Back pain can be debilitating, especially when it occurs in the lower back. Lower back pain can be caused by poor posture, from lifting heavy objects with your back, or from an accident. It can lead to further complications and affect other parts of the back if not treated properly.
What can you do to relieve your lower back pain?
Lower back pain is extremely common and one of the top reasons for missed workdays. The reason for this is the lower back supports the weight of the upper body and is subject to a lot of stress and strain—especially during everyday movements like lifting and twisting.
One of two things typically cause lower back pain: a sudden injury or the wear and tear of aging, arthritis and physical activity. No matter the cause of your lower back pain, here are 10 recommendations that can help you relieve it and prevent future problems.
Maintain correct posture during activities — It’s important to maintain proper posture when performing physical activities to protect your lower back from injury, especially if you play sports or have a job that requires repetitive motions.
Maintain correct posture when sitting — By maintaining proper posture when sitting, you can avoid lower back pain.
Use ice or heat — Applying ice within the first 24-72 hours after experiencing a lower back injury can help ease pain and reduce swelling.
Stretch your muscles — Stretching is a fantastic way to relieve acute and chronic lower back pain and prevent future lower back problems. Because the muscles in the back extend in many different directions, it’s important to do a variety of stretches.
Wear proper footwear — Supportive footwear can enhance your overall posture, heighten stability and lower your risk of suffering from lower back pain. Make sure you wear the appropriate footwear for the activity you are taking part in.
Maintain a healthy weight — Especially as you age, being overweight can increase the strain on your lower back.
Stay active — You should resist the temptation to stay in bed if you’re dealing with lower back pain. Engaging in gentle stretching and moving around can help your lower back muscles heal faster.
Consider using over-the-counter pain relievers — Because they also reduce swelling, over-the-counter pain relievers—especially anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen—are the workhorses for lower back injuries.
Get a massage — In addition to stretching, massage is another way to help lengthen shortened muscles and relieve tension in the lower back. Healthy lower back muscles contribute to increased overall stability, which can help counteract lower back problems in the future.
Sleep on a quality mattress — People suffering from lower back pain usually benefit from sleeping on a medium-firm mattress. However, your preferred sleeping position should also impact your mattress selection.
How do I know if my pain is serious?
Usually within a few weeks, most back pain gradually improves with home treatment and self-care. Contact your doctor if your back pain:
- Persists past a few weeks
- Is severe and doesn’t improve with rest
- Extends down one or both legs, especially if the pain extends below the knee
- Causes numbness, weakness or tingling in one or both legs
- Is accompanied by unexplained weight loss
In rare cases, back pain can indicate a serious medical problem. Seek immediate care if your back pain:
- Causes new bowel or bladder problems
- Is accompanied by a fever
- Results from a fall, blow to your back or other injury
What doctor treats lower back pain?
An orthopedic doctor specializes in problems from head to toe that are in relation to the musculoskeletal system. This includes, of course, the spine. An orthopedist might address conditions such as ruptured discs, scoliosis or other types of neck or lower back pain.
Some of the surgeries performed by orthopedic surgeons can also be done by neurosurgeons. Examples of such procedures include spinal fusion, discectomies, and more.
If you are suffering from lower back pain, you’re not alone. At OmniSpine Pain, we have back specialists trained in treating lower back pain, and can help relieve your pain today! Contact our office today to get in touch with a specialist. To book an appointment, call us or visit us online!