Heat And Cold Therapy Can Help Relieve Muscle Tension And Pain
Applying heat and/or cold therapy to the lower back can alleviate muscle tension that is commonly present with a lumbar herniated disc. Heat helps loosen the muscle tightness that causes spasms, increases blood flow, and improves elasticity of connective tissue.1 Cold decreases the local tissue temperature which produces an analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect, thus reducing pain.2
- Apply heat to your back in the morning or prior to stretching/exercise to decrease muscle tension.
- Other means of heat delivery include adhesive heat wrap , warm bath, and/or shower at the end of the day.
Try several options and see what works best for you. The type of heat and how you use it is often a matter of personal preference.
Pain In The Back Perpetrator: Your Workout
Overdoing it at the gym or fairway is just among among one of the most normal sources of overextended muscle mass triggering low pain in the back. Youre especially in jeopardy if you tend to be non-active during the job week and afterwards spend humans resources at the health club or softball area on the weekend.
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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Lumbar Flexion Rotation Stretch
The flexion rotation stretch is started by lying on one side. Usually, your painful side is down on the table. Straighten your bottom leg, and tuck your top leg behind your bottom knee.
Reach your top hand to your top shoulder blade, and rotate your spine so your top shoulder moves backwards toward the floor. Hold this position for a second or two, and then return to the starting position. Repeat 10 repetitions, and note any changes in your symptoms.
Still dealing with symptoms? You may need to try a lumbar flexion progression. Check out the final step in this program to learn how to get started on that.
Do Pay Attention To Your Posture
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 our 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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Press Up With Hips Off Center
The press ups with hips of center is simply a press up with your hips moved to one side or the other. To do this, prop onto your elbows and shift your hips to one side. Most often, people benefit from moving their hips away from the painful side.
Once your hips are off to one side, perform a press up. You may notice that you are not able to press up as far as you did with the regular press up, but still, try to press up as far as possible. Perform 10 repetitions of the press up with your hips off center, and monitor your pain for centralization. If your symptoms persist, you may need to take the next step in the progression: lumbar side glide in standing.
Stop Your Activity And Find Immediate Rest
This may already make sense, but many of us prefer to keep moving. Some professionals actually recommend that you stay in motion, but if you are the unfortunate one to have a disc or nerve problem, then that is poor advice. You may end up visiting them for that instead.
Dont try to actively work or move until you know the source of the injury.
A very common reaction is to keep moving but MAY be dangerous. Although this might feel helpful, it is important to determine whether your pain is more than just muscular in nature.
Why you should NOT move:
Moving when you have any of these injuries can cause further injury, intensifying the pain.
If you have a history of ANY of these injuries or suspect that your lifestyle may contribute to it , then rest is a better than simply muscling through it with medication.
Lastly with this first tip, you should know that you should also apply this caution to not just your back but also to your hips, knees and neck.
Forcing yourself to move when these areas are injured can be very risky. Make sure that you arent adding to the pain. The wrong movement can set you behind.
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What Research Is Being Done
The mission of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is to seek fundamental knowledge of the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. NINDS is a component of the National Institutes of Health , the leading supporter of biomedical research in the world.
As a primary supporter of research on pain and pain mechanisms, NINDS is a member of the NIH Pain Consortium, which was established to promote collaboration among the many NIH Institutes and Centers with research programs and activities addressing pain. On an even broader scale, NIH participates in the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee, a federal advisory committee that coordinates research across other U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies as well as the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.
The Best Sitting Posture To Prevent Low Back Pain
Heres how to get into the best sitting posture for your back:
1. Sit at the edge of your chair and slouch completely.
2. Draw yourself up and accentuate the curve of your back as much as you can, and hold there for 2 seconds.
3. Now, release the position slightly
4. Rest your elbows and arms on your chair or desk, keeping your shoulders relaxed.
You are now sitting in the best posture for your back.
You have to keep your hips and knees at a right angle . Your legs should not be crossed and your feet should be flat on the floor.
The problem is:
This takes time to get used to, and when we work we tend to forget about it and unknowingly slouch back to our usual posture.
Either use a good lumbar back support cushion or get a good ergonomic office chair to help you keep the right sitting posture for the entire workday.
What to do if sitting too much has already got your back pain going?
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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.
What Is The Anatomy Of The Low Back
To understand various causes of low back pain, it is important to appreciate the normal design of the tissues of this area of the body. Important structures of the low back that can be related to symptoms in this region include the bony lumbar spine , discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, muscles of the low back, internal organs of the pelvis and abdomen, and the skin covering the lumbar area.
The bony lumbar spine is designed so that vertebrae “stacked” together can provide a movable support structure while also protecting the spinal cord from injury. The spinal cord is composed of nervous tissue that extends down the spinal column from the brain. Each vertebra has a spinous process, a bony prominence behind the spinal cord, which shields the cord’s nervous tissue from impact trauma. Vertebrae also have a strong bony “body” in front of the spinal cord to provide a platform suitable for weight bearing of all tissues above the buttocks. The lumbar vertebrae stack immediately atop the sacrum bone that is situated in between the buttocks. On each side, the sacrum meets the iliac bone of the pelvis to form the sacroiliac joints of the buttocks.
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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
How Do Sleeping Positions Affect Lower Back Pain
Another link between sleep and lower back pain is tied to how sleeping position affects spinal alignment. Although posture is typically associated with sitting and standing, its also critical when lying down.
A sleeping position that involves twisting, contorting, or otherwise putting pressure on the lumbar spine can cause pain and stiffness. This pain is often worse in the morning but may persist throughout the day.
