7 Easy Ways to Reduce Lower Back Pain
Any sudden movement, lifting a heavy object, twisting may cause muscles or ligaments to stretch or develop some microscopic tears leading to lower back pain. A poor posture (prolonged posture like sitting for long time) or a repetitive stress (repetitive movements like picking up things from the floor in wrong way) can also lead to muscle strain in the lower back causing chronic pain. Other causes of lower back pain could be arthritis or a structural or nerve problem. Back pain is also associated with depression and stress.
There is no single or certain cure for lower back pain. A process of trial and error to find what works best for you is the key. Back pain treatments range from simple to complex depending on the duration and severity of the pain along with exact location of the pain (structural or muscular).
The 7 Easy Ways to Reduce Lower Back Pain are listed below
If the pain is not chronic, one needs to start with cold and hot pack treatment. It is recommended to try cold /ice pack on the location of pain for 20 minutes a session and repeat it several times a day. After 2 days, if the pain is still there, one needs to switch to 20 minutes hot compress treatment. This alternate hot and cold treatment is the best way to reduce swelling. Cold thwarts the nerves ability to conduct pain signals while heat loosens the tight muscles and increases circulation to bring in more oxygen to the affected area. Ice lowers the inflammation of the muscles and ease out the strain by reducing the nerve impulses.
1. Getting Enough Sleep and Sleeping in Right Way
A minimum of 6 hours of sleep is recommended for the body to stay healthy and the joints of the body to function properly. Sleep helps in the cell regeneration process and also recover from the strain of muscles and back. Sleeping keeps the immune system intact. One needs to get adequate sleep to ease away the stress accumulated throughout the day on the joints.
Sleeping in a bad position or on a mattress without correct support can cause back pain. It is recommended to put pillows under the knees, if sleeping on the back. If sleeping on side, then one needs to keep pillows between their knees so that the spine is in a neutral position.
Sleeping on stomach causes the neck and head to twist and can put stress on the back. It should be avoided.
2. Stretching and Maintaining Good Posture
Stretching can decrease the pressure on the pelvis and provide relief across the lower back. Stretching the body works the quads and the hamstring in a way the enables the lower back to relieve tensions and spasms from the body. Hamstring stretching should be done carefully at least two times a day. One need to simply lay down on the ground and raise the legs up straight to the extent where you can keep the back fixed to the position for at least 20 seconds.
Keeping the right amount of curvature in the back takes pressure off the nerves and reduce the back pain. It is very important to sit upright and use correct posture throughout the day even while performing simple day to day tasks. For job, one should opt for standup desk instead of sitting all day.
Staying active is more important than doing bed rest. Simple exercises like walking is the best medicine to relieve back pain. Exercising increases blood flow to the spin which supplies healing nutrient and hydration to the structures in the lower back. One needs to just get out of sitting posture and put the body in a neutral, upright position. It could be simple tasks like toe touches, sit up, planks and pelvic tilts. It does not need to be strenuous exercise or activities like gardening. Exercise should be done in order to improve flexibility of the body so that equal load is put throughout the body from the head to the toe. Exercise needs to aim at strengthening the core.
It is very important to get up and walk around at least once an hour if you are sitting most of the day.
Exercising also helps in losing weight, thereby putting less pressure on the lower back joints and muscles.
4. Avoid Long Travels
One needs to avoid using braces for the back as they weaken the back muscles and you will have less core strength. One needs to avoid long travels as they take a toll on the lower back.
5. Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking can help alleviate back pain. Nicotine causes the small blood vessels to constrict and decreases the delivery of blood to the soft tissue. Thereby leads to back pain.
6. Anti Inflammatory Diet
It is advised to drink lots of water and limit the alcohol consumption. One needs to take anti inflammatory diet for faster recovery. It is advised to consume wholesome and nourishing foods to help heal effectively. Vegetables like kale, broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, nuts, beets and spices or herbs like cinnamon and turmeric are very beneficial. They heal the pain internally. One can take a spoon of turmeric in a glass of warm milk before going to bed for back pain relief.
7. Messages and Rubs
Messages and rubs on the affected areas helps in instant back pain relief. Messaging works directly on the pain by rejuvenating the stressed muscles and improving the blood circulation in that area. It helps in natural healing by reducing inflammation.
Many nerves run throughout the spine and into the rest of the body. A problem with lower back can lead to pain in legs and hips. A poor hip motion, poor hip strength and poor middle back motion are all risk factors for lower back pain. Aerobic exercises, deep breathing, tai chi, yoga and meditation are good choices to get back pain relief. The problem should be addressed on time else it can lead to permanent disability.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan
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