How to Relieve Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain can be debilitating, and it can affect your daily activities. It is one of the leading causes of disability for individuals younger than 45 years old. Fortunately, there are many ways to ease the pain and discomfort. To relieve lower back pain, doctors recommend the following tips:
1. Sleep on Your Side With A Pillow Between Your Legs
Sleeping on your side is one of the best positions for relieving lower back pain. Place a pillow between your legs to help reduce any additional stress or tension on your lower back while sleeping.
2. Avoid Sitting For a Prolonged Period of Time
Sitting for a long time can put excessive pressure on your lower back and spine. Take frequent breaks to move around and stretch your legs.
Regularly engaging in moderate cardiovascular and strength-building exercises can help reduce back pain. When engaging in physical activity, it is important to focus on proper form and technique to prevent further straining of the muscles. Yoga poses such as downward facing dog, cat-cow, and Warrior II are especially helpful for strengthening core muscles and relieving tension in the lower back area. Swimming, walking, and cycling are great low-impact options for those with existing back pain.
4. Massage Therapy
Massage therapy is a great way to loosen tight muscles and manage chronic lower back pain by increasing circulation to affected areas. Furthermore, massage helps release endorphins which act as natural painkillers that can reduce discomfort associated with lower back pain.
5. Pain Medications
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen can be taken to relieve severe lower back pain. However, these medications should only be taken on a short-term basis.
6. Heat Therapy
Heat therapy, such as applying hot compresses or taking warm baths, can help relax tense muscles and improve blood flow to provide relief from lower back pain.
7. Cold Therapy
Cold therapy can be used to reduce inflammation associated with lower back pain by numbing nerve endings and reducing swelling around the injured area of the spine. Applying an ice pack or taking a cold shower may temporarily relieve discomfort associated with acute lower back pain flare-ups.
Gentle stretching of the lower back can help realign the spine while also promoting flexibility and reducing stiffness associated with chronic lower back pain caused by poor posture or lack of movement throughout the day. Taking time each day to perform some simple stretches like Cat/Cow Pose, Cobra Pose, or Child’s Pose will help keep your spine flexible and healthy over time.
9. Practice Good Posture
Poor posture can contribute significantly to lower back pain. And must be addressed to find relief. Make sure you maintain the correct posture when sitting by keeping your feet flat on the ground with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Sitting up straight in your chair with shoulders over your hips is also important. Most importantly, avoid leaning too far forward when working at your desk, as this places additional strain on your back muscles.
10. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet rich in nutrient-dense foods can help relieve lower back pain. Foods that are high in anti-inflammatory properties, like omega-3 fatty acids (found in salmon, walnuts, and sardines), can help reduce inflammation in the body, which may be contributing to back pain. It’s also important to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates in your diet for optimal health.
11. Avoid Wearing High Heels
This may be difficult for some people, but high heels can put pressure on your lower back and increase pain. If you must wear high heels, try to limit the amount of time you are wearing them and make sure they have good arch support.
12. Ergonomic Furniture
Using ergonomically designed furniture can also help manage lower back pain. Adjustable chairs and desks that allow for easy adjustment of heights and angles can help you find an optimal sitting position that supports proper posture and reduces painful pressure points on your back.
Learn More: 5 Types of Back Pain You Should Never Ignore