Lumbar back pain is a debilitating and painful condition affecting 80 percent of all people some time in their life. It may be due to changes in your lower back or musculoskeletal damage.
When the problem is minor, lumbar back pain gets better on its own within a few days. Contrarily it’s considered chronic when it persists for more than three months.
In this post, we’ll discuss some easy steps to relieve lumbar back pain.
#1. Do some stretches
Regular stretching can help reduce lower back pain or prevent it from returning. Here are eight stretches you can do from the comfort of your home. It is easy and requires minimal or no equipment.
- Trunk rotation
- Knee to chest
- Pelvic tilt
- Cat cow stretch
- Flexion rotation
- Seat forward bend
- Belly flops
- Supported bridge
Strong abdominal core muscles help support your back, increasing its strength and flexibility, relieving your back pain, and preventing it. Experts say if you’re younger, you can do the stretches first thing in the morning.
But if you’re older, you can do the stretches later in the day when your body is suitably warmed up. Likewise, you can also do pilates, yoga, and taichi to strengthen your core.
#2. Keep moving
When your back hurts, the first thing you want to do is just sit down and not move. Contrarily being physically active and doing exercise has been proved to strengthen core muscles. But, on the other hand, the reduced movement could weaken your core muscles, makes the pain worse, and leads to other health problems.
More than 100 studies say that exercise and sports are among the best practices to treat back pain.
Keep up your usual daily activity level. For example, it could be walking your dog or doing a brisk 30-minute walk. Experts say that being sedentary makes your muscles in the spine and back weak, causing less support for your spine, which results in long-term pain.
#3. Maintain a healthy weight
Overweight and obese persons have an increased risk of joint pain, back pain, and muscle strain. In addition, obese people are more likely to experience low back pain than healthy weight persons.
If you have extra weight in your midsection, it pulls your weight forward, straining your lower back, resulting in pain. When you lose those extra pounds, the load on your lower back gets reduced. Losing weight helps reduce the lower back as it reduces the amount of mechanical force on your spine.
Ask your doctor for guidance if you want to reduce weight. A healthy diet and regular exercise will significantly help you to reduce weight. A balanced diet must include a range of healthy foods along with suitable supplements.
#4. Use an ergonomic pillow for back pain.
Back relief lumbar pillow helps ease back pain and allows your spine to remain in its natural position while sitting or lying on your back. However, sitting for long periods without any support causes your muscles to tense and cramp. Likewise, if you’re a person with lumbar disc problems, you’ll experience back pain as well as pain down your legs.
While shopping for a lumbar pillow, look for the ones with washable cover. Purchase many lumbar pillows so you can leave one in your home, in your car, and office. Position the lumbar pillow vertically to support the normal curve of your spine. In addition to using a lumbar pillow, keep your feet on a small stool to reduce the additional stress on your back.
Use a back relief lumbar support pillow if you’re traveling for more than 15 minutes in your car or traveling a long distance. Also, try to lie on your back while sleeping. So you might wonder what the best pillow is for lower back pain?
Cushion Lab’s Back Relief Lumbar Pillow, developed by in-house ergonomists, relieves back pressure and contours naturally to provide adequate lumbar support all day long. Also, it has extra dense memory foam that offers excellent support on soft surfaces. In addition, it has an adjustable gel secured lined strap that provides a tight grip and prevents sliding.
#5. Quit smoking
Studies point out that smokers may sometimes suffer degenerative disk disease and other spine problems than nonsmokers. Nicotine could weaken your spinal bones and even removes essential nutrients from the spongy disc that cushion your joints. Researchers looked at 5,300 patients who suffered back pain due to spinal disorder and underwent treatment in a study.
They noticed that patients who never smoked had significant pain relief after the treatment. Similarly, patients who quit smoking during the therapy reported more significant improvements in pain than those who continued to smoke. The researchers point out that nicotine increases pain, and so if you quit smoking, your pain gets better.
#6. Try ice and heat
If you suffer from back pain, try heat or ice therapy, whichever suits you best. When your back pain is acute, which results from direct injury, or is within four weeks, apply cold therapy.
Using ice lowers your body temperature, constricts blood vessels, reduces inflammation, and causes a numbing effect.
When you apply heat, it increases the movement of muscles, the flexibility of soft tissues, and the overall functioning of your back. In addition, the warmth stimulates blood circulation and brings healing nutrients to the injured tissues.
When you have chronic back pain apply heat therapy using medium heat, you can use a heated blanket or commercial adhesive strap that provides several hours of low-level heat. After vigorous exercise, if you have muscle soreness, try cold therapy immediately to reduce inflammation, and after 24 hours, use hot therapy to encourage tissue healing.
#7. Take supplements
Low back pain may also be the result of vitamin and mineral deficiency. Although it’s good to get all your nutrients from foods, have a word with your doctor to see if supplements might help. It was true in my case. I had constant lower back pain and got temporary relief by taking painkillers.
On the advice of a bone specialist, I checked for my vitamin D levels which were low, and after supplementation, my lower back pain naturally subsided. Similarly, you may be having low levels of vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium, which are essential for bone and muscle health.
Some of the supplements that can help with back pain include
- Vitamin D
- Devil’s Claw
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Wrapping it up
Low back pain is silent and significantly hampers your productivity. I tell you this because I’ve gone through it. Sometimes others may not even know you’re suffering. It would be tough for you to cope with your work and suffer pain.
So it’s better to curb the problem at its root instead of taking painkillers and getting temporary relief for a while.
Take good care of yourself, take some time out to visit a doctor, and start making the changes we’ve discussed in this post. Sometimes a simple lower back pain lumbar support might be all that it needs to address the problem.