Ways to Relieve Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain occurs anywhere below your rib cage, or above your buttocks. Your lower back(LB) is normally the connection between your upper and lower body, thus it bears most of the body’s weight. And that is why when you have an ache in your lower back, it can be really intense, especially when you lift or twist. Not only people from older age group experience this, kids too might deal with lower back pain(LBP). But worry not, we have the solutions to relieve lower back pain. Before learning lower back treatment, let me first explain to you the causes and symptoms of lower back pain.
Symptoms And Causes Of Lower Back Pain
Causes may include:
- Injury or overuse – this also include sprains or strains of ligaments and muscles, fractures or compression fractures of the bones.
- Pressure on nerve roots – from conditions such as herniated disc or spinal stenosis.
- Arthritis, especially osteoarthritis.
- Spinal tumors.
Symptoms may include:
- Pain in LB after an activity, or sudden lifting.
- Difficulty in moving around, walking or standing.
- Pain that travels around to the groin, buttock or upper thighs.
- Muscle spasms, they can be severe.
Treatments to Relieve Lower Back Pain
If you are dealing with chronic back pain, here are few choices of treatment that may help relieve your ache. But however, the treatments will vary depending on how long you have had the pain, how severe it is and your individual needs and preferences.
a) Short-term treatment
Most cases of LBP that last no longer than six weeks can be treated with over-the-counter painkillers and home remedies.
Many find Paracetamol and Ibuprofen effective in treating backache. Other than that, Codeine (a stronger painkiller) can also be taken to reduce the pain in addition to Paracetamol. But do bear in mind that painkillers can trigger side effects and may not be suitable for your body. Hence, always talk to your doctor to know the best medications for you.
2. Hot and cold treatment
Applying heat to the pained area – such as hot bath, or placing a hot water bottle on your back may help ease the pain. At the same time, cold such as ice packs are also proven to relieve your LBP. However, remember to wrap the frozen pack with a wet cloth before applying to the affected area as it may trigger a cold burn. Another way is to alternate between hot and cold using ice packs and hot water pad.
3. Sleeping position
You may also change your sleeping position to reduce the strain on your back, which eventually will ease the pain. If you sleep on your side, it is advisable for you to draw your legs up to your chest level, and place a pillow between your legs. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees to reduce the strain on your LB.
b) Long-term treatment
If you have been having back pain for more than six weeks, then here are few suggested treatments to relieve the pain.
Your exercise program should be eight sessions, over a period of 12 weeks. The classes may include stretching exercises, aerobics and also exercise to strengthen your muscles and improve your posture.
Acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of disorders and diseases. It is an ancient Chinese treatment where very fine needles are inserted at different points of your body. It is proven to relieve lower back pain within a period of 12 weeks.
3. Nerve root blocks
This is a method where steroid is injected, right on the affected point. This injection will bring immediate relief, especially if it is associated with leg pain.
4. Facet joint injections
This involves the injection of steroid into your facet joints. Those are the joints that connect one vertebrate to another so that your spine is kept aligned. This is not so effective and may produce severe side effects too.
Surgery is usually recommended when other treatment options have failed, and if your lower backache is very severe to an extent where you are unable to sleep or carry out your daily activities.
Stretches for Lower Back Pain Treatment
However, remember to talk to doctor before trying any of the treatments above. Also, make sure that your doctor approves the type of painkiller that you take to relieve the pain. If there are any other treatments, exercises or medications to relieve lower back pain that you know, do share them with us.