Pain Management 101: How to Deal With Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is among the common reasons for frequent visits to the doctor. An estimated 65 million Americans report cases of recent back pain, with 8% of all adults experiencing chronic back pain that limits them from doing their day-to-day activities.
Lower back pain may result from a tear of aging, sports injury, sprains while working, or a chronic illness such as arthritis. Whichever the cause of lower back pain, these pain management tips will help you reduce the nagging pain and discomfort.
Work on Your Posture
Poor posture, either while sitting or working, will worsen lower back pain. If you are working from the desk, ensure your feet are resting on the floor and that your chair can offer back support.
Avoid bending forward to reach the mouse or the keyboard. Instead, bring them closer to you so you can maintain an upright position.
Similarly, maintain a good posture when doing physical activities to protect your back from injuries. This is critical when working out, playing sports or if your job demands repetitive movements.
You may use straps, tapes, and stretchy bands for spine alignment. Your head should be centered over the pelvis. Avoid slouching your shoulders or bending the spine. If you have to lift stuff, don’t bend from the waist but the knees.
Talk To Your Doctor
Visit your doctor for advanced pain management tips and advice. The doctors are trained and knowledgeable about the rehabilitation of different injuries. Besides prescribing the most effective medications, the experts will recommend the best exercises and diet.
The physician may also suggest the best muscle relaxants to eliminate muscle spasms. Search for ‘pain management doctors near me’. You will get a range of results to choose from. Select the best based on certification, qualification, and reviews.
Stretch and Strengthen Muscles
Stretching is a great way to manage pain and prevent future back pain. The reason being, the muscles on the lower back extend in different directions. And stretching will ease the movements. Lie on your back and pull your knees towards the chest.
You may also outstretch your arms in a T-position, then bend one knee while twisting it in the direction of the straight leg.
Besides stretching, strengthening your muscles, especially around the abdominal core, will significantly help with back support. Note that the lower back bears all of your weight and needs to be strong to support the rest of your body.
Try out Yoga, Tai chi, and Pilates to strengthen the abdominal core and muscle hips. Nonetheless, if you are old or are in severe pain, you can stick with stretching and leave strengthening.
Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the effective yet overlooked ways of managing pain. Extra weight is equal to additional strain on the joints and spine.
One pound on your body is equivalent to four pounds of pressure on your joints. This means that if you weigh 100 pounds, you are putting 400 pounds of pressure on your back.
If you are overweight, your pelvis and lower back are forced to slant forward in an attempt to bear the too-much-to-handle weight. In return, this creates an arch that causes you to experience back pain.
Seek the assistance of back pain management doctors on diet and exercise recommendations. Keep in mind that you do not necessarily have to go to the gym to stay fit. Simple exercises such as walks and jogs around your neighborhood go a long way.
Get Quality Sleep
Getting quality sleep when in any pain can be tricky. But you can improve your sleep by ensuring you sleep in the best position. Avoid sleeping on your back, as that could aggravate the pain. Instead, sleep on the sides.
You may also add pillows between the knees for weight support and to keep the spine in a neutral posture. If you must sleep on your back, put a pillow under the knees to raise their position. Most importantly, invest in a quality mattress.
Studies show that lack of proper sleep may lead to weight gain. Therefore, besides resting, sleeping alleviates back pain by helping you to maintain a healthy weight.
If you have a problem falling asleep, you may get over-the-counter meds. Or get a prescription from your doctor to help you fall asleep fast and stay asleep through the night.
Ice and Heat
If your lower back pain results from injury, probably after an intense workout, you should try out ice therapy.
Applying ice on the injured area within the first 24-72 hours after injury will help to reduce swelling and manage pain. You may later switch to heat massage to relax the tight muscles. Heat is also effective in relieving lower back pain that is not a result of injury.
You can stick to either heat or cold or try both, depending on the extent of injury and inflammation. However, do not overdo the treatment. It should be done for 20 minutes per session, and avoid using heat or cold if you are already into muscle pain ointments and creams.
Get Medication From the Store
There is a range of over-the-counter meds that can help with lower back pain relief. However, it is recommendable that you get your prescription from a reliable doctor. Most of the medications from the store have side effects and are therefore not suitable for everyone.
Search for pain management near me, and let your doctor assess you before taking the pain relievers. And remember that pain killers alone cannot eliminate the pain completely. It would help to incorporate other pain management tips such as weight management and good posture to speed up healing.
Furthermore, most pain management doctors are physical therapists. They can guide you on different sitting, standing, and motion postures to keep your spine in the correct alignment.
Boost Your Productivity and Overall Quality of Life With Pain Management Tips
Lower back pain hinders you from attending to most of your day-to-day activities. You can no longer engage in your hobbies, especially if you are into sports. This adversely affects the quality of your life.
With the above pain management tips, you can get your life back, and the best part is that most of them cost you nothing.
We are experienced doctors, and you can trust us to guide you through lower back pain management. Contact us to book an appointment. Let’s discuss your needs!