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Dont Lie In Bed Or Couch Surf
We understand that back pain is sometimes so intense, you cant do anything but put your butt in between the couch cushions, put a pillow under your knees and hit up a Netflix marathon. This is OK for the first 24-48 hours, but after that, you are doing your back more harm than good.
What can you do for severe back pain? If you literally cannot walk, stand, or sit for more than a few minutes, even after 48 hours of bedrest, you should see your chiropractor immediately or go to the emergency room.
Rest for a short period of time, do some stretches, and get back on your feet!
What Is The Prognosis For Low Back Pain
The outlook for low back pain absolutely depends on its precise cause. For example, acute strain injuries generally heal entirely with minimal treatment. On the other hand, bony abnormalities that are irritating the spinal cord can require significant surgical repair and the outlook depends on the surgical result. Long-term optimal results often involve exercise rehabilitation programs that can involve physical therapists.
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Treating Lower Back Pain: How Much Bed Rest Is Too Much
Back pain is one of the most common reasons why people visit a health care provider. The good news is that the pain often goes away on its own, and people usually recover in a week or two. Many people want to stay in bed when their back hurts. For many years, getting bed rest was the normal advice. But current studies recommend no bed rest at all and stress that staying in bed longer than 48 hours not only wont help but it may, in fact, actually delay your recovery. Heres why:
Staying in bed wont help you get better faster.If youre in terrible pain, lying down for a day to help ease the distress may seem like a good idea, but moderating your activities and staying active in a limited way is a more effective way to control your symptoms. Research suggests that if you can find comfortable positions and keep moving, you may not need bed rest at all.Research shows that:
- Lying down longer than a day or two day isnt helpful for relieving back pain.
- People can recover more quickly without any bed rest.
- The sooner you start moving, even a little bit, or return to activities such as walking, the faster you are likely to improve.
Who needs bed rest?Almost no one! The only people who might require time in bed are those with unstable spinal fractures awaiting surgery.
When should I see a health care provider?You should see your health care provider right away if:
- Heat or ice
Check with your health care provider before starting an exercise program.
What Is The Function Of The Low Back
The low back, or lumbar area, serves a number of important functions for the human body. These functions include structural support, movement, and protection of certain body tissues.
When we stand, the lower back is functioning to support the weight of the upper body. When we bend, extend, or rotate at the waist, the lower back is involved in the movement. Therefore, injury to the structures important for weight bearing, such as the bony spine, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, often can be detected when the body is standing erect or used in various movements.
Protecting the soft tissues of the nervous system and spinal cord as well as nearby organs of the pelvis and abdomen is a critical function the lumbar spine and adjacent muscles of the low back.
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Diagnosis Of Lower Back Pain
Your physiotherapist or GP will usually be able to diagnose lower back pain from your symptoms and by examining you. A physiotherapist is a healthcare professional who specialises in maintaining and improving movement and mobility. You may want to go straight to see a physiotherapist if a self-refer service is available in your area. If its not, you can see your GP who can advise and refer you.
Usually further tests wont help. But if you have other symptoms, your GP may recommend tests including:
How Long Before The Pain Goes Away
This will depend on what the root cause is. Most people will find that, with proper care, their low back pain improves within 4 weeks.
Unfortunately, unless you have followed your chiropractors advice, chances are your pain will return.
We hope you found this information helpful. If you did, please feel free to share this article with others.
At Better Health Chiropractic and Rehab, we believe that no one should live in pain. Contact our office for a same-day appointment or schedule an appointment online by .
Dont let low back pain ruin your life! Call and speak to one of our friendly representatives today.
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Common Causes Of Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back painis usually age-related, but can also result from a prior injury. The mostcommon causes include:
- Arthritis of the spine the gradual thinning of the cartilage inside the spine
- Spinal stenosis narrowing of the spinal canal that may lead to nerve pain
- Disc problems, such as a herniated or bulging disc
- Myofascial pain syndromeunexplained muscle pain and tenderness
In some cases, its difficult to pinpoint the cause of chronic back pain.If your doctor has exhausted all diagnostic options, its time to seek asecond opinion from a back pain specialist, recommends Nava. Itsimportant not to make rushed decisions or undergo extensive medicalprocedures until the origin of the pain is found. Not only may they nothelp they could make the pain worse, warns Nava.
If the source of the pain is not known or cant be treated, your bestoption may be to work with your doctor on reducing the flare-ups and makingthe pain manageable with nonsurgical treatments.
The Mckenzie Method Can Help Shift Sciatica Pain
The McKenzie Method is one type of physical therapy that involves a specific approach to exercise. For lumbar herniated disc pain, the goal is to shift pain away from your leg and centralize it more in your lower back.5
- Your specific symptoms typically determine which McKenzie Method exercises a physical therapist will suggest.
- After your symptoms have moved out of your leg, the approach usually shifts to longer-term rehabilitation to strengthen your back and other key muscle groups.
Even after the lumbar herniated disc pain has subsided, a back strengthening and stretching program should be continued to reduce the risk of lumbar pain returning.
Read more about McKenzie Therapy for Mechanical Low Back Pain
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Tens Unit For Back Pain
TENS units are one of the most popular drug-free, non-invasive and non-addictive ways to continuously relieve back pain whenever and wherever you need to.
A TENS unit delivers low-voltage, non-painful electrical pulses via electrodes placed directly onto the skin around the area of pain.
These pulses control pain signals in the body, creating temporary relief from pain.
Small, wireless TENS machines allow you to use your TENS unit with remote control without attaching any wires to the electrodes, and without any wires hanging out of your pocket perfect for office use.
I recommend the budget-friendly AccuRelief Wireless TENS Unit.