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What To Do To Relieve Back Pain

Remedies To Relieve Lower Back Pain Fast

How to Relieve Lower Back Pain IN SECONDS

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.

Is It Time For Back Surgery

Back surgery is often a last resort when all other treatment options have been tried. Surgery may be considered an option to relieve pain caused by serious musculoskeletal injuries or nerve compression resulting from vertebrae shifting or collapsing.

Back surgeries often have a long recovery period, and some patients may lose mobility and flexibility post-surgery. It is also important to note that not all surgical procedures are successful. As such, it is important for patients to talk with their physicians and know all of the risks associated with a procedure before undergoing back surgery.

Customize Your Chair And Desk

Dr. Scott Donkin, founder of Occupational Health and Wellness Solutions consults workplaces on safety, ergonomic, and health issues and states that the act of leaning forward in your chair crushes the disks in your lower back and puts strain on your neck and shoulders. San Francisco State Universitys Dr. Erik Peper recommends these tips to help yourself protect your back while you work.

1.) Support the natural curve of your spine. Office chairs should have lumbar support, a natural forward curve at belly button level. You can also put a pillow or rolled up towel behind your back to achieve this effect.

2.) Adjust the height of your chair so you can keep your feet flat on the floor and your knees at a 90-degree angle. You can also rest your feet on a prop, like a footrest or even a phone book, for extra support.

3.) Remove or lower the armrests so your arms are at a 90-degree angle. This will encourage you to hold your shoulders low, which your upper back will appreciate.

4.) Keep your monitor about an arms length away and at or slightly below eye level. This will encourage you to sit back, instead of leaning forward and straining your neck. If you find yourself squinting at your monitor, adjust the lighting to reduce strain on the eyes.

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Ask Your Doctor About Biofeedback

In recent years, biofeedback a type of mind-body technique that uses electrical sensors to help you make subtle changes in your body has grown in popularity as an effective way to manage back pain. A suggested that biofeedback could reduce the intensity of back pain and muscle tension, both as a standalone treatment and when combined with other treatments.

Is Your Job Causing Back Pain

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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
  • Surgeons
  • Office personnel

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Aquatic Therapy And Whirlpools

Physical therapists often recommend aquatic therapy including exercises done in warm, therapeutic pools for back pain. The buoyancy of the water helps alleviate strain on the joints to encourage strengthening and gentle stretching of the muscles. Even floating in warm water can help relax muscles and release tension as well as increase circulation, according to the Arthritis Foundation. With home whirlpool baths, try aiming the jets directly at your sore spots for a soothing underwater massage.

Optimize Your Phone Calls

Many people tuck their phone between their head and shoulder to free up their hands while talking, causing strain to their neck and shoulders. Try the following alternatives to avoid tucking your phone during your conversations.

1.) Use a headset or speakerphone if your conversation lasts more than five minutes or you need to take notes during the call.

2.) Hold the phone in your hand and switch between your right and left sides throughout the conversation.

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What Are The Most Common Lower Back Surgery Procedures

Spine surgery is not necessary for most people who have lower back pain. If you do need it, your doctor will recommend an appropriate procedure to address your specific symptoms and medical situation. Common spine surgeries include:

Spinal Fusion. Two or more vertebrae are permanently fused together to limit excess spinal motion. Your surgeon will use a combination of bone, bonelike material, screws, plates and rods to hold the vertebrae together so they can heal into a single unit. Spinal fusion may be done to correct spinal deformities or to increase the spines stability in severe cases of spinal osteoarthritis or herniated discs.

Laminectomy and laminotomy. Laminectomy is a surgery in which your surgeon removes the back portion of one or more vertebrae to create more space for the spinal cord or other nerves. In people with severe arthritis, bone spurs within the spinal canal can grow large enough to press on the spinal cord, causing pain and limiting mobility. In a similar surgery known as laminotomy, your surgeon will remove a small piece of bone called the lamina from the back of the vertebra.

How Is Back Pain Diagnosed

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Your health professional will first assess your back pain. They may ask questions including:

  • When did your back pain begin?
  • What activities were you doing differently to normal before your back pain started?
  • How would you describe the pain? Is there tingling or numbness?
  • What makes the pain better or worse?

If your pain doesnt settle after a few weeks or starts getting worse, ask your doctor or other health care professional about other management options. You may be referred for tests if there is reason to suspect a more serious cause for your back pain.

In most situations, imaging such as X-ray, CT or MRI scans are not helpful unless there is an obvious injury or strain.

Unnecessary tests can be expensive, and many investigations will show changes in your spine that reflect the normal passage of time, rather than damage to your spine.

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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.

Ways To Treat Chronic Back Pain Without Surgery

Back pain is considered chronic if it lasts three months or longer. It cancome and go, often bringing temporary relief, followed by frustration.Dealing with chronic back pain can be especially trying if you dont knowthe cause.

Back pain rehabilitationspecialistAndrew Nava, M.D., offers insights into common chronic back pain causes and nonsurgicaltreatment optionsand advises not to give up hope.

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Is Your Back Pain A Sign Of An Overlooked Condition

Sometimes chronic back pain is caused by conditions that arent very common. One to consider is axial spondyloarthritis, also known as ankylosing spondylitis. Its a chronic inflammatory condition triggered by a problem with your immune system. It leads to back pain, stiffness, and other symptoms.

