Lower back pain is a common problem among adults. Experts estimate that 80 percent of adults will deal with lower back pain at sometime in their lives. The pronounced curve in the lower back makes it particular vulnerable to strains and pressure. Minor strains of the lower back do not always need medical attention. They can be treated with a number of home remedies.
Although your instinct may tell you to lie down and let your back muscles rest, you will do more good by continuing to move around. Exercise increases blood flow throughout the body and helps to nourish muscles that support the back. You should also incorporate stretching into your routine to provide flexibility for back muscles. Keeping your core, the muscles of the trunk of the body, strong can help to prevent recurring back problems. As your back improves, increase the exercise to keep supporting muscles strong.
Heat & Ice Packs
Alternating ice and heat packs can help reduce acute pain in the lower back. The ice reduces inflammation in damaged tissues. The heat can then increase blood flow to the area for fast healing. Apply ice packs for ten minutes, and then, apply the heat packs for ten minutes. Allow twenty minutes in between these alternating sessions.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications
NSAIDS, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, are available over-the-counter and can be effective medications for reducing inflammation and pain in the low back. These drugs include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxyn. However, these medications should be used according to label directions or as directed by your physician. They may have side effects in some people.
The muscles of the lower back can become tense as a result of trying to protect the painful area. Massage therapy can help to increase circulation to the area, reduce the tension in muscles and release pain-relieving chemicals in the body that help to relieve low back pain. Many people who experience lower back pain on a regular basis find that weekly massages can be helpful in managing discomfort.
A hot bath can be a good way to relieve lower back pain. The warmth can relax constricted muscles and bring more blood to the area. Warm water can also increase circulation so that you can move more easily.
Because the sway in the lower back makes it susceptible to strain and injury, individuals should pay particular attention to posture while walking, sitting or standing. Always use a supportive chair at work can help to relieve pressure on the vertebrae. Avoid positions in which the back is arched or cannot be well supported, causing the person to slump while seated.
Improve Your Sleep Position
Your sleep position may be contributing to your back problem by keeping the spine in an unhealthy position throughout the night. Examine your sleep position carefully. You may need to help re-position your body during sleep by playing a pillow under your knees, using a body pillow if you sleep on your side or replacing your mattress with one that offers more support for the spine.
Along with the other reasons to stop smoking, such as preventing lung damage and protecting others from second hand smoke, add helping your back to the list of smoking cessation benefits. Studies show that those who smoke or have smoked in the past have a higher incidence of back problems. Smoking constricts blood vessels, which can cause diminished blood flow to the soft tissues and muscles that help to support the back.
If Pain Continues, See A Specialist
If these measures do not offer relief or if the pain returns, make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist. These physicians specialize in the diseases and problems of the bones and spine. The physician may prescribe muscle relaxants or other medications to help with discomfort.