Are you a victim of lower back pain? As a matter of fact, more than 80% of American adults suffer from lower back pain at some point in their life. And this back pain can be one of the most important reasons to visit a doctor.
No doubt, lower back pain can definitely be a debilitating condition that stops you from enjoying your life, from enjoying your sleep and even enjoying sex. Fortunately, lower back pain can be treated effectively at home.
All you need, to cope with the lower back pain, is to change your lifestyle, exercising, choosing the right mattress and follow the following tips. So ladies and gentlemen, consider the following ways to coping with your lower back pain.
What To Do If I Have Low Back Pain?
Low back pain or chronic low back pain is the common concern in which a person might feel the pain in the lower back. This pain can range in intensity from a dull constant ache to a sudden sharp sensation.
The lower back pain can be a symptom of the underlying condition as well as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle. It might develop with the age-related changes in the body or due to a number of causes. It can be acute as well as chronic.
However, it has been suggested through a recent survey that mostly the lumbar back pain is acute and is mostly short-termed. And that, this severe pain can be resolved quickly on its own, with a few changes in lifestyle and self-care.
So, here are some of the posture maintaining tips for daily activities, that will help you lessen back pain.
The key for people with back pain and coping is to maintain the standard curve of the spine. For this, it is recommended to sit as little as possible. And if you want to sit, go with some back support. We recommend using the towel roll at the curve of your back. This will support the hollow of the back, that will help decrease the recovery time. In addition to that, try to sit only for around 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Your hips and knees should be at the right angle. Your legs shouldn’t be crossed, and your feet should be flat on the floor.
If your work requires lots of sitting, here’s what you can do:
- Adjust your chair height & work station. Keep your shoulders relaxed while resting your elbows and arms on the chair or desk.
- Don’t roll your waist, if you are sitting on the chair that rolls and pivots.
- Try stretching your back every 10 to 15 minutes to help the spine relax.
You may also want to check out some of the desk exercises for lower back pain we’ve provided when you’re at work.
Driving is another everyday chore that requires a lot of sitting. So you need to do it right. We recommend using back support on the driving seat, at the curve of your back. Try to place your knees at the same level or higher than your hips.
It is also suggested to move your seat close to the steering wheel, in order to support the curve of your spine. However, you need to make sure that there is enough space for your knees to bend easily.
Stooping, Squatting & Kneeling
Activities like stooping, squatting and kneeling can be havoc-wreaking for your back, especially when you are doing it wrong. If you have to do that with your back pain, decide which position to use.
- If you have to go down far, such as for finding an object, try kneeling, or perhaps using a kneeling chair.
- When you need to sit on the floor and stay there, try squatting, instead of bending over.
- And if you need to dodge something, stoop (though it is not recommended at all).
For each of these positions, it is really important for you to face the object, keep your feet apart, stretch your stomach muscles and lower yourself using your muscles. Doing this forces your spine to stay in its curved position and would save it from the strain that might be caused by such positions or activities.
If you are suffering from low back pain, it is recommended to avoid lifting objects at all. Lifting more massive objects can worsen the back pain and will damage your spine. However, if you need to it, do not try to lift the ones that are heavier than 30 pounds. And before lifting an object,
- Make sure that your footing is firm.
- Keep your back straight, if the object you are trying to lift is lower than your waist.
- Bend your hips and knees to pick it up. Don’t bend forward at the waist with your knees straight.
- Now stand with a wide stance close to the object while keeping your stomach muscles tight. Hold the object and lift the object using the muscles of your legs. Do not hold the object using your back muscles.
- Don’t jerk the object to your body. Stand completely upright.
And if you are lifting an object from a table,
- Slide the object to the edge of the table so that you can reach it easily.
- Be close to the object. For this, bend your knees and hold the object using your legs and come to a standing position.
It is also recommended to take small steps and go slowly. Avoid lifting the objects above your waist level.
If you have to reach over the head and have back pain, try:
- Using a stool or chair that will bring you to the height of what you are reaching.
- Ensure that your body is really close to the object that you need.
- Use both of your hands to lift the object. Try not to lift a heavy object as it could disturb your balance.
Sleeping & Lying Down
Sleeping posture also matters, whether you have low back pain or not. It is essential for you to lay down and sleep properly while maintaining the position of your spine. In addition to that, your mattress also plays a significant role in this regard.
So, select the mattress that is firm and provides full support to your back. Prefer box spring set that does not sag. You can place a hard board under your mattress if it fails to provide you enough support. You can also place the mattress on the floor for some time until the pain settles down.
However, it is essential for you to look where you feel comfortable. If you feel comfortable sleeping or lying down on a soft surface, don’t ditch it. You can use a back lumbar support or a rolled sheet to make your back comfortable. Furthermore,
- Try to sleep in a position that helps you maintain the curve of the spine.
- Avoid sleeping on the side with your knees drawn up to your chest.
- Avoid bending your knees forward, while standing up from the bed.
- Place all the weight on your hands and sit up by pushing yourself up.
Other Helpful Tips
In addition to that, it is recommended:
- Not to sleep on your stomach.
- Try to stand up or bend slightly backward when you have to sneeze or cough. This will increase the curve in your spine, thereby saving it from dislocating.
- Avoid activities that require stooping or bending forward at the waist.
- Put a pillow between your knees while you are sleeping.
- Try sleeping on your side with your knees bent a little.
Stay Active To Reduce Back Pain
Lower back pain doesn’t mean you have to get ridden to the bed all day long. You have to limit your bed rest and start getting involved in the activity. Begin with a little and easy on back exercises that will help you stretch your spine, help it to get in shape again and increase flexibility.
This is not what we are saying but strong evidence shows that persons should involve in the physical activity as soon after the low back pain. However, it is recommended to avoid movements that aggravate the pain.
The following exercises will help you strengthen the muscles, support your spine and lessen the pain.
- Walk – walking can also help a person with lower back pain as it allows to maintain the natural posture of the spine, thereby reducing pain and adding mobility.
- Lying Lateral Leg Raises – This exercise helps to strengthen gluteal muscles that will improve mobility and lower back pain.
- Bridges – this exercise stabilizes the hip joint and helps in extension.
- Yoga – this exercise involves a lot of stretching, which is good for the back, helping the blood to flow through certain areas in your body.
Check with your doctor or chiropractor before starting these exercises. Moreover, ensure the right posture under the supervision of a trained professional.
Additional Tips On How To Fix Lower Back Pain
There are also many conventionally used treatments and remedies for lower back pain. Try using them after consulting your doctor or chiropractor.
Hot or Cold Packs
Although packs are never proven to treat lower back pain, however, they have been shown to reduce inflammation, pain, and soreness of the muscles. So we recommend using heating pads or having ice packs for your pain. Applying ice or heat will allow you to reduce your pain, and improve mobility when suffering from chronic back pains.
Maintain A Healthy Body Weight
Being overweight is one of the primary cause of the lower back and joints pain. It is, therefore, recommended to achieve your healthy body weight and maintain it. For this, go for healthy eating habits, avoid processed and inflammation-causing foods and get physically active. This all will help you to reduce the weight along with the added strain on the back and spine.
Smoking is not only bad for your lungs but also your spinal cord. Smoking and nicotine both causes your spine to age faster than normal. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid smoking at all.
Maintain a Proper Posture
We have added important posture maintaining points in the above section for daily activities. It is essential for you to maintain a good posture for avoiding back pain.
Lower back pain can be draining. Follow these tips and posture maintaining points to enjoy your life to the fullest.
If none of these work methods, perhaps the best thing to do is to talk to your doctor or speak with physical therapists that can help prevent back pain.