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Top 5 Tips to Treat Low Back Pain

Written by
Mahaveer Patil
and medically reviewed by Preetha. J

Published on Sep 10, 2016 and last reviewed on Feb 22, 2022   -  4 min read

Abstract

Though low back pain is considered a common complaint of older adults, it can occur almost at any age and involve any sex. Read the article to know a few tips to overcome low back pain.

Top 5 Tips to Treat Low Back Pain

What Is Lower Back Pain?

Low back pain is a spine-related symptom occurring due to various reasons. It can occur due to slipped disc, spondylosis, bad posture, prolonged sitting, fall or trauma, infections in the spine, etc. If untreated, then it may cause severe discomfort and ache. Low back pain may hinder a person from moving or proceeding about. It should be managed and cared for properly to avoid severe disabilities in the future.

What Are the Tips to Overcome Low Back Pain?

1. Rest:

The most important thing that can be done is rest. Our spine is the weight-bearing pillar of our body. So, reducing the load on the spine can reduce the pain to a considerable extent. It can be done by simply lying down or using lumbosacral belts or corsets during our routine work.

2. Medicines:

In some circumstances, where the pain is unrelieved by just giving rest to the spine, medicines may be necessary to alleviate the back pain. These should be taken only on the advice of an orthopedist (Ask an Orthopedist Online) and should not be taken for more extended periods of time to avoid harmful effects on the kidney and liver.

3. Local Gel Applications:

There are quite a few local gel formulations available over the chemist counters. Apply the gel gently, followed by hot fomentation for about 15 minutes with heating pads or lukewarm water. Depending on the severity, this can be done once in the morning and once at night for approximately 10 days.

4. Lifestyle Modification:

Do stretching exercises and yoga early in the morning for a minimum of 20 minutes. Use a hard mattress for sleeping. Avoid soft beds. Do not lift heavy weights that can bend your spine. Instead, bend your knees, sit down and then lift the weight. Avoid sitting in the same position for an extended period of time.

5. Physiotherapy:

In unrelieved cases, physiotherapy measures like lumbar traction, infrared therapy, shortwave diathermy, ultrasonic therapy, and laser therapy are helpful.

Any kind of back pain should not be neglected and should be consulted with an orthopedist. You may be advised to take x-rays and MRI scans (magnetic resonance imaging) if required. Surgical treatments may rarely be needed to treat low back pain but should be preferably avoided to avoid long-term harmful effects on the spine.

6. Physical Activities:

Our body and spine could be kept healthy by doing exercise. You should think about what makes you joyful and start doing it. Practicing exercise as you wish is not the way to achieve a healthy life, and your ultimate goal should be practicing regular exercise for at least half an hour a day or most of the days in a week. Whatever you practice choosing, make sure you find it harder to breathe than usual because it helps have good circulation. Some of the activities you could practice to follow are:

  • Walking.

  • Swimming.

  • Jogging.

  • Gardening.

  • Bike riding.

In addition, have a routine core-strengthening exercise to keep the muscles strong and healthy.

7. Regular Doctor Checkups:

No matter your age, a regular medical checkup is absolutely essential. Even though everything goes normal, make a plan to consult the doctor at least once a year to ensure that everything is normal. When lower back pain does not subside with any over-the-counter medicines, home remedies, or physical activities, it is essential to consult a doctor. There are many treatment options to overcome back pain in this modern world, so you do not want to live with it.

8. Lose Weight:

It has been said that over a quarter of the world's population is overweight. Also, it is essential to note that obesity contributes to the outcome of:

  • Heart disease.

  • High blood pressure.

  • Diabetes.

  • Low back pain.

  • Cancer.

The spine is designed in a way to hold and broadcast the body's weight, while excessive weight can weaken the spine. This will ultimately deteriorate the spine. Help your spine by clearing unwanted weight. If you do not know how to shed your weight, consult a doctor to help you find the best exercise and weight loss plans.

9. Good Posture:

A good posture involves a balanced and neutral position on standing or sitting, and it is the soundest way to detour the straining of your spine. People may find it relaxing to recline while sitting or standing. But it actually makes your muscles resistant.

10. Sleep Properly:

Sleep is a vital element for our bodies, and the way we sleep may construct all the differences. When you have trouble sleeping or when you awake in the morning more exhausted than when you went to bed, you should look at the things such as where and how you slept.

The right mattress lets you maintain the exact natural spinal alignment while standing. If your body can relax in its more natural position, then the muscles would rest and sleep more refreshingly. In addition, if you are unable to avoid some infrequent lower back pain, then keeping yourself in good shape and having a healthy back cannot be achieved.

Conclusion:

There are different types of lower back pain, and some may be chronic and debilitating. Taking steps to stretch, strengthen and shield the lower back can ultimately help stop, reverse or slow the ache. Some regular activities may help or either worsen the condition. However, lifestyle modifications cannot change the lower back pain in more severe cases. It is a treatable condition and could be treated with modern medical advancements. When lower back pain interrupts your regular daily activity, it is vital to consult the doctor because early intervention can help us lead a healthy life.

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Frequently Asked Questions


1.

