What is Lower Back Pain?
Lower back pain targets the section of your back that starts below your rib cage and down to the length of your spine. You will feel a range of different sensations from a simple, dull ache to bursts of pain or spasms that can stop you on your tracks.
At some point in your adult life, you can experience lower back pain. In fact, around 8 out of 10 adults would feel experience that. It can affect your daily life and can make you less participative in your favorite activities. Lucky for you, lower back pain gets better over time. However, some may find it an annoying recurring condition.
What are the Types of Lower Back Pain?
Acute Lower Back Pain
A simple LBP usually lasts for only a few days or weeks. Around 6 weeks, to be more specific. This type of LBP is called acute lower back pain which is caused by a “strain” or “sprain” wherein the muscles or affected.
Chronic Lower Back Pain
When your lower back pain lasts longer than three months, it would already be called chronic lower back pain (CLBP). This isn’t a life-threatening condition, though. Doctors would try to eliminate most patients are concerned about and that is the paralysis or becoming wheelchair-bound. Regular exercise and work are encouraged but in minimal.
How Do I Prevent Lower Back Pain?
“Prevention is better than cure”. I’m sure everyone has heard about that, right? So before we dive into treating LBP, here are some ways you can prevent LBP.
- Refrain from sitting down for long hours.
- Eat healthy meals so you can maintain your body weight within a healthy range.
- Quit smoking / Don’t smoke.
- Exercise regularly to help keep your back muscles fit and flexible.
- Always maintain proper posture especially when sitting down.
- Avoid from bending and twisting as much as possible and most especially don’t do it altogether.
- Get enough sleep every day.
- If you’re diagnosed with depression or anxiety, seek professional help so that they can help you manage it.
How Do I Treat Lower Back Pain?
Lower back pain is a plague at some point in your life. Whether your job entails lifting heavy items or you simply have a slipped disc because of an injury at work. If not treated, lower back pain can result in arthritis.
Here are a few tips on what you can do to help alleviate back pain.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that was proven to be effective for treating moderate to chronic lower back pain, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Acupuncture is the practice of inserting small, thin needles into your body to help restore energy flow. This can stimulate the release of pain that relieves chemicals in the body.
Use a hot and cold pack
When you experience lower back pain, you can use an ice and heat pack. When you face a new injury, you first ice it, then use heat.
During the first 24 to 48 hours, use an ice pack and apply it to your lower back for no more than 10 minutes at a time. Repeat as needed or instructed. After one to two days, you can begin to use a heat pack.
Bone health snackin’
When you have lower back pain, having a healthy diet is important. First, eating healthy can help you maintain a healthy weight. Second, having a diet that’s high in key nutrients can help promote bone growth and keep your bones strong and healthy. These nutrients include:
- Vitamin D: swordfish, salmon, fortified milk, eggs, sardines, and fortified cereals.
- Calcium: yogurt, cheese, milk, ice cream, orange juice, oatmeal, kale, bok choy, and broccoli.
- Phosphorus: milk, cottage cheese, pudding, baked beans, kidney beans, oysters, bran cereals, and dark colas.
Re-organize your workspace
Having a desk job would mean prolong hours of sitting down. This can lead to back pain, specifically targeting your lower back. Here are three tips as to how you can make your work station back-friendly:
- Computer monitor. One way that can affect your posture is when you have to look too high or too low at your monitor. Your monitor should be angled about an arm’s length away from your chair with the top portion of the screen a little bit too low below eye level.
- Frequently used objects. Keep your things within your reach to refrain you from twisting which can strain your lower back. Things such as your office supplies and your phone should be easy to reach.
- Office chair. You should adjust the height of your chair to where your feet can restfully and flat on the floor. You should keep your knees at the same level as your hips. If your office chair doesn’t allow you to rest your back fully, you could purchase a small lumbar pillow that can support your lower back.
According to a study conducted by Annals of Internal Medicine, yoga has been strongly proven to have a short-term effect on alleviating lower back pain. Yoga requires slow, controlled movements that can stretch and strengthen your body. Yoga can also promote stress relief which helps reduce tension on your lower back.
The best yoga position for your lower back is The Child’s Pose. You may want to look it up online in order to perform it appropriately.
When you wake up with a stiff neck or back pain, it means you have been sleeping in a very awkward position. The best position for your lower back is called the fetal position. You have to sleep on your side with your knees drawn up close to your chest. When you place a pillow between your legs while sleeping on your side, it can help lower down the stress levels on your lower back. Also, a very soft mattress can cause lower back pain so make sure you have a firmer mattress.
Exercises for Lower Back Pain
Back pain can be very painful if it’s not being prevented. here are lists of exercises that can strengthen your back and core. This might help.
- Skip the Toe touches
- Pain Relief: Try Partial Crunches
- Skip the Sit-Ups
- Hamstring Stretches
- Avoid Leg Lifts
- Wall Sits
- Press-up Back Extensions
Fight Lower Back Pain!
At some point in our lives, whether we like it or not, we’re going to experience lower back pain especially as we age. However, you don’t have to face that pain alone. If you live in New Jersey, or anywhere near NJ, there is a pain management specialist who can help you manage your lower back pain. Dr. Ronak Patel is an expert when it comes to pain management.
To schedule an appointment, you can call him at (609) 269-4451 or click here.