“Axial spondyloarthritis used to be considered a male disease, but that view has changed over the past 10 years. We now have better ways to identify these patients, and have since realized that the disease is as common in women as it is in men,” says Dr. Joerg Ermann, a rheumatologist at Brigham and Womens Hospital. Doctors used to think that it was more prevalent in men because males tend to have more severe disease that progresses rapidly, so its visible on an x-ray, he says.

Signs that you might have axial spondyloarthritis include back pain and stiffness that are worse in the morning and improve with exercise. This condition should also be on your radar if someone else in your family has it, because it has a strong hereditary component.

Put Out That Cigarette

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We all know smoking is a serious health risk, and smokers are also more likely to experience back pain than nonsmokers. One reason for this is that nicotine restricts blood flow to the disks in the spine. This can cause them to dry out, crack, or rupture. Smoking also reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood, which causes a reduction in nourishment to the muscles and tendons in the back. An unhealthy, weak back is more vulnerable to accidental strains and pulls that cause back pain.

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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 .

What Are The Warning Signs Of A Serious Problem

Very rarely back pain or pain that travels down the leg is a sign of a serious problem.

If you have any of the following symptoms, you should seek urgent medical attention:

  • difficulty controlling or passing urine
  • loss of control of your bowels
  • numbness around your back passage or your genitals
  • serious weakness in your legs so you find standing really difficult
  • severe and ongoing back pain that gets worse over several weeks.

The above symptoms could potentially be linked to a rare but serious condition that needs urgent medical attention.

You may be sent for tests if:

  • youve had an injury to your back, for example a bad fall
  • your doctor suspects that there may be an underlying cause for your pain
  • the pain has lasted for an unusually long time.

In this case a magnetic resonance imaging scan or computerised tomography scan may be needed.

X-rays are much less commonly used because back pain is often caused by problems with soft tissues, such as ligaments and muscles, which cant be seen on x-rays.

Changes to the spine as a result of spondylosis can show up on x-rays. These common changes that happen to us all can appear on x-rays without people having any pain or problems. Because of this, x-rays arent particularly helpful.

Remember that sometimes even after a thorough investigation it might not be possible to say for certain what is causing back pain.

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Fall Asleep Faster And Sleep Longer

When you have a restful nights sleep, your back will feel less sore during the day.7 A night of restorative sleep can have healing benefits and make you feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and less stressed.

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Try these natural sleep aids, one at a time, to see which one works best for you:

  • Vitamins C and B6. The natural steroids in your body control your metabolism and promote good sleep.8,9 Supplements of vitamins C10 and B611 are known to help the body produce and regulate natural steroid hormones.
  • Melatonin. Your natural sleep hormone, melatonin can be taken as a supplement to improve your sleep cycle.
  • L-theanine. An amino acid found in tea leaves, L-theanine may help some people feel relaxed and get better sleep.
  • Valerian. Supplements made from the root of the valerian plant may help you sleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Another option is cherry juice or cherry extractscherries contain certain enzymes that help promote better sleep.4

See Natural Remedies and Herbal Supplements as Sleep Aids

Find Activities That Make You Happy

Effective Core Exercises To Relieve Lower Back Pain

Ongoing back pain can wreak havoc on your life, affecting your cherished relationships, finances, and your ability to get stuff done at work and at home. Finding activities that make you happy can help reduce some stress and may relieve some pain.

Some people find that even doing just 3 things that make them feel good each daysuch as enjoying a comforting cup of tea or coffee, calling an old friend, walking the dog, or receiving a longish 30-second hug from a loved onecan make pain more tolerable.

Even something as simple as laughter with a friend may stimulate feel-good endorphins.1, 2

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Can Back Pain Lead To Complications

The good news is that most people recover from back pain within a few weeks.1 See your doctor if you experience additional symptoms, such as:

  • loss of bowel and/or bladder control
  • severe pain that gets worse instead of better over time
  • problems with passing urine or bowel movements
  • numbness or a pins-and-needles sensation in your legs, back or elsewhere
  • unexplained weight loss
  • back redness or swelling

For some people, back pain becomes an ongoing problem. Around 1 in every 2 people who experience back pain will experience it again, and for 1 in 5 people, back pain may last beyond 8 to 12 weeks. Possible complications that result from persistent, long-term back pain include:

  • dependence on strong pain medicines, such as opioids
  • reduced quality of life
  • more difficulty finding work and keeping active

See your healthcare professional if your back pain is unresolved and limits your movement and activities. A health care professional can help you find ways to manage your pain and regain a better quality of life.

Easy Ways To Relieve Back Pain At Work

Back pain is the second most common cause of missing work, only after the common cold, and contributes to about 93 million lost workdays and $5 billion in health care costs every year. An astounding eight out of ten people will have back pain at some point in their lives, and one in four Americans currently experiences back pain. Back pain that lasts more than three months is considered chronic, a type of pain which neuroscientists say impairs more than your physical body.

Chronic pain actually alters brain function, impairing attention, short-term memory, judgement, and social skills. Additionally, Harvard Medical Center reports that chronic pain contributes to mood disorders, including depression and anxiety, sleeping difficulties and coping skills, which can damage relationships with friends, family, and significant others.

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Chronic Conditions That Cause Back Pain

Conditions that can lead to chronic low back pain include spinal stenosis, spondylitis, and fibromyalgia. Spinal stenosis is narrowing of the normal spinal canal through which the spinal cord passes. Spondylitis is chronic inflammation of the spine. Fibromyalgia is a muscle disorder that features chronic muscle pain and tenderness.

When Is Lower Back Pain An Emergency

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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.

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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

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