Back pain can come about so easily. Maybe you just bent the wrong way or reached for something with a little twist. Whatever the cause, you’re not alone. Nearly 80% of North Americans say they have temporary or chronic back pain.
Once it develops, lower back pain, can be hard to get rid of. 25% of North Americans admit to having recent lower back pain. Almost everyone can expect to experience back pain at some point in their lives. It should come as no surprise then that people are always looking for ways to ease lower back pain.
Therapists at Harvard University, note that it is critical to address any back pain or injury immediately. This can often prevent an injury from becoming chronic lower back pain. You can ease lower back pain by using medication and surgery. But, these are extreme measures. When you are searching for how to ease lower back pain, there are better ways.
For example, there are exercises to ease lower back pain. You can learn stretches to ease lower back pain. Physical therapy or chiropractic interventions are sometimes helpful.
Core strengthening exercises offer preventative action to avoid or ease lower back pain. Here are some suggestions for how to ease lower back pain:
- Get out of Bed!
Sure, when your back hurts it’s natural to want to tuck yourself in bed and lay oh so very still. However, studies show that lower back pain is more painful and getting through your day is harder unless you stay active. Doctors advise against any more than three days in bed.
- Exercise to Ease Lower Back Pain
Keeping as active as possible is the best medicine for lower back pain. This includes walking. It is important to get your back into an erect position. Moderate movement is recommended over such strenuous exercise as gardening or shoveling snow. People with chronic back pain benefit from stronger abs. This often reduces the strain on the lower back.
- Practice Good Posture
Most people with back pain have had long-term poor posture. This puts unnecessary strain on their backs. Poor posture can increase back stress by 50%. Keeping the right spinal curvature takes pressure off nerves and reduces back pain.
- Aim for Flexibility
Tightness in muscles can cause back pain. A good exercise to ease lower back pain is to sit on the edge of the bed. Extend one leg with the other one on the floor. Stretch hamstrings by leaning forward keeping your back straight.
- Say no to the Back Brace
A back brace should be used sparingly. Braces are intended for strenuous activities, and heavy lifting. Wearing a brace all day weakens the muscles and diminishes core strength.
- Ice and Heat
Heating pads and cold packs can be useful in the first two days. Ice if there is swelling. Then switch to heat. Alternate and/or use what brings comfort.
- Sleep Well
Make sure you sleep in a good position and use a mattress with good support. If you sleep on your back, put pillows under your knees. If you sleep on your side, put pillows between their knees to keep their spine in a neutral position. Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
- Butt out!
Smoking can hurt your back. Current and former smokers are more likely to have back pain. Nicotine causes the small blood vessels to constrict and decreases blood to the soft tissue.
- Try Therapy
Back pain is often accompanied by depression, stress, and anxiety. Seek help for these conditions. Your back will thank you!
- Get a Coach
Develop an exercise plan to manage chronic back pain. Your individual exercise plan should develop core strengthening, stretching, and improving flexibility. A physical therapist, exercise coach, or chiropractor can match your exercise plan to your needs. By working muscles that support your lower back you can maintain the good posture and spinal alignment.
- Get the Stretch Habit.
Avoid sitting for long periods. Get up and stretch every twenty minutes to half hour. Stand up and stretch backward. Stretch your legs. Take up a regular stretch program like yoga.
- Be Ergonomically Vigilant.
Set up your work space to avoid hunching forward to see your computer. Avoid reach out for your mouse. Use an ergonomically designed desk chair that supports your lower back and has your feet on the floor.