So, for example, develop a plan that includes yoga, massage, biofeedback and water exercise. People with low back pain who engage inmindfulness-based stress reduction, biofeedback or cognitive-behavioral therapy report less pain. A licensed therapist can help you find your happy place and pain relief. Most low back pain goes away when the root cause is treated. Then it just needs a little rest, heat or cold and movement to get you back in the game. If your pain is due to arthritis and won’t stay away, get back to doing the things you love by practicing these self-care tips.
Often, you can treat the condition with over-the-counter pain relievers, physical therapy, and other lifestyle adjustments. Sometimes your doctor will need to treat the pinched nerve with more invasive measures, such as spinal injection or surgery. A low back strain may signal that the back muscles are deconditioned and unable to effectively support the spine and the weight of the upper body. Keeping the low back muscles active through stretching and strengthening exercises can help reduce overall pain levels and prevent future flare-ups from occurring. While the pain from most lumbar herniated discs typically resolve in 6 weeks, you will want to manage it in the meantime and take control of your pain management.
Myofascial release is a form of manual therapy that has been shown to improve low back pain. While postural training and myofascial release can be initiated in physical therapy, there are methods that can be done at home in the meantime. It’s best to use cold compresses or an ice pack, not heat, immediately following a back injury, since this can alleviate pain by numbing the area and prevent or reduce swelling. About 48 hours after the onset of back pain, though, applying heating pads or a hot-water bottle to your back may be helpful. The warmth soothes and relaxes aching muscles and increases blood flow, which helps the healing process. Keep in mind that heat therapy is only helpful for the first week.
Unfortunately, speeding the healing process has not been shown to be terribly effective with most any standard treatment, and certainly potential harmful treatments should be avoided. In particular, medications, especially potentially addictive medications, should not be used for treatment of back pain. The best recommendation, based on scientific data that has compared hundreds of treatments to find the most beneficial and safe treatment, is to encourage people to move gently. Whether this is with physical therapy or other activities, light, gentle movement is the best way to heal muscular back pain.
If a person experiences recurrent back pain, they should consider switching to shoes that fit correctly and support the feet. A podiatrist or foot specialist can help a person find proper footwear if necessary. A heating pad can also relieve stiff or achy muscles. People should be sure to read and follow the instructions on any heating pad and test the temperature carefully to ensure it is not too hot.
To avoid this, focus on slowly inhaling while at the same time minimizing your movements. When in contraction, the reduced circulation and the build up of lactic acid makes you feel much worse. Lastly with this first tip, you should know that you should also apply this caution to not just your back but also to your hips, knees and neck.
Creams that contain capsaicin, a compound found in hot peppers, may also help relieve pain. Read more about why not try these out here. One study found capsaicin cream to be helpful in treating osteoarthritis pain. A person can also consider starting a daily exercise program, including strength training and stretching, to help keep muscles flexible and strong.
Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Other ways to release the muscle, according to Fishman, include hot baths, gentle massage, and hot packs. The idea, he says, is to dilate the blood vessels and speed tissue repair. Laura Campedelli, PT, DPT, is a physical therapist with experience in hospital-based acute care and outpatient therapy with both children and adults. Anne Asher, ACE-certified personal trainer, health coach, and orthopedic exercise specialist, is a back and neck pain expert.
If you have a history of ANY of these injuries or suspect that your lifestyle may contribute to it , then rest is a better than simply muscling through it with medication. Moving when you have any of these injuries can cause further injury, intensifying the pain. This may already make sense, but many of us prefer to keep moving. Some professionals actually recommend that you stay in motion, but if you are the unfortunate one to have a disc or nerve problem, then that is poor advice. The following list of medications are in some way related to, or used in the treatment of this condition.
Read more about total stranger here. Finding activities that make you happy can help reduce some stress and may relieve some pain. As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
When you can resume normal activities again and have seen your doctor for underlying issues, I recommend the lowbackpainprogram exercise routine for prevention. By learning HOW to safely move and stretch every day, you will prevent them from happening again. Exercises such as sit-ups and crunches can help but should not be done first as they are considered as isolation type exercises.
So, it is important to properly diagnose your symptoms before taking treatment. Arthritis is caused by inflammation of the joints and it affects every single joint in the human body. Once diagnosed with arthritis, a person can only slow down the effect and reduce the symptoms.
This exercise also begins in the same position with head support and knees pointed to the ceiling. For example, those who have a herniated disc in their lower back may be candidates for a microdiscectomy. This procedure involves a small incision in your back. Your doctor may also prescribe oral steroids to treat the condition if NSAIDs and other treatments are ineffective. Almost all of these low back injuries are due to injuries of the muscle or ligament.
The local warmth stimulates blood circulation in your lower back, which in turn brings healing nutrients to the injured tissues. Pain medications do not assist with the healing process and should only be used, in the short term, to provide relief with normal activities of daily living. If you feel that you need pain medication, consult with your physician to determine the type and dosage that is appropriate for your specific situation. Use medication sparingly because pain is actually an important indicator throughout the recovery process. Many more pain relief options are available, such as manual manipulation, acupuncture, and other medications .