4 Ways to get lower back pain relief
Back pain. For many, it’s the unwelcome but all too frequent visitor that interrupts daily life, travel plans, and more. So what can you do to find relief without jumping for the medicine cabinet or calling your doctor? Read on to discover four simple principles to relieving your back pain.
Prevent – If you often find yourself suffering with lower back pain, experts recommend that you start tracking your days and activities with a diary. You might discover that the day you spent cleaning and scrubbing your floors is followed by days of lower back pain. Or maybe after long hours in a poorly positioned office chair, your back pain starts to flare up. Look for your pain triggers and try to limit those times by incorporating break periods into your routines. Also, consider using proper form when doing household chores to protect yourself from pain. When sleeping, you can lie on your side with a pillow placed between your knees. This position should take pressure off your lower back.
Treat – Of course, when the pain hits, you want relief – right away! Try applying some ice on the area for the first 24-48 hours. Doctors recommend ice because it reduces inflammation, which is what sets off the pain signals in your body. Immediately following the onset of pain, take a couple days at a slower pace and allow your body to recuperate from the acute pain. But after those first few days, it’s important to get moving. Staying stationary for too long can lead to worse pain in the long run.
Move – Though it seems counterintuitive, moving is one of the best ways to relieve and prevent back pain. Your body wasn’t made to be sedentary, so fight the urge to be a couch potato even when it’s uncomfortable. Find ways to work healthy movements into your daily routine – choose the steps at work; take a stretch break every 30 minutes; walk the neighborhood with the family. You don’t need to do strenuous exercises or complete a triathlon, but you do need to get your blood pumping and your muscles working. Strengthening the surrounding back and abdominal muscles will take some of the pressure and strain off of your spine, which will lead to pain relief.
Stretch – Most health professionals agree – stretching has positive effects in more ways than one. For the lower back, the best stretches involve lying flat on your back and carefully positioning your legs and knees in various arrangements. Try some workouts that include stretching and slow, controlled movements like a flexible strength class, yoga, Pilates, swimming, or even walking. For some more suggestions, check out Laser Spine Institute’s recommended moves with an exercise ball, which can also help relieve back pain.
Keep these four principles in mind – prevent, treat, move, and stretch – to reduce lower back pain.