Back pain is a common complaint for many. Individuals suffering from back pain may find themselves having difficulty moving, sleeping, or participating in their daily activities. Back pain can affect anyone at any age.
In some cases, the source of back pain can be identified. It may be a result of an injury or strenuous activity. Sometimes it may be a result of an underlying medical condition or disease.
Unfortunately for others, there are rare occasions where the pain experienced in the lower back may not have an easily identifiable source. The pain may come as a sudden onset and prove frustrating as you try and figure out how to treat it.
The muscles in your back and your spine support the majority of your body’s weight. The muscles, connecting tissue, and nerves are used in everyday movements like walking, standing, and sitting.
Lower back pain can be a symptom of several different conditions. Before you figure out how to treat lower back pain, you need a doctor to examine you and diagnose your pain.
A doctor (usually a pain management specialist) will evaluate your physical ability to stand and walk, and discuss your pain history. They will review with you any injuries you may have experienced (recent or older) and determine if it is a contributing factor to your lower back pain. They will also evaluate the over state of your health and review if any medical conditions that may exist.
Your doctor may require specific tests to better determine how to get rid of your lower back pain.
Some of these tests may be:
X-Ray’s: An x-ray will show the alignment of your bone structure and reveal any broken bones or arthritis that may be contributing to your lower back pain.
CT & MRI Scans: These scans generate images that can reveal discs that may be herniated or any muscle or tissue complications.
Nerve Studies: The most common nerve study, electromyography (EMG) will measure the electrical impulse that the nerves can produce when responding to muscles. This test can determine if there is any nerve compression caused by herniated discs.
Blood Tests: An invaluable test, examinations of your blood can determine if there is an infection or another underlying medical condition that may be causing the lower back pain.
If you are suffering from back pain, you may be looking for a treatment that can help. There are several treatment methods you can pursue. Most lower back pain can be relieved with home remedies. If the pain does not subside you may need further medical intervention.
How To Treat Lower Back Pain
If you are looking to treat your lower back pain at home some of the following remedies may be helpful.
Stretching: Gentle stretching can help stabilize your spine. Stretching can also help prevent muscle imbalances. Slowly held positions and movements can help relieve pain symptoms. Stretching activities like yoga assist in building strength and relieving the knotted muscles causing pain.
Better Sleep: While lower back pain can hinder restful sleep, attempting to improve your sleeping conditions can have a beneficial impact on your lower back pain. Poor sleeping positions can exacerbate lower back pain. Lying on your side with a pillow between your knees can help keep the spine in a neutral position, relieving the strain placed on your back.
Heat and Ice Treatment: Utilizing heat and ice therapies can help relieve the inflamed muscles in the lower back. Using ice after an injury can reduce inflammation as well as have a numbing effect for intense back pain. A heating pad can relieve stiff or aching muscles. Used correctly, a heating pad can produce a muscle relieving effect, relaxing the sore muscles.
New Shoes: While it may seem like a minuscule change, properly supportive shoes can make the world of difference. Properly fitting shoes can help keep the body’s alignment reducing strain that leads to lower back pain. Also ensuring the shoes you wear have appropriate support can reduce lower back pain. Flat shoes do not provide support to your arches, therefore straining your feet and the alignment of your back.
OTC’s: Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are easily accessible and many already have them in stock in the medicine cabinets of their homes. Pain relievers like ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) can reduce pain and swelling in your lower back.
Physical Therapy: With the assistance of these medical specialists, a physical therapist can instruct you on the proper ways to move, sit and stand. They will advise you in the most effective methods to maintain proper spinal alignment. They can also teach you strengthening exercises that will best support your back.
Workplace Improvements: If you find yourself slouching or hunching over while working, it is important to make changes to improve your posture. Improving your posture can help reduce pain. Simple changes like positioning your computer screen at eye level and an ergonomic chair can greatly reduce the strain placed on your lower. Taking frequent breaks to stand and stretch are also ideal.
Ideally, individuals who suffer from chronic lower back pain should takes steps to prevent future occurrences. The best way to treat lower back pain is to learn how to get rid of lower back pain.
How To Get Rid Of Lower Back Pain
Prevention can greatly help reduce future chances of experiencing lower back pain.
Some measures to take are:
- Bending & Lifting Properly
- Do not pick up objects alone that are too heavy
- Bend at your knees and not the waist
- Lift objects with the muscles in your legs
- Do not twist your body while reaching for an object
- Spread your feet to give your body a wide base of support
If you are looking for other helpful measures on how to get rid of lower back pain, you may also do the following:
- Wear shoes that have cushioned soles
- Minimize the frequency in which you wear high heels
- Take frequent breaks from hunching over at work
- Place a stool under your feet (while sitting) to position knees higher than your hips
- Lose weight
- Reducing stress
- Practice relaxation methods such as yoga
More often than not, many suffering from lower back pain can treat their symptoms from home. Typically, lower back pain symptoms can be relieved with simple changes. However, it is important to know when further intervention is needed.
When To See A Doctor
If the pain symptoms do not subside after a few days or weeks of rest, further evaluation by a doctor may be needed.
Your doctor may recommend stronger medications like prescription muscle relaxants and/or opioids. They may also advise other interventions like injection therapy or surgery.
If you feel you are unable to treat your pain symptoms at home, or find your pain increasing, reach out to a medical professional for an evaluation.