How To Treat Lower Back Pain
If you’ve ever had back pain, you know how debilitating it can be. In some cases, it’s easy to pinpoint the cause: lifting something heavy or falling down. But other times the cause is less clear—maybe you have a muscle strain or pulled ligament. In any case, it can be difficult to figure out what to do when your back hurts. Here are some tips for treating your soreness and getting back on track so you can move around with ease again!
If you need to rest your back, do it
You’ve probably heard that rest is important for recovery from lower back pain. But you might have also heard that inactivity isn’t the best way to heal the injury. So, what should you do?
The answer is simple: rest when it hurts and keep moving when it doesn’t. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but if you follow these steps, you’ll get there!
Two or three days of rest is ok, but if it drags on longer than that…
If your back pain is acute, meaning that it lasts less than 3 months and you’ve never experienced it before, then two or three days of rest from physical activity is all you need. This may mean spending a few days on the couch watching Netflix or reading a book (if you can handle not doing anything else).
After two or three days of downtime to let the inflammation and swelling subside, try gentle exercise like walking or using an elliptical machine at low intensity for 20 minutes per day. If this doesn’t provide relief within another week or so, consult with a healthcare professional. Your doctor might recommend an MRI scan to rule out other causes for your discomfort such as slipped discs or spinal stenosis.
If your back pain does not improve after a month of rest and daily stretching exercises performed by an experienced physical therapist who has treated chronic low back pain successfully many times before (ideally), see your doctor again—it’s time for stronger intervention!
Do some gentle exercise.
Exercise can help you build strength and endurance, but start slow. Try a Pilates class or a yoga retreat. It’s important to do gentle exercises that won’t cause pain. It’s also important to do them regularly, but not to the point of exhaustion because this can actually make your back worse. Try doing three sets of 10 squats every day–or at least three times a week.
Yoga can help.
Yoga is a practice that can help strengthen, stretch and balance the body. It can also be helpful in relieving stress and anxiety. Research shows that yoga can reduce lower back pain, regardless of age or gender.
While some people find it difficult to get into the habit of practicing yoga consistently, it may be worth trying for at least two months if you have chronic lower back pain; studies show that this is when most people start to experience benefits from their practice.
It’s a good idea to see a physical therapist.
If you’ve tried the above methods and still feel low back pain, it’s probably time to see a physical therapist. A physical therapist will evaluate your posture and movement patterns, help you figure out what’s causing your pain, and develop a treatment plan based on those findings. They can help you with exercises that strengthen your core muscles (the ones in the front of your body), improve your posture, and reduce strain on joints or ligaments in the lower back region. They may also prescribe custom orthotics or braces for support in high-risk situations such as prolonged sitting at work or long car rides home from family vacations filled with hours spent sitting still in an automobile seat—yet another reason why we all need to get up off our butts more often!
Physical therapists are also trained to treat acute injuries by reducing swelling through ice packs applied after any trauma has occurred; however if someone is experiencing chronic back problems due to overuse injuries such as tendinitis/bursitis then heat therapy may actually be necessary instead of cold applications.”
Another option: seeing a chiropractor.
If a visit to the doctor doesn’t seem like the right fit for you, you might consider seeing a chiropractor. The American Chiropractic Association defines chiropractors as doctors of chiropractic—they’re not MDs—but they are trained to treat back pain and other spinal disorders.
Chiropractors can help with pain relief, but they can’t cure you. That said, if you’re looking for short-term relief from your lower back pain, this could be an option worth exploring further.
Don’t forget massage!
Don’t forget massage! Massage is a great way to treat back pain. It can help with range of motion and muscle tension and circulation, plus relaxation, pain relief, and stress reduction. If you’re going to be doing some physical activity that involves your lower back (say, running), it’s good to get a massage beforehand. A good massage therapist will know what muscles need attention and how best to address them. And if you’re feeling tense or stressed out in general (and who isn’t?), don’t hesitate to book an appointment with one of these knowledgeable pros—they’ll help relieve any residual tension so you can get back into enjoying life again!
If you have back pain, it’s worth trying physical therapy, massage, or chiropractic care to see if they help.
If you have back pain, it’s worth trying physical therapy, massage, or chiropractic care to see if they help. These treatments are all effective — and relatively safe and affordable — so there’s no reason not to give them a shot if you’re in pain.
Physical therapy uses exercises and stretches to strengthen your muscles and improve your posture while relieving tension in the spine. It can also help with general pain management strategies like breathing techniques that reduce muscle spasms.
Massage is another way of relaxing tense muscles in the body. Massage therapists use their hands or specific tools (like a foam roller) to apply pressure on these areas of tension until they relax completely. Massage has been shown to stimulate blood flow throughout the body as well as increase levels of endorphins (the feel-good hormones that help us manage stress).
Chiropractic care involves adjusting spinal alignment through manual manipulation by practitioners who specialize in this type of treatment method. Chiropractors often use heat packs or ice packs during appointments for additional relief from inflammation caused by injuries sustained during sports activities or other strenuous exercise routines where our bodies may be placed under undue stress due to poor posture habits over time with little rest between workouts so that recovery doesn’t occur properly before starting again on day one at full force.”
It can be tempting to just tough it out, but back pain doesn’t have to be a chronic condition. If you’re having trouble with your lower back, see if physical therapy or massage might help. And if those options aren’t available to you, consider seeing a chiropractor or getting regular massages! They don’t take long (usually) and they’re well worth the time spent on them.