As one of the most common physical pains endured by patients, lower back pain can be extremely debilitating. If manual labor is involved in your line of work, it can present a seriously problem that can affect your professional life. It also prevents you from being able to live your life with ease when you suffer from lower back pain. There are many options available to treat this pain, with some being able to provide close-to-immediate relief.
While treatment options are best discussed with your doctor, it is pertinent to discuss what causes lower back pain. The back is like any other system within your body. It’s made up of a complex map of muscles, ligaments, bones, and tendons. The lower back can withstand extreme stress, but, sometimes, can undergo trauma through injury or overuse. Some of this pain can be caused by strained muscles and ligaments, or irritated joints. Something as simple as turning from your right side to your left in bed can cause a lower back injury. Poor posture, arthritis, obesity, and stress can also become contributing factors to lower back pain.
For immediate pain relief, reducing inflammation is key. Within the first 24 to 48 hours after an injury has occured, its best to place an ice pack on the injured area for at least 20 minutes. Remove the ice pack for 20 minutes afterward and repeat. It is also vital to maintain movement. Human bodies are not designed to remain sedentary. If we do, pain has the potential to increase. This is where you can introduce gentle exercise such as walking or stretching.
Stability ball exercises are another great way to relieve lower back pain. Also known as Swiss ball exercises, there are a number of activities you can perform that directly target muscle and/or back pain, such as wall squats, hamstring curls, lunges, and rotations. This infographic provides a few detailed exercises that anyone can perform to alleviate lower back pain.
One of the best treatment options available for continued and consistent relief of lower back pain is to stretch. Gently stretching the muscles in the back will help relieve some of the pain you may be experiencing. The following stretching combinations are of the most effective.
- Lie on your back
- Slowly bend one knee, pulling that knee up toward your chest
- Hold for 30 seconds and then return that leg to the relaxed starting position
- Repeat several times for each leg
Lower back pain is, obviously, an experience that people want to avoid at all costs. However, it does happen rather often. As is the case, you are able to prevent the injury from worsening by taking action once the injury has occurred through anti-inflammatory medicine or ice packs, and then by introducing gentle exercise. This ensures your body doesn’t remain sedentary through the injury period. If pain persists, consult with your doctor on alternative forms of treatment that may work better for you.