Being one of the most common problems, be it from injuries, arthritis, structural or nerve problem, muscle strains or lifting something a little too heavy, lower back pain is one of the most frustrating experiences for people of any age.
Even though treatments vary with the cause of the pain, and most bouts of pain go away within a few days, there are some generic effective solutions to avoid and reduce lower back pain in the long run.
So, want to know 7 easy, effective and long lasting ways to reduce and avoid lower back pain?
Read on to find out!
1. Apply Ice and Heat
In case of most lower back pains including injuries, ice is the best available in-house solution in the first 24 to 48 hours as it really helps with reducing inflammation and eases any swelling. So use a bag of frozen peas or an ice pack for 20-minutes a session, several sessions per day.
Even though the heat might make the inflammation worse, after 2 days, using a heating pad in 20-minute intervals helps relax the muscles, loosens tight muscles and increases circulation by bringing extra oxygen to the rescue.
Additionally, the warmth feels good because it helps cover up the pain thus making heat an effective alternative solution.
2. Try a Massage
Proper massages ensure improved blood circulation, allowing more nutrients to be absorbed by your muscles and tissues, improve your flexibility by relaxing and loosening up tight muscles and also increase your endorphin levels, hence significantly helping with lower back pain.
So consider investing in a regular massage therapist or a modern massage chair.
3. Relax With Yoga
A lot of researchers and doctors firmly believe in the power of yoga in reducing lower back pain effectively in the long run. Yoga can help you with both emotional and physical triggers of back pain, increase oxygen intake, encourage production of endorphins, promote deep breathing and relaxation, as well as stretching and strength by improving circulation and reducing stress.
Yoga instructors, who can help customize a plan that’ll work best for your specific back pain, are extremely easily available in local gyms and classes, and it’s also an option to start a yoga group with friends at home and hence can prove to be the perfect solution for you if exercises are too painful for you.
4. Switch Your Sleeping Position and Mattress
Often unhealthy sleeping positions can cause morning stiffness and pain and sometimes can even lead to longer lasting back pain.
Try experimenting with different sleeping positions including the reclining position to reduce stress on your lower back. Keeping one pillow under your neck and another between your legs can also help substantially.
At times, a too hard, too soft or an old and sagging mattress can also cause dull lower back aches, so consider switching your mattress with a new medium – firm one instead of a very firm or very soft one.
5. Keep Stretching
While stretching during back ache is the last thing you might feel like doing, it is the most prescribed method for reducing the duration of the pain. Stretches get rid of stiffness, reduce weakness, minimize how often back pain will recur and reduces the severity and duration of possible future episodes of back pain.
You can approach a doctor to suggest you suitable stretches depending on your particular sort of pain but there are generic stretches like Supine hamstring stretch, Two-knee twist, Sphinx, Pigeon or thread-the-needle and Legs up the wall which are highly recommended for lower back aches.
6. Just Move It
When in pain, its extremely important to rest and it might be instinctual to avoid movement but complete bed rest can be extremely harmful in most cases unless specifically recommended by your doctor. Regular physical activity is essential for good back health and so remember to regularly stand up during long hours at your desk, walk around at a brisk pace, make the beds, walk the dog, go to work and just keep moving in general because our spines are meant to move.
Further, remember that sitting creates 40% more pressure on our spines compared to standing, so avoid sitting for long durations and try to increase the time you spend on your feet to reduce the duration of pain.
7. Adjust Your Daily Habits
Even though our insignificant daily unrelated habits don’t seem to have anything to do with our back health, in reality a lot of our unhealthy habits can have a profound effect on our spines causing even chronic lower back pain.
So reduce smoking, quit high heels, watch your posture while sitting or sleeping, always bend at your knees when you’re picking up objects, don’t carry too much weight in your purse or suitcase, always wear your backpack on both shoulders instead of by a single strap, avoid inflammatory foods, include vitamin and mineral rich healthy foods in your diet and keep your weight under control to reduce unnecessary pressure on your spine.
Pro Tip – Grab the Right Medication!
Even though it is unnecessary to rush into extreme treatments in case of a sudden back pain, it is always a good idea to approach the doctor if the pain does not go away within 2 weeks, especially if the pain is particularly sharp, was occasioned by an injury or you have weakness or numbness in your legs.
In case the pain is unbearable, till you get the right treatment, go for over the counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin), and naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn). However, they should not be taken in large quantities.
As much as finding effective pain relief can be a process of trial and error, its absolutely worth exploring these highly recommended pain relief approaches.
So now that you know these effective ways to reduce lower back pain, alter your lifestyle accordingly to avoid and reduce irregular or chronic back pain and live life fully without any pain holding you back!