If you’re living with lower back pain, chances are good that you’re willing to do almost anything to make it stop. Back pain can keep you from taking part in your normal activities—whether that be driving, playing with your kids or grandkids, or even sleeping—and over time, this can take quite an emotional toll on you, as well. Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to relieve lower back pain. It’s always a good idea to consult with a medical professional who can provide you with customized recommendations, but with that being said, the following techniques help many people achieve back pain relief:
Apply Ice & Heat
If you’ve injured your lower back, try applying a cold pack within the first three days to reduce swelling and relieve pain. After that time, however, you’ll want to start using a heating pad or a warm compress instead to relax the muscles. Heat can also help relieve chronic lower back pain.
Pay Attention to Posture
If you have an office job, it can be all too easy to start slouching at your desk, which can lead to lower back pain. Try to remember to sit up straight, even if you have to attach a sticky note to your computer screen as a reminder. Also be sure to keep your back in proper alignment when you’re engaged in physical activity. For instance, when you’re lifting a heavy object, you should bend at your knees rather than at your waist.
Perform Gentle Stretches
Certain stretches can elongate your lower back, helping to relieve back pain. For example, you may want to try the cat-cow stretch, which involves getting on your hands and knees, arching your back upward while dropping your head, then curving your back downward while raising your head. While you should feel a gentle pulling sensation while stretching, if you ever start to feel actual pain, you should stop and reach out to a doctor.
Get Some Shut-Eye
Staying up too late can definitely make you feel sluggish the next day, but it can also lead to lower back pain. When you sleep, your body performs necessary tissue repair, so failing to get enough sleep can prevent this from occurring. Plus, without enough rest, your muscles won’t be able to properly support your spine throughout the day.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Because excess weight can place added pressure on the spine, overweight individuals may experience back pain relief as they slim down. The benefits of exercising are twofold—not only can it help you shed extra pounds, but it can also strengthen the core muscles needed to support your spine.
Many people are aware that smoking can cause lung and heart problems, but did you know that it can also contribute to lower back pain? Research suggests that smoking can cause lumbar spondylosis, which is a type of spinal degeneration affecting the lower back. Scientists also believe that smoking can affect the section of the brain associated with pain, increasing smokers’ risk of experiencing chronic back pain.
Offering Treatment for Lower Back Pain in Carson City, NV & Surrounding Areas
If the at-home remedies mentioned above aren’t providing you with sufficient relief, you may want to consider reaching out to an orthopedic doctor. Fortunately, if you’re in Carson City, Nevada, or a nearby community, you can turn to Tahoe Fracture & Orthopedic Medical Clinic. Our skilled orthopedists will diagnose the cause of your lower back pain and develop a treatment plan that’s tailored to your needs, whether that involves conservative methods (like pain medication or corticosteroid injections) or surgery. Contact us today or request an appointment online.