Many people experiencing lower back pain may come to the realization that there isn’t only one cure for treating it. Utilizing a multi-faceted approach is typically what’s most effective in treating problems in the lower back and it is often through a process of trial and error that you can figure out what works best for you.
If you find that you are in the middle of the trial and error process or are just beginning- we’ve compiled a list of 5 tips you can try in an effort to relieve your lower back pain. Most find a combination of traditional treatments and home remedies to be most effective in preventing and managing pain. Here are our top 5 options for you to consider:
1. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy, or physiotherapy, can be administered by a professional or done from the comfort of your home. At the very least it is recommended that you receive proper instruction from a medical professional before practicing physical therapy on yourself. Physiotherapy prices vary based on the practitioner and your insurance but there is a chance that you may pay very little for treatment that can substantially ease your pain and decrease your chances of needing back surgery in the future. There are 2 kinds of physiotherapy, including:
Passive physical therapy- Things done to a patient such as applying heat, ice packs, or electronic stimulation.
Active physical therapy- Specific exercises and stretching done to increase mobility, flexibility, and loosen and strengthen the muscles.
Both of these techniques can be learned and done regularly at home in order to prevent future flare-ups.
2. Release Your Endorphins Regularly
Endorphins are hormones that are made by your body, and they can affect the body in the same way manufactured pain medicines can. After endorphins are released into the body, they block receptors in the brain that are responsible for registering pain. They also relieve anxiety, stress, and depression which are well-known for aggravating lower back pain. Exercise is one of the best ways to release endorphins but massage therapy, meditation, and even eating your favorite foods are effective ways of doing it as well.
3. Prioritize Quality Rest
Do not underestimate the power of quality rest! Pain is one of the leading causes of insomnia and approximately two-thirds of people who suffer from back pain are also suffering from a sleep disorder. Make sure you are prioritizing your sleep and if you need to, allow extra time to put yourself in a relaxed state before heading to bed. Consider powering down your electronics one hour prior to sleeping, reading a book, or meditating to facilitate deeper sleep.
If you are still having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep it is of the utmost importance that you address those issues and talk to your doctor about a sleep study. Many people find that as they get more quality sleep, their pain significantly decreases. This is because the body has time to recover more effectively when it is in a resting phase, and your doctor can help equip you with the right tools to achieve healthy sleep.
4. Exercise Your Abdomen
This may sound oddly specific but the muscles in your core play a crucial role in protecting and supporting your lower back. It will best serve you to target these muscles a few days out of the week to build their strength. If you spend long days at the office, consider sitting on a medicine ball while you do your work at your desk. This will engage your core muscles on a regular basis and help to treat pain that occurs from hours of sitting.
5. Apply Hot/Cold Compresses
Both heat and ice can provide different healing effects to the body. Ice reduces inflammation and slows down nerve impulses that are responsible for causing pain. Heat will stimulate blood flow and bring nutrients to the areas that need it. It will also inhibit the pain messages that are being sent to the brain. You can alternate between the two depending on what you need.
You can try any of these techniques in combination to reduce your lower back pain. Once you figure out what works for you, create a routine that is easy to follow in order to further reduce your pain and prevent flare-ups.