Lower back pain is common among adults of different ages and affects the muscles or tendons in the back. Some of the causes of lower back pain include osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, spinal stenosis, degenerative discs, overuse injuries and sedentary behaviour. Pain often gets better with physical therapy, medication and rest. However, before it gets to the point of managing lower back pain, experts have advised you to keep a healthy weight and stay active.
Low back pain, whether chronic, acute or episodic, is a common problem among adults. It is a leading contributor to more disabilities worldwide than any other condition. Some people are more likely to have lower back pain than others. And four out of five people are said to have had low back pain at some point. Experts say there is a higher chance of having more back pain if you have a history of pain.
A person can do several things to relieve pain at home before seeing a doctor. You can apply an ice pack or heat to ease low back pain, whether episodic or chronic. You can also use a foam roller to relieve the lower back’s tension. Experts suggest that it also helps to engage in diaphragmatic breathing. As you slowly inhale, let your belly expand with air, then slowly exhale, allowing your stomach to deflate. This exercise slows down your breathing, which can slow down pain signals and have a calming effect.
Walking is one of the most therapeutic things you can do for your back. In addition, studies have found that walking improves pain levels, disability and quality of life among people with chronic low back pain. Therefore, when lower back pain strikes, it is advised that you should keep walking regularly.
Call your doctor immediately if you experience pain, numbness, weakness or tingling down one or both of your legs or changes in your bowel or bladder function. These symptoms could result from compression in the spinal cord or nerves. Also, as good as the remedies mentioned earlier are, call a doctor if the pain is persistent and chronic.
Preventing Back Pain
You can’t prevent lower back pain that results from disease or structural problems in the spine. But you can avoid injuries that cause back pain. To reduce your risk of a back injury, you should:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Strengthen your abdominal muscles.
- Lift the right way
- Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
- Sleep on a firm surface.
- Stop smoking.
- Exercise regularly
6 Exercises That Ease Lower Back Pain
Double Knee-to-Chest Stretch
Lie on your back with both legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. Next, lift your feet, pull both knees toward your chest and hug them with your arms. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds while keeping your back relaxed against the floor. Then, release. Repeat this stretch a few more times.
Lower your upper body between your knees. Stretch your arms along the floor above your head and place your forehead on or near the bottom. While still on your hands and knees, push your butt back onto your heels with your knees apart. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds.
Start on all fours, with your hands on the floor under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Tuck your chin toward your chest and slowly round your back up toward the ceiling; pause for a couple of seconds, then slowly draw your shoulders away from your ears, relax your back and arch it slightly while gazing ahead. Return to the starting position. Do ten repetitions.
Position yourself on all four like a tabletop. Place your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Keep your abdominal muscles tight, your back flat, and your hips level throughout the exercise. Next, draw your shoulder blades together. Next, raise your right arm and left leg, keeping your shoulder parallel to the floor. Alternate leg and hand, then repeat on each side.
Lower Back Rotation Stretch
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Keep your shoulders balanced on the floor and your knees together. Then let them slowly roll to the right side of your body. Pause for five seconds and slowly return your knees to the starting position. Next, slowly let your knees move to the left side of your body; pause for five seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat this several times on each side.
Lie still on your back with your arms on the floor at your sides. Your legs are bent at the knees, and your feet are flat on the floor. Tighten your abdomen and glutes and slowly lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight. Then, slowly lower your butt and hips back down.
6 Exercises That Ease Lower Back Pain