10 Easy Ways to Manage Lower Back Pain
According to a Georgetown University report, 65 million Americans experience episodes of back pain. The report indicated that 16 million adults, about 8 percent of all adults, suffer from chronic back pains. There are myriads of factors that trigger back pain ranging from back strains, diseases like chronic arthritis, and injury, etc. The severity of backaches varies across different people for diverse reasons. Whichever the cause or magnitude of pain, it is important to note that not every back pain can be fixed with surgical methods. You can actually manage common back pains with home remedies and tweaks. Let us look into some easy ways to manage common lower back pain issues.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Weight is one of the crucial factors determining the extent of load exerted on your lower back. If you are heavy, it is time to cut the extra pounds. You can talk with a professional for proper advice on diet and exercise to help you get rid of excess weight. As you shed off some weight, you are simply reducing the mechanical stress exerted by your body on the spine. With reduced stress, backache will tend to reduce.
Move, Don’t Just Rest!
There is one misconception that resting more might be the answer to lower back pains. This isn’t entirely true! Don’t just sit; you need to move. Getting more active is one of the non-surgical care used to manage common back pains. It is commonly used in conjunction with treatments like Instrument Adhesion Release (IAR) & Manual Adhesion Release (MAR) used to reduce fibrosis in muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves.
Here is the catch; resting your aching spine is more detrimental as your back becomes weaker. In this case, there is less mechanical support for your spine. The pain might even end up being long-term.
Start moving but take it slow. Get to your normal level of activity and movements without straining. You can take a bike ride or a few minute’s walks. This strengthens your back and your spine is more supported.
Tip: It is always good to speak to an expert in the diagnosis and non-surgical care to help tailor a regimen for your situation.
Stretch and Exercise
Again, a strong back offers more support to the spine and hence helps reduce backaches. Strong back muscles, specifically in the abdominal core, give more support to the back. Stretching makes you stronger and flexible. Consequently, you not only relieve the pain but also prevent pain. There are several stretches and strengthening exercises that you can do, say every morning.
Of course, the level of stretches varies depending on factors like age and body size.
If you are worried about overdoing the stretches, you can have a non-straining routine schedule that suits you. Strengthen the muscles around your core and hips through yoga, tai chi, and Pilates. There are numerous stretch exercises that you can do to improve your abdominal strength and flexibility.
Smoking has always been associated with several health risks, including lower back pains. According to research, smokers are four times vulnerable to degenerative disk disease or spine problems than nonsmokers. Tobacco and nicotine make your spinal bones weaker. Also, these substances eat away nutrients from the spongy disks that help cushion the joints. This makes your joints less flexible. Your muscles become stiffer. The result is heightened back pain!
Use the Right OTC Medications
While several remedies can work in the long term, sometimes the most effective short-term pain management option is the use of pain relievers. The good news is that there are several OTC medications that work well with muscle aches and stiffness.
The two major categories of OTC drugs, namely nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen. NSAID medication works by lowering inflammation that can result in swelling and tenderness.
They include aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen. Acetaminophen, on the other end, does not relieve inflammation but relieves pain. You can explore suitable OTC drugs for your back pain. If you have arthritis of the spine or just any other inflammatory problem, NSAIDs are highly recommended.
Tip: Speak to a qualified medical practitioner before taking any drugs for persistent back pains.
Maintain Good Posture
Good posture helps lower pressure on your lower back and the spine. A good posture ensures that your spine alignment is proper and not stressed. Keeping the right alignment is achievable by keeping your head always centered over your pelvis. If you are working on your computer or watching a TV, make sure that your eyes are level with the top of the screen. Your arms should evenly rest on the table or the desk.
Avoid sitting for long hours. Get yourself some breaks. Also, stretch to relieve the stress and consequently the pain.
Get Enough Sleep
Pain triggers insomnia. However, inadequate sleep makes your back pain worse. Well, you need to get enough restoration rests. While exercise and moving help to make you active, you also need some time to recharge. A night of good sleep is one of the best ways to rest. During this time, your body tissues heal and can replenish their energy levels. In case you have insomnia, seek medical advice. The doctor might give you some medications, recommend a lifestyle change, and other ways that help treat the problem.
Engage your Brain
The brain plays a crucial role in pain perception. That is why engaging your brain correctly can help mitigate and manage pain like backaches. Mindful pain management practices such as meditation are known to help reduce pain sensation.
Slow and controlled breathing keeps your mind focused. Also, cognitive behavioral therapies can be of great help in fighting common pain.
Use Heat or Cold Therapy
Heat and cold can both be used to relieve back pain, depending on the nature of pain. Cold therapy involves using an ice or cold gel pack and is suitable for inflammation and pain. Heat therapy, on the other hand, improves blood flow and pain relief. It is, therefore, suitable for swollen aches and inflammations.
Some vitamins and minerals aid bone health and development. For example, Vitamin D is important for bone development. Also, minerals like Magnesium boosts muscle development. Try to get enough exposure to sunlight to boost Vitamin D intake. It is also good to eat foods that relieve pain. Your doctor might also recommend suitable supplements if you are facing any deficiencies.
In a nutshell, surgical options might not be the answer to manage persistent back pain. Try to find alternatives in handling the issue, including speaking to experts in non-surgical care back pain management. You can also use the tips and other remedies to help relieve lower back pain.