Treatments for lower back pain is popular as this pain is something every one of us encounters some time or other. It can be a sudden pain that shoots up from the lower back almost taking the air out of your lungs or a constant niggling pain troubling you all the time. Unfortunately, 25 percent of Americans complain of lower back pain.
The lower back pain can be due to various reasons. It may be due to an inherent arthritic condition or can result during lifting of some heavy thing.
While you have to consult your physician if the pain is due to some injury or other serious condition like numbness or tingling sensation in the legs, the following tips would help you get relief from mild low back pain.
Different home treatments for lower back pain
“In case your pain is due to some injury or stress, apply ice-pack within the first 24 to 48 hours to stop inflammation,” advises E. Anne Reicherter, PT, DPT, PhD, associate professor of Physical Therapy at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine. Do not apply heat as although it provides relief from the pain and relaxes the muscles, it can accentuate the inflammation. You may apply heat after two days to the affected part if you feel like it. But either way, you should stop it after twenty minutes to allow the skin to rest.
Move around and go through your household works without straining yourself too much. Do your cooking, prepare the dining table and even attend to your office work. You can revert back to more physically demanding activities like swimming, jogging or bicycling when your body fully permits. But don’t over strain yourself lest the pain would relapse.
Strengthening your muscles is one of the good treatments for lower back pain
“When you recover from the pain, you should work towards strengthening your supporting muscles of the lower back to prevent the recurrence of the pain. Strong back muscles help to maintain a proper posture,” says Reicherter. You should also try to strengthen your pelvic, hip and abdominal muscles as they provide support to your lower back. But keep away from abdominal crunches as it can be counter-productive.
Stretching and bending
“If you spend larger part of your working time sitting on the chair, it is important to take time off to stand and stretch your limbs twice or thrice in an hour,” advises Reicherter. Doing yoga exercises involving stretching is also one of the home treatments for lower back pain.
Rearrange your working place suitably
Rearrange or renovate your immediate working environment like the computer monitor, keyboard and mouse in such way that you don’t have to bend forward too much to look into the monitor or to use the key board or mouse. Your lower back should rest firmly on the chair.
Maintain an erect but comfortable posture
Avoid slouching or drooping of shoulders. When lifting any heavy thing, bend your body from the knee in stead of the waist.
Wear shoes with low heels
Wearing high-heeled shoes and sandals can lead to lower back pain. In fact, 60 percent of women who regularly wear high-heeled shoes complain of lower back pain.
Smoking is known to contribute towards the development of osteoporosis, which can cause compression fracture in the spine. Studies show that the risk of lower back pain increases by about 33 percent in case of smokers compared to others.
The lower back portion takes much of the weight of the body. Overweight persons put excess load on their spine and lower back. So, reduce your body weight by doing necessary readjustment in your lifestyle.
Take drugs like naproxen (Naproxyn, Aleve), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) to alleviate the pain. But always consult your physician or chemist about its possible side-effects. People with ulcer or lever and kidney related ailments shouldn’t take these drugs.
Consult your physician if:
The pain persists after few days and you feel it even in a resting position.
You find it difficult to stand and walk or have the feeling of numbness in the legs.
You can’t control your bladder and bowel movements.
These symptoms point to some neurological problem or other serious medical problems necessitating medical advice.
If you are still experiencing lots of pain and discomfort after trying the above treatments for lower back pain, immediately consult your physician.