Usually, the aging population complains of having aches and pains in their legs or neck, or lower back. Shockingly, today, the younger and middle-aged population complains of having unbearable neck or lower back pain that affects their normal healthy life.
Among youngsters, low back pain has become one of the main common reasons for visiting physicians. According to a recent study, about 4 million Australians, 16% of the adult population suffered from low back pain that occurred chronically.
The overall prevalence of back pain, after considering the age difference, in males was 16% and in females, it was 15%. Getting relief from back pain must help us to get back to work and be normal.
Maintaining good posture
Maintaining the correct posture throughout the day will prevent back pain from occurring again and again. Even standing, sitting, stooping, bending, and lying down demands good posture so that body movements require little effort.
Failure to maintain good posture adds strain on muscles and this leads to stress on the spine. Without your knowledge, poor posture can trigger problems with nerves, blood vessels, discs, joints, and muscles.
Consulting a physical therapist can help you to follow exercises that strengthen your muscles and understand the importance of healthy movements even while sitting or standing. Sometimes, the sleeping position also affects the spinal alignment. Good posture is important while lying down to sleep also.
Treating with ice and heat
Choosing between cold and heat therapy for getting relief from lower back pain depends on how quickly you feel relieved from pain.
For cold therapy, you can use a frozen towel or an ice pack as it prevents nerves from conducting pain signals. It also reduces the flow of blood to the spot where you feel the pain and helps to slow down the swelling. The cold therapy must be applied only for 20 minutes but it is safe to apply up to ten times in 24 hours.
Once the swelling subsides, change to moist heat therapy that brings in extra oxygen, increases blood circulation, loosens tight muscles, and facilitates healing. It prevents pain signals from traveling to your brain, decreases muscle stiffness, and penetrates your muscles better to ease the pain.
Everyone needs adequate sleep between seven and nine hours to be mentally and physically fit. Quality sleeping hours are important when we are getting back to our normal health after a period of pain or illness.
Getting sufficient healthy, restorative sleep will help us to manage back pain effectively. It is only during restorative sleep, the healing process happens in our body, and it is the right time for the spine to undergo self-repair.
With consistent low back pain, getting good sleep is impossible. But, still, there are ways to progress into restorative sleep. The best sleeping position is to lie down on your side with your knees bent partially. With a little pillow between your bent knees, it will reduce the pressure on the spine and let you have a good sleep.
Avoiding static posture
To be in a prolonged static posture can induce back pain. Avoid placing stress on hip and spine joints and muscles. Sitting in the same place for long hours may increase the pressure on the spinal discs. Spare some minutes to get up and walk a while to relax your spinal discs.
At the same time, if you have been standing and working continuously, take time to sit and relax for a while. Allow your joints and muscles to relax and be without stress.
Getting relief in water pool
Water therapy exercise is another easy way to get relief from chronic low back pain. These exercises, specifically designed, based on the condition of the individuals, strengthen muscles and avoid recurrence of back pain in the future. Water acts as the pain reliever as the pressure from the water makes exercises easy without pain.
Floating or standing pool exercises and swimming are some of the low-impact therapy that will strengthen your muscles and provide support to your spine. Water exercise improves the quality of life, relieves pain, and handles back pain with ease. It also regulates the functions of muscles and nerves and relieves pain. Water therapy exercises are done in a water pool with the temperature ranging from 28 to 31 degree Celsius.
Following medical prescriptions
Non-specific back pain goes away usually after a while on its own. If low back pain keeps on returning or lasts for a long time, medicines can help you to get relief from back pain. It is better to get an appointment with your doctor and be examined properly. After examination, the doctor may request you to have imaging tests like an MRI or X-ray and also prescribe medication for your low back pain.
The doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants, topical pain medications, and injections. Muscle relaxants help to relieve painful back pain. Applied directly to the area that hurts you, creams and ointments may help to get instant relief. Pain killers are also prescribed in addition to physical therapy that involves exercises or massage.
Meeting physical therapist/osteopath
Usually, your doctor may recommend you for an appointment with a physical therapist, who may help you to get relief from low back pain through simple exercises, in addition to medicines.
Some people prefer to get an appointment with an osteopath. They use manual techniques such as massage and manipulation to reduce back pain and prevent them from occurring again.
It is worth having in mind, manual therapies and exercises are only a part of treatment for back pain. You will manage back pain better if you include both medical treatment and other therapies in your treatment regime.
Finding out the best pain relief technique for your back pain may be the main concern. Along with your exercises from the physical therapist, intake of medicines is also important.
Non-specific low back pain is common in industrialized countries among young adults. Though low back pain is lower in adolescents and children, it slowly increases between the age group from 35 to 55. As this population gets older, the prevalence of low back pain may also increase.