Low back pain is a growing problem, with as much as 80% experiencing some form of back pain by age 60. Our increasingly sedentary lifestyles can also contribute to low back pain. If left untreated, it may worsen over time and impede your quality of life.
Low back pain can range from mild to severe and may stem from a variety of causes. Fortunately, there are several ways to relieve low back pain. Here are some simple effective fixes to relieve painful symptoms:
How Can You Treat Low Back Pain?
1. Cold and Hot Therapies.
Ice application can reduce inflammation and relax your muscles. It’s best to apply ice within the first 24 to 48 hours of painful symptoms. Make sure to wrap crushed ice in a plastic bag or a cold pack with a cloth for protection from skin injuries. Then, apply ice on your lower back in 10-minute intervals.
Heat, however, should only be applied one to two days after the inflammation has subsided. Don’t forget to wrap the heat pack or heating pad in a cloth before applying.
2. Maintain a healthy weight.
Maintaining a healthy weight removes any unnecessary strain on your lower back. Being overweight puts stress on your spine. A well-balanced diet promotes healthy bone growth. Ideally, your diet should consist of these three vital nutrients:
- Vitamin D
Regular exercise helps keep your joints flexible and your muscles strong. A sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of developing or worsening low back pain. If you want personalized advice, check in with your orthopedic doctor on the specific exercises and intensity that are safe for you to perform.
3. Practice proper posture.
Observe good body mechanics when sitting, standing, lifting, and sleeping.
- Standing: Try to keep your back straight and shoulders back. If you must stand for a long time, rest one foot on a low stool or alternate feet.
- Sitting: Make sure to keep your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Choosing the proper chair with good lower back support and armrests can also help. Additionally, you can place a pillow behind your lower back to maintain a healthy curve.
- Lifting: Bend only at the knees, not your back.
- Sleeping: It’s best to sleep on your side with your knees bent. Placing a pillow between your knees can also help your posture. Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
Prolonged static posture can cause low back pain. When you’re working, take short breaks between tasks by getting up, stretching, and walking around a bit. Your orthopedic doctor can also offer more detailed exercise and stretching advice.
5. Visit Your Doctor
For persistent low back pain that does not improve with self-care and home remedies, it’s best to consult with your doctor. Upon obtaining the correct diagnosis, your doctor would be able to suggest the proper treatment method.
Your orthopedic doctor would typically prescribe pain medication or advise you to visit a physical therapist. A physical therapist helps you strengthen your muscles, so they can help support your spine. Other benefits of physical therapy are improved flexibility, joint mobility, reduced pain, improved posture and alignment, and avoiding injuries. Chiropractic massage therapy is also an effective way to treat low back pain and restore function.
In rare cases, you may need more intensive treatment, such as injections and spinal cord stimulators. In severe cases, they might consider surgery.
Low Back Pain Treatment In Central Maryland
While simple fixes can help with mild low back pain, persistent cases may warrant a visit to your orthopedic doctor. If home treatments have no effect, the best course of action would be to seek help from a specialist. At the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland, our specialists are dedicated to restoring function and relieving pain.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, feel free to call us at (410) 644-1880 or (855) 4MD-BONE (463-2663) or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!