They also can teach you specialized exercises that strengthen the core muscles that support your back. A strong core is one of the best ways to prevent more back pain in the future. Studies show that when you increase your strength, flexibility, and endurance, back pain decreases — but it takes time. No matter what people tell you, bed rest doesn’t work. People used to think that the best treatment for low back strain was to lie on your back until you felt better. In fact, after taking it easy for a day or two, you should usually start light physical activity.
Breathe from your abdomen and hold this position for the space of 5–10 breaths. Now breathe out and, as you do so, pull up the muscles in your lower abdomen and pelvis. Remember, this is meant to gently tighten your lower stomach. So don’t use more than 25% of your strength or tense your shoulders, neck, or legs while doing it. Make sure your neck doesn’t arch backward and that your hips remain grounded when you do this exercise.
Spinal fusion may be done to help stabilize the spine. Like all surgeries, these carry risks and aren’t always successful. Some people may need prescription-strength NSAIDs or opioid medications to help with pain.
A cream might not be top of your list when looking for a powerful tool to relieve your back pain. Offering cooling relief from back pain, with all natural ingredients such as arnica and boswellia, it’s ideal for throwing in your bag. Yet with so many treatments to choose from, it can be overwhelming to experiment with all the options before finding what’s right for you. If you have a mineral deficiency, reduce or eliminate your consumption of coffee and processed sugar, which impede your body’s absorption of minerals.
Consistently doing exercises and activities to loosen up your lower back will usually yield positive results within a few weeks. Treatment for low back muscle strain is typically simple and only needed for a short time. Read more about here here. A long term exercise program, or ergonomic or sports modifications, may be recommended as well.
TENS, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, may help block pain signals or trigger your body to make endorphins. A small battery-powered device sends a signal through electrodes taped to your skin to give you a tingling feeling. Osteopaths often combine drug therapy with spinal manipulation or traction, followed by physical therapy and exercise. If you use the water balloon example from above, but now imagine the balloon has burst under pressure – That’s a herniated disc. Read more to get a sense of the treatment options for this condition. Stretching exercises for your low back can help you feel better and might help relieve nerve root compression.
Even a simple activity such as a brisk walk has been proven to help improve the effects of back and neck pain. Hyperice are renowned for creating innovative pain relief products, with the Hyperice Back being their original creation. Yoga or pilates can help improve the flexibility and range of motion in your back. Try a few basic stretches before and after any activity to keep your back muscles loose. Repeat as needed every 2 hours for the next 48 to 72 hours.
The pain often feels like a constant, dull ache, and your back may feel stiff, tense, and contracted. You may also feel tightness in your pelvis, hips, and legs. Over-the-counter pain medicines, such as acetaminophen, minimize pain by interfering with the way the brain interprets pain signals. Acetaminophen may also be included as an active ingredient in prescription medications, such as in combination with an opioid.
Once a disc has degenerated, the degenerative process cannot be reversed. Fishman adds that conventional medicine can offer treatments designed to interrupt the blood vessel constriction—muscle spasm cycle. Examples include ultrasound, an injection of an anesthetic, or a visit to a physical therapist that includes electrical stimulation to fatigue the muscle, thereby enabling it to relax. Strong muscles, especially in your abdominal core, help support your back.
Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Read on to find out what the experts recommend—from medication to holistic care. Or it may simply interrupt your life with too much pain.