Back pain is a virtually pervasive ailment in the United States. As high as 80 percent of U.S. Americans are afflicted with back pain occasionally. Lower back pain is the most common. It is often caused by typical strains or sprains from basic house or yard work, chronic conditions like arthritis, or the intermittent recurrence of pain from old sports or work injuries. Of course, you should see your chiropractor or family doctor for any severe or suddenly occurring back pain. But, for typical pain or discomfort in the lower (or upper) back area, there are basic measures you can take to alleviate it at home without medical intervention.
How to Relieve Various Kinds of Lower Back Pain
Below are a few examples of the kinds of low back pain you may be able to resolve with simple efforts at home and some that require chiropractic or other clinical care.
Lower Back Pain Relief at Home
Here are some things you can do to help relieve common lower back pain on your own:
Bad posture may cause or increase back pain. People who work sitting down for many hours are vulnerable to back pain due to posture issues. Remember to sit straight. Relax your shoulders, and rest your back against the chair for support. Keep your feet flat on the floor to help straighten the spine. Use a small cushion or towel behind your lower back if needed for enhanced lumbar support.
Sleeping in some positions can cause the spine to be aggravated and that can lead to back pain. To position the spine more ideally to avoid pain, consider lying on your side with a pillow between your knees. This straightens and relaxes the spine, which relieves strain on the back. If you prefer sleeping on your back, place a pillow under the knees.
Gentle Physical Activity
Depending on the nature of your back pain, remaining sedentary for too long may actually make the pain worse and can cause other physical problems. After a couple of days of resting, it may be advisable to reintroduce light activity, like leisurely walking, swimming, or gentle flexibility exercises for lower back pain relief.
Ice and Heat
Alternating ice packs with heat applications can sometimes help alleviate back pain caused by inflammation from a minor injury. Use ice packs for self-treatment a few times daily for around 20 minutes or so. Then, in several days, start using heat applications instead. These will relax the aching muscles and stimulate greater circulation in the area of the muscle pain.
Over-the-Counter Pain Medication
Using acetaminophen along with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can relieve various forms of back pain. Ask your doctor before taking any pain relief medication. Also, keep in mind that other treatment is likely to be needed in addition to medication.
When It’s Time for Professional Back Treatment
There are some kinds of back pain for which you need treatment by a chiropractor or another medical professional. For example, if you have a bulging spinal disc or other serious condition, you will need advanced medical attention. Here are some basic treatments your chiropractor may administer for back pain:
If the cause of your lower back pain cannot be corrected with recommended simple self-treatment options but that does not require an invasive solution, physical therapy may help. Your physical therapist can work with you on ways to stand, sit, and move your body to maintain spinal alignment and avoid strain on the back. Your therapist can also help you strengthen back support muscles.
Prescription Pain Relievers
Prescription pain medications and/or muscle relaxers may become necessary, depending on the particular type of pain and other diagnostic findings. Be sure to tell your doctor about other prescriptions or over-the-counter medications you’re taking.
As a supplemental therapy for other self-help or clinical management, massage offers multiple potential benefits for back pain. Therapeutic massage can reduce muscle tension, increase circulation, promote muscle relaxation, promote greater flexibility, and enhance sleep. Massage also increases endorphin levels, which can be very helpful in mitigating pain.
Antidepressant medications are often used to treat persistent lower back pain. Antidepressants are assumed to act as chemical transmitters that can potentially affect the pain signals that are being transferred through the body.
A corticosteroid injection is sometimes used to help reduce inflammation and the back pain that comes with it. Your medical care provider may control the frequency of doses administered based on the type of injection used to help prevent potential side effects.
For Advanced Lower Back Pain Treatment
For over 20 years, Advanced Chiropractic has been helping people obtain lasting relief from lower back pain. We utilize both chiropractic and physiotherapy methodologies. If your efforts to relieve your lower back pain at home are not working well enough, don’t continue suffering. Real and lasting low back pain relief is available.