When you suffer with lower back pain you’ll do anything to make the pain go away.
Whether the pain is sharp and stabbing, dull or just achy and stiff it can really stop you in your tracks.
The problem with lower back pain is even if it’s not preventing you from moving, the worry about it getting more serious can always be in the back of your mind.
Here are 4 simple things you can be doing, when the pain strikes to give you some relief.
To ice or to heat
There is often confusion when it comes to using ice packs or heat packs for pain relief.
You’ll be glad to know, they’re both extremely effective…when they’re used at the right time.
When you first hurt (or re-hurt your back) you build up inflammation around that area. That means blood rushes to the site of your pain making it red and HOT.
This is the best time to put ice on your back.
Put an ice pack or bag of ice on the area for 20 minutes (No longer) take it off for 20 min and then repeat 2-3 times.
This should reduce some of the inflammation and can help reduce your pain levels.
Heat on the other hand should be used 48-72 hours after you feel pain.
Your body is extremely smart.
It will cause your muscles to tense up and contract to limit movement in that area to try and protect your lower back.
Over time this causes stiffness and more pain.
Place a heat pack or wheat bag over the area to reduce your muscle tension, joint stiffness and pain. A warm shower works well too, just don’t overdo it with heat!
Keep Moving With Basic Exercises
When I say exercise, I don’t mean to train like Rocky did before his fight with Apollo Creed!
If you’re feeling pain in your back, the trick is to keep your joints moving.
You don’t want to lay in bed all day just because that’s the only position that it doesn’t hurt.
While it may feel comfortable at the time, your lack of movement can lead to more stiffness in your joints and even more pain later on.
Walking in a pool can keep your joints moving while putting a lot less pressure on them compared to walking.
If you don’t have access to a pool it’s still better to go for a walk (even if it up and down your hallway) to keep mobility in your spine.
Stretching Is Vital
More often than not stretching only comes to mind when your back starts to hurt.
Stretching is extremely important both when you’re in pain…and when you’re not.
Our daily lives involve being in positions for extended periods of time whether it be sitting or standing. This causes tightening of certain muscles in your body because they become overactivity due to excessive use.
Stretching when you’re in pain can reduce tension in your lower back and reduce your level of discomfort. Stretching when you’re not in pain can keep your body in an optimal position and reduce the chances of getting lower back pain again.
You can have a look at some simple lower back pain stretches here!
Release Your Trigger Points
Muscles tension can cause you a lot of discomfort.
Along with stretching, relaxing these muscles through trigger point releases can be very useful.
Trigger points are small nodules which develop within your muscle fibres and are basically bunching of your muscle tissue. They come about due to excessive contraction which usually build up over time due to poor posture.
If you have a tennis ball place it on the area where you feel pain and push against it.
Hold for 30 seconds and relax.
Repeat by sitting on the ball if you feel any tension or tenderness in specific areas of your buttock.
This can help reduce the trigger points in your back and give you some temporary relief if you suddenly get pain.
Always see a professional first
These tips are all helpful in giving you a reduction of your symptoms.
While they are useful, it’s still vital to see a health professional to get an accurate diagnosis for your pain so that you can be given advice specific to your problem.
What may work for someone else may not work for you so make sure you find out what the underlying cause of your pain is.