Lower back pain is a prevalent problem that can lead to disability. At least 80% of adults experience lower back pain at one point in their life. Typically, chronic back pain often lasts for more than three months, and it can occur at any time.
Dealing with low back pain can be quite frustrating when you don’t understand the cause. While some medications are effective in relieving back pain, you can also try some simpler remedies.
Low Impact Exercises
Unlike leg and arm muscles, the back muscles don’t get enough exercise during day-to-day activities. Since the muscles play a major role in supporting the lower back, they need regular exercise to reduce strain.
When you are experiencing severe lower back pain, exercise may not be very appealing. However, regular exercise is vital for a healthy back. In a study that lasted 11 years, researchers found gentle moderate exercise is essential for alleviating back pain.
You can start by swimming, walking, Tai Chi, or Yoga a few times a week. While these exercises are low impact, they are effective in helping you reduce body weight, maintain fitness, and facilitate flexibility and strength for your back.
Heat or Cold
Multiple studies show that cold and heat can help get rid of back pain. Typically ice packs are helpful when you use them after injuries like strains. For best results, wrap an ice pack with a towel and apply it to your back to reduce inflammation.
Cold can also induce a numbing effect to calm intense back pain. You can also use special cold packs designed to ease the pain. Alternatively, you can use frozen vegetables or a bag of ice covered with a light cloth to prevent frostbite. However, try not to apply ice for longer than 20 minutes per session.
On the other hand, a heated pad can soothe achy or stiff muscles on your back. However, it’s prudent to go through the user instructions of a heating pad. You should also first test the temperature to make sure it’s ideal for your skin.
In the absence of a heating pad, you can use a hot water bottle to get the same results. You can also heat uncooked rice wrapped in a cloth for back pain therapy. Most importantly, you should be very careful and watch out for burns from heat or cold.
Television and video games are not the only reasons people spend long hours glued on the screen. Lots of people work for long hours on their computers. Bad posture due to prolonged straining at a workstation often causes muscle aches and severe back pain. You should ensure your computer screen is at a comfortable level, and the chair has the correct height.
Proper ergonomics at your workstation can be quite effective in reducing muscle injuries and back pain. In one study, researchers concluded that ergonomic changes lead to reduced back pain even after working for long hours.
If your job involves any lifting, you should use your leg muscles to handle the weight instead of straining your back.
Enough Quality Sleep
According to research, prolonged sleep disturbances can worsen the pain. A lack of quality sleep has an impact on how much pain your body can withstand.
Typically, uncomfortable mattresses and pillows can cause sleep disturbances and, in turn, trigger severe back pain. According to the CDC, an average adult should sleep for about seven to nine hours per night. Sleep quality depends on the proper alignment of the back and comfort.
It is best to ensure the pillow is the right size and supportive to maintain the neck and back in a straight line. If you like sleeping on your side, place another pillow between your knees. If you experience a prolonged lack of sleep, it’s best to see a doctor.
Anti-inflammatory foods contain various antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. When you eat such foods over a prolonged period, these beneficial agents will help eliminate inflammatory reactions in your body. Good choices include kale, broccoli, avocado, pecans, Brazil nuts, walnuts, and spinach.
Anti-inflammatory agents can also help relieve lower back pain. On the other hand, it’s best to avoid foods that can trigger inflammatory reactions, such as trans fats, refined carbohydrates, processed meat, sugar, and high-fructose syrup.
Switch Your Shoes
Shoes that don’t provide enough support can cause severe muscle strain in your legs, neck, and back. Specifically, high heels often interfere with your body alignment and cause back pain. Studies show there is a direct relationship between back pain and wearing high heels for a long time. Similarly, flat shoes with no padding can cause strain on the lower back and feet.
If you experience recurrent back pain, consider switching to shoes that provide enough support and maintain the correct body alignment.
Manage Stress Levels
High stress levels can lead to painful muscle spasms and tension in the lower back. If traumatic stress aggravates your back pain, you can try mindfulness meditation to lower stress and relieve the back pain. You can also practice yoga and deep breathing to alleviate the pain.
About 70% of the U.S. population is overweight, while 40% of people are obese. An unhealthy weight can strain your spine and back muscles and eventually cause problems. While losing weight requires work and dedication, it can help manage your lower back pain, prevent the problem from worsening, and eliminate the need for surgery.
Finding the most effective relief for back pain involves trial and error to find what works for you. It’s essential to consider multiple approaches and techniques. You can try the remedies suggested in this article or combine them with professional therapy. Additionally, you should understand your OTC medications, as acetaminophen and NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and aspirin can effectively lower inflammation.
However, if the pain doesn’t go away, it’s prudent to seek medical attention from professionals. To discover more about how you can get help for lower back pain, you can check out oaklandspinenj.com.