Managing Low Back Pain

August 30, 2018

Did you know that about one in four Americans have experienced low back pain? This means just about everyone will experience back pain at some point in their life. This can happen from lifting something heavy, or can occur from a degenerative condition like arthritis. While back pain can be difficult to deal with, there are several ways to manage it from your very own home.

Apply Ice

To reduce inflammation after an injury, it’s best to apply ice to your back within the first 24 to 48 hours. Only apply heat after the first 48 hours, as any time prior can aggravate the area and cause more inflammation.

Keep Moving and Stretch

Just like the rest of the body, spines are meant to move. It’s important to keep doing your daily activities like taking a walk and going to work. You can also try swimming or bicycling, which are both aerobic activities that are a low-impact form of exercise on the body.

Most of our lives are spent at our office desks, and in order to keep your back healthy, it’s important to avoid sitting in a slumped position and bending forward at your desk all day. Take the time to stretch or stand up as you go about your day. Stretching routines like yoga can help to relieve back pain as well.

Work Out the Back

Work the muscles that support your lower back, as well as the back extensor muscles. Having strong pelvic, hip and abdominal muscles will help give your back more support. Watch out for exercises like sit-ups and crunches, as they can put more strain on your back.

Preventing Lower Back Pain

Did you know that smoking can lead to bone problems like osteoporosis, which can turn into compression fractures of the spine? Smoking only increases the chance that osteoporosis will occur. Those that smoke are more likely to experience lower back pain than non-smokers.

Maintaining a healthy weight is also important for many reasons, as being overweight puts excess stress on the spine. Keep up with a regular exercise routine and balanced diet to prevent back pain and other stressors on the body.

This article was adapted from WebMD. Check out the full article here.

If you have any questions about lower back pain, please contact Campbell Clinic to meet with a physician.

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