Acute low back pain is the most common type of pain for American adults. Everyday physical activity can easily overstress your back, and if you’re not paying attention, you could find yourself lying in pain and missing work.
But you don’t have to let back pain keep you sidelined. Even though it’s prevalent, there are plenty of simple, at-home lower back pain treatment options to help you get back on your feet and feeling great.
This article will explore back pain management techniques, showing you how basic habits can have enormous benefits.
When you start to feel the initial symptoms of acute lower back pain, it’s important to react before it worsens. Let’s look at what you can do to manage pain without having to resort to a doctor’s visit.
Regular stretching keeps your whole body limber and ready for activity. When back pain hits, performing a variety of back and hamstring stretches is a simple way to find relief, no matter where you are.
Stretching is essential to reduce the risk of injury before activity, but it also helps when you’ve been stationary for a while at work. If you’re stuck in an office chair, try to stretch every 20-30 minutes.
Before you reach for the anti-inflammatory OTCs or creams, try applying ice for numbing back pain relief and to ease inflammation. Be sure to limit icing to 20-minute intervals. Ice can even be used right after exercise to prevent damage and inflammation that leads to delayed back pain.
When inflammation has gone down, apply a heat pack to stimulate circulation and loosen tight muscles and tissue. Continuous low-level heat therapy can speed up healing, and chronic back pain sufferers can use it to manage symptoms. An adhesive heating wrap is ideal, but even a warm blanket wrapped around your waist can be a stimulating lower back pain treatment.
While managing low back pain, light activities like hiking, riding a bike, or swimming can keep your lower back muscles from weakening and stiffening. Even cleaning around the house can help your back heal quicker, but be sure to stay away from a lot of bending or strain.
As a preventative measure, try to incorporate core strengthening workouts into your weekly routine. Light walking or water therapy are excellent options for relieving acute pain. Strive for at least 20-30 minutes of light core-building exercise five days a week to keep back pain at bay.
Whether you’re sitting or standing, posture should always be in the back of your mind. Resist the urge to slouch and hunch, keeping your spine straight, shoulders back, and your head directly over your hips. While sitting, keep your feet planted on the floor and try to switch positions regularly, getting up to stretch now and then.
Heels and clunky dress shoes are an unpleasant necessity for work and social functions, but you should try to use them as little as possible. Opt for comfortable sneakers that offer arch support, conforming cushioning, and a proper fit. Avoid flats or flip flops, and try to find something with more of a curved sole to encourage good posture and comfortable movement.
Like uncomfortable shoes, an office chair is a pain-inducing reality for many workers. Over time, poor posture caused by prolonged sitting can lead to degenerative diseases and long-term issues.
You can help yourself by investing in an ergonomic chair that helps support the three natural curves in the back. As an alternative, you can skip the chair and buy a lift-top desk that gives you comfortable sitting and standing positions, so you can stay productive and stay healthy.
Another great investment is a mattress. Find a mattress that gives you generous support, sufficient give, and all-around pressure relief. Memory foam and hybrid options are excellent choices, as long as you choose the right firmness for your sleeping style.
If you suffer from chronic back pain, or consistently wake up with lower back pain, consider an adjustable foundation. For back sleepers, elevating your feet slightly while snoozing can help relieve the pressure that builds up on your back throughout the night.
It’s easy for one bad move to cripple you while attempting to lift an object. Even for light items, be sure to follow these tips when lifting to avoid a low back injury:
Staying active is arguably the most important lower back pain treatment, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid resting altogether. After a long period of bending and getting up, you’ll want to stand and give your back several minutes of rest before adding any more stress.
If you’ve been pulling weeds, shoveling, or working out, your joints and tissues need to recover. Attempting to lift something while your back is stiff increases the likelihood of an injury.
Staying active has the added benefit of keeping you in shape, a critical element of preventing low back pain. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to obesity, which will further stress and weaken your back. Pay attention to your doctor’s recommendations on managing a proper diet, and follow these tips for a healthy lifestyle:
Back pain is often a treatable condition, but if the pain is severely limiting or becomes chronic, it’s vital to start a conversation with your doctor. When you need more advanced lower back pain treatment, taking action early can prevent more serious issues from developing later.
Is your back pain affecting your quality of life? If you’re ready to take the next steps toward reliable back pain management, schedule a consultation with our team at Integrated Pain Consultants.