Lower back pain can strike at the worst moments. While sometimes back pain is a sign that there's something important wrong, other times it can simply be a result of strain, sleeping in the wrong position, or muscle tightness. Knowing how to treat it at home will keep it from ruining your weekend plans or cutting into your vacation time. Use these simple tips and exercises to relieve back pain right away.
Ice and Heat
Ice packs and heat packs are a helpful tool for relieving lower back pain at home, but you have to know when to use which. At the moment that you know you’ve pulled a muscle or injured your back, it is time to grab an ice pack. Ice your back in 20 minute increments throughout the day, and give your body time to recover and stretch in-between icing sessions. After the first 2-3 days, use a heat pad in 15-20 minute stretches to continue treatment. Ice helps reduce swelling in the immediate aftermath of a back injury, and heat helps manage the aches that result days later.
While you’re working on your ice and heat routine, you should also consider an over-the-counter pain medicine. Aleve and Ibuprofen are formulated to help treat the pain faster, and provide you with relief for several hours at a time. This is especially important if you’re heading to work. Just make sure you follow the directions closely.
Exercise and Stretch
Exercises that are effective for relieving lower back pain include core stretches, hamstring stretches and butt lifts. Take it slow and make sure that you aren’t using heavy weights. In addition, make sure that you have properly stretched before you exercise, and have someone spot you to ensure proper form so you don’t pull other muscles in the process. Yoga and other slow-movement exercises are a good option for those who have severe pain and limited mobility. When you are done, consider using a foam roller to help relax the lower back muscles. Foam rollers can be purchased at many stores in the sporting goods department.
If you find that you are unable to relieve your lower back pain at home on your own, seek medical help from a professional. Royal Spine Surgery is here to take your call so you can schedule a consultation with our spinal expert, Dr. Abdulhamid. Don’t let lower back pain keep you from living your life. Get on a treatment plan today and you’ll be good as new in no time.