What Are Common Treatments for Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain is a common problem among women and aged people. It can occur due to trauma, falling, or any other injury. It can be managed in different ways, such as physiotherapy, good posture maintenance, physical activities, weight loss, ointment application, and regular doctor checkups.

2.

Which Four Strategies Can Be Used to Prevent Lower Back Pain?

Four strategies to prevent lower back pain are
- Physical activities like running, walking, exercises, and good posture. 
- Weight loss and maintaining the ideal weight help relieve lower back pain. 
- Physiotherapy, a good physiotherapist will help decrease the tension in the muscles and ligaments.
- Regular visits to a doctor for checkups.

3.

Which Stretch Is Most Helpful in Relieving Back Pain?

The knee to the chest is one of the most effective stretches to relieve lower back pain. Start this stretch by lying on the floor with knees bent and feet placed on the floor. Grab both knees with your hands, pull them towards the chest, and relieve the muscle tension. Now grab the right knee, pull towards the chest, and extend the left leg on the floor; after a few seconds, change the leg and repeat the exercise. Do this for three repetitions.

4.

What Are the Effects of Walking with Lower Back Pain?

Physical activity, such as walking, is good for lower back pain, as it helps in reducing muscle stiffness and increases flexibility. It also improves blood circulation. In severe pain, people should avoid walking or doing other physical activities. Regular walking for 20 to 30 minutes is recommended.

5.

What Are the Three Main Reasons for Lower Back Pain?

Three main reasons for lower back pain are
1)Trauma or Falling- Car accidents, falls, sports injuries, or any direct hit on the spine can result in lower back pain. 
2) Slipped Disc - Slipped disc can be caused due to falling or trauma. It causes severe pain in the lower back. 
3) Spondylitis - Bad posture or long driving results in spondylitis, which is a major reason for lower back pain.

6.

Is Heat Treatment Good for Lower Back Pain?

Heat therapy is absolutely good for lower back pain; it helps relieve pain and promotes healing. Heat application helps dilate blood vessels and increases blood circulation and oxygen supply to the tissues around the spine. Heat application reduces muscle spasms and stiffness. It is recommended to give heat therapy just before any physiotherapy or exercises as it helps in tolerating the exercises.

7.

What Is the Meaning of Red Flags of Back Pain?

Red flags of back pain denote the dangerous symptoms of back pain. Pain while sleeping, also at night and sudden weight loss are red flag symptoms of lower back pain. Chronic back pain with leg pain also comes under red flag symptoms. The doctor should check and compare these red flags signs during routine checkups.

8.

Which Sitting Position Is Best for Lower Back Pain?

Sitting in the right position or maintaining a good posture greatly affects lower back pain. Always sit straight with support (with the chair, wall, or pillow) or without back support. Hips and knees should be at a right angle. Place the foot on the flat floor. Do not cross your legs while sitting.

9.

Is Sitting or Lying Down Better for Lower Back Pain?

Sitting is not good for lower back pain but lying down on a flat surface is beneficial. Lying down helps relieve back pain. People suffering from back pain should avoid sitting for longer. Walking or moving is a good idea instead of sitting.

10.

How Do You Recognize the Reason for Back Pain, Whether It Is Muscles or Discs?

The doctor will ask for various tests (physical examination, digital examination) to recognize the reason for back pain. The doctor will perform a physical examination to check the ability to move, bend or walk. A neurological test helps diagnose muscular strength and the ability to work. The digital examination helps in ruling out slipped discs or fractures.

11.

How Much Time Is Required to Heal Lower Back Pain?

Healing of lower back pain depends upon the type of pain. With conservative treatment and self-care, acute lower back pain healed within two to three weeks. Chronic pain lasts for more than one year. Acute lower back pain turns into chronic pain if not treated properly. Some cases of chronic pain get resolved, but most cases are not treatable besides medication or other treatments.

12.

Does Lying on the Floor Help in Lower Back Pain?

Few people find that lying on the floor helps them with relieving back pain. But it is evident that lying on the floor can increase back pain and worsens the condition. Lying on the floor without proper cushioning causes pressure on the back muscles and increases stiffness. It is advised to avoid lying on the floor in case of back pain.

13.

How to Lose Tight Muscles in the Lower Back?

Tight lower back muscles can be loosened with the help of the following flexibility-increasing exercises.
- Hip circles.
- Knees to chest.
- Pelvic tilts.
- Cat-Cow.
- Child's Pose.
- Legs-Up-the-Wall.
Heat therapy can also help in reducing stiffness.

14.

Which Sleeping Position Is Best for Lower Back Pain?

Lying flat on your back is the best sleeping position in case of lower back pain. For extra support, put one soft pillow below the head and neck and one under the knees. The next position is lying on the sides with pillows under the knees.  Avoid using a soft mattress; firm mattresses provide better support to the spine.

15.

Does Walking Too Much Increase Lower Back Pain?

A little amount of physical activity or walking is beneficial for lower back pain, but walking for long hours causes extra pressure on the vertebrae and spine. Longer walking can worsen lower back pain. It is advisable for people suffering from back pain to walk regularly for 20 to 30 minutes, not more than that.

Last reviewed at:
22 Feb 2022  -  4 min read

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