • A thorough medical history including any recent injuries, other diagnoses, family history of disease, and your job, activities and other lifestyle considerations

    • Physical exams, which may include manipulating the painful area or reflex or other neurological tests

    • Electromyography, which measures muscle and nerve function

    • ImagingX-rays can show bone spurs and damage to bone, while CT scans and MRIs can depict damage to soft tissue like discs or ligaments

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    Is Elliptical Good For Lower Back Pain

    Some people find that elliptical trainers are good for lower back pain, as the low-impact nature of the exercise can help to reduce stress on the spine. Additionally, the elliptical motion can help to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the spine, which can help to support the back and reduce pain. However, it is important to consult with a doctor or physical therapist before starting any new exercise regimen, as some exercises may actually aggravate back pain.

    Back pain can be caused by anything from irritation to a disabling condition requiring extensive rest and recovery. An elliptical trainer is thought to be a good way to gradually rebuild your entire body strength during periods of injury recovery as well as maintain or improve your cardiovascular fitness. It is possible to use an elliptical trainer to alleviate some types of back pain. The elliptical machine has a lower impact and lower stress range of movement than some of its more intense workout counterparts. The elliptical requires no hands to move instead, your feet must stay on the pedals as you perform the exercise from fluid, gentle movements rather than repetitive impact. Specific types of back pain that do not respond well to sudden movements or compressions can benefit from this treatment. It is difficult to say with certainty whether elliptical use can be seen as a viable treatment option for lower back pain or as a contributor to its worsening.

    Home Treatment For Lower Back Pain

    65: What should I do when my lower back spasms?

    There are a number of at-home options to treat pain in your lower back:

    • Relax. Sometimes just sitting down will relieve enough of the pressure from your lower back to reduce the pain significantly.
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . These over-the-counter pain relievers include ibuprofen and naproxen . You can purchase NSAIDs here.
    • Exercise and stretching. Although exercise is often good for addressing lower back pain, consult with a professional. Some exercises can make the pain worse. For example, avoid toe touches and situps, but try hamstring stretches. Generally getting into better physical health will help reduce lower back pain when standing and doing other everyday activities.
    • Stand and sit up straight. Your posture is important for proper weight distribution. Standing and sitting up straight will help.
    • Get supportive shoes and orthotics. Get shoes or shoe inserts that help keep your feet in a neutral, supported position.
    • Mattress support. Find a mattress that gives you better support than your current one.
    • Use heat and ice. As soon as the pain starts, put an ice pack on your lower back for 20 minutes several times a day. After 48 hours, alternate using ice and heat.
    • Avoid heavy lifting. Avoid lifting heavy objects. If you must, keep your back straight and bend your legs so the leg muscles do the majority of the work.
    • Lose weight. If youre overweight, getting to a healthy weight will improve strain on your back.

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