Lower back pain is a common condition. In fact, most cases of back pain affect the lower back, a site that supports most of weight of your body. Even almost all people can experience it at some time in their lives. The treatment options can vary, depending on the severity or the cause of the problem (such as whether or not it is linked to an underlying condition). But in general, the following home remedies may help provide pain relief!
Some people find pain relief with the use of hot or/and cold treatment. For instance, a bottle containing hot water placed on the painful area may help ease and soothe the pain. The same goes for the use of an ice pack placed on the affected area.
However to reduce the risk of irritation or a cold burn, don’t directly apply any too hot /cold thing onto your skin. For instance, if you need to use an ice pack, wrap it in a wet cloth before you apply it to the painful area!
Ice therapy benefits
In general, soothing the affected area with cold therapy can provide two major benefits. First, it can help ease the inflammation. And second, it can be used for a natural local anesthetic to numb sore tissues!
The following other things what ice therapy can do to help cope with back pain:
- It can slow the impulses of nerves in the affected area, slowing the pain-spasms reaction of the nerves.
- It may help reduce the damage to the tissue, too.
How about with heat therapy?
Lower back pain is often associated with muscle spasm that can be characterized by mild symptoms or even painful discomfort. Heat therapy can help soothe the muscle spasm and ease pain related to tightness in the affected area.
The following are two major benefits from heat therapy:
- Stimulating and improving blood flow. This is essential to ease the distribution of nutrient to the affected area.
- For pain relief since it can help inhibit or delay the transmission of the pain message to the brain.
Additionally, there are many forms and ways to use heat therapy for lower back pain. For instances, this also can be with the use of a heating pad, low level heat option, soaking in a warm /hot tub, taking a warm /hot shower, and so on. You may need to try several before finding one that works best for your treatment.
While lower back pain can interrupt the quality of your sleep or even could lead to insomnia, poor sleep (sleep deprivation) can make the pain worse. This can be vicious cycle.
About 75 percent of people with chronic back pain experience mild to severe sleep problems. When you find that the problem has affected the way of your sleeping, talk with your doctor!
There are some treatment approaches to cope with both sleep problem and back pain. These include:
- The use of some medicines, such as painkillers (like NSAIDs) and medicines with sedating effect to promote sleeping.
- Lifestyle approaches, such as not drinking any caffeinated beverages a few hours before going to bed, regular exercise, and eating right.
- Both psychological and physical therapies can help, too.
Getting plenty of sleep is so crucial to help boost the recovery. But this doesn’t mean you can go too far. Too many hours you spend for bed rest can be counterproductive!
According to some studies, back pain last longer in those with too much bed rest. To keep safe, don’t get bed rest for more than 3 days! It’s better to remain active as much as you could.
Furthermore, the way of how you sleep, especially your sleep position can have effect, too. The best recommendation of sleep position for back pain may vary from person to person. But in general, sleeping on the side is more recommended.
To reduce the strain on the lower back, you can use a pillow to give more support. This can be so essential if you need to sleep on your back or even on the stomach.
If you sleep on your side; put a pillow between your legs and draw both of your legs up slightly toward. If you sleep on the back; put a pillow under both of your knees to allow your lower back get its normal curve during sleep – and if necessary, put a rolled towel under your lower back to give additional support.
And for sleeping on the stomach, place a pillow under lower abdomen & pelvis for additional support. To allow you breathe easily during sleep, place another pillow slightly under the head – but if you feel uncomfortable such as due to it causes strain, you may not need to use any pillow under your head!
*Image credit to Mayo
While many people with lower back pain are more likely to find the treatment to deal with the problem, some forget that certain activity can make it worse. The following are some examples!
Push with wrong way
Moving the lawn, using stroller, vacuuming, and other daily routines that require pushing can put more strain on the lower back, particularly true if you push them with the wrong way.
If you need to use them, avoid pushing with the straight arms. Instead, make both of your elbows as close as possible to reduce the strain that hits on your lower back! Choosing vacuum or stroller light in weight can help, too.
Poor driving position
It is another thing that can put strain on the back, especially lower back – particularly true if you drive for long distances. To cope with it, here are some tips:
- Make sure you don’t need to bend to use the steering wheel. Move the seat forward to reach your steering wheel more easily!
- If necessary use a small pillow or rolled towel, and put it behind your lower back for additional support!
- For driving long distances, stop driving every 1-2 hours. Take a break and get out of your car, try walking around for a few minutes!
Sitting and standing for long hours
Either standing or sitting for long periods can be stressful on your back. If you need to do these activities during the day, take a break as often as possible!
Tips when you need to stand for long hours:
- If necessary, use a low object such as a stool. You can put one foot on it to help make you more comfortable.
- Change your feet as often as you could to help improve the blood flow in your legs and reduce the strain on your lower back!
- To get additional support, it is better to prioritize using cushioned shoes.
- Another idea, you can use a thick rubber mat and stand on it to reduce the pressure.
And when you have to sit for long periods, follow these helpful checklists:
- Use ergonomic office chair! Your chair should be comfortable enough to support your back. It should have lumbar support, armrests, a straight back, and adjustable seat. If necessary use a low stool to rest your feet more comfortably, this may help ease your back pain, too!
- Set both of your office chair and desk ergonomically! Make sure you don’t need to lean forward to reach the mouse /keyboard – when you work, keep your elbows at the side!
- Adjust the computer screen in the right way. Make sure it is just at the eye level!
- And take a break every 20-30 minutes to take a short walk around. This is helpful to relieve tight muscles and joints. If you cannot take a break due to certain reason, change the position occasionally may help, too.
Practice poor phone posture
Many times, people use their shoulder for phone rest when they need to have a hands-free call. But this is bad for the spine around the neck.
This poor practice is a common cause of neck pain and could pose the risk of poor alignment in the back. Therefore, use headset or other helpful accessories for your hands-free call!
Bad lifting way
Lifting heavy object with the wrong way is another common cause of back pain. To reduce the strain in the back, just make sure that you get close enough to the object you want to lift and keep your elbows close to the trunk – see this picture below (credit to the Image Bank ‘Safia Fatimi’).