9 Easy Ways You Can Support Your Lower Back Pain
Written: 23 August 2018, Edited: 28 August 2018
Do you suffer from lower back pain? You’ll be surprised to know that lower back pain is quite common in most people. One in four people suffers from lower back pain at some point in their lives, especially when they reach middle age. Back pain may result from accidents or sport-related injury, but even our common daily activities may cause strain on our lower back muscles. Whatever the cause, lower back pain restricts your general mobility and impacts your daily life — you can’t sit, stand or walk comfortably — therefore it is important for you to look into it as soon as possible.
While some of us would seek high-tech medical treatments, here at YapChanKor Pain Treatment Centre we would like to offer some tips on how to manage lower back pain with some easy remedies and appropriate lifestyle changes.
1. Use ice packs to reduce inflammation
If you know that you have injured yourself, or discovered some kind of inflammation (swelling) on your lower back, grab a few pieces of ice, wrap it in a piece of cloth and apply it on the swollen area for 15 to 20 minutes. It would be even better if you have a cold pack on hand at home. Ice packs will provide much-needed chill for your injured area and assist the inflammation to subside. If you still feel pain after a day or two, do see a doctor to identify the cause of the pain.
2. Do regular and daily stretches
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Sitting or standing for long periods of time reduces blood circulation to certain parts of the body. For older people, it may cause joints to be a little stiff before you get moving again. To reduce back pain and stiffness, learn some basic stretching and chair yoga poses for your body. After every hour of sitting, get up and walk around the room — for office workers, perhaps you could meet your colleague to talk instead of calling or emailing them. By incorporating more movement into your day, you will reduce the soreness in your back and loosen the tight muscles caused by sitting too long.
3. Don’t just lie down, keep moving!
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It may be the most natural thing for us to lie down and rest when we have some form of lower back pain. However, experts advise that being stationary for long periods of time may just make your condition worse. Being active increases blood flow throughout the body, and this helps to reduce the inflammation in the area. So, don’t immediately put a stop to your daily activities. Do the housework, walk the dog or wash your car, but be gentle with your movements and do not overexert your back.
4. Perform specific exercises for the back
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There are many back exercises that will help you strengthen the muscles on your back and provide better support. At YapChanKor, we introduce these exercises once patients are in the recovery stage of their injury. These back exercises may include partial crunches, hamstring stretches, partial and alternate leg lifts, press-up back extensions (cobra pose), and more. Look up these back exercises on the internet and do them daily to work out the muscles on your back. Once you feel better, start exercising with gentle aerobic exercises such as walking, swimming and cycling to make your body fitter and less prone to injury.
5. Adjust your posture and support your spine
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Practising good posture is really important for your body because it aligns all the bones in your spine to its proper structure. To reduce and prevent further back pain, remind yourself daily to sit and walk with your spine straight instead of in a slouching posture. If you need to lift something heavy, do it by bending your knees and keeping your spine straight. For those who need to stand for long periods of time, make sure you stand with your knees slightly bent or one foot forward to reduce the stress on the back. Practising good posture while standing, sitting, walking, driving and working are one of the ways we could relieve our lower back pain.
6. Tailor the ergonomics of your home or workplace
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Ergonomics is a type of science that is about the design and arrangement of things that people use so that the people and things interact most safely and efficiently. If you have a desk job, the two most common pieces of furniture you use are your desk and chair. Ensure that the height of your chair allows your lower arms to comfortably rest on the table. Sit fully on the chair while ensuring that your back is supported by the chair’s backrest. Avoid just sitting on the edge of the chair. Elevate your monitor or laptop so that you don’t need to hunch or tilt your head too low.
7. Quit smoking for better bone health
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Smoking is not just bad for your overall health, but also for bone health. The presence of nicotine in your body makes your blood vessels smaller, and this reduces blood flow to the disks that cushion the bones in your spine. When the cushioning gets thinner or degenerates, this may eventually cause back pain. Smoking also kills cells that help to grow bone as well as reduce calcium absorption. Recently, a 2014 medical study in Northwestern University, USA concluded that smoking interferes with a brain circuit associated with pain, increasing the incidence of chronic back pain in smokers. To sum it up, think about quitting cigarettes to assist you in reducing your back pain.
8. Reduce your weight and lower the burdens
It is common sense to know that when your weight increases, the burden on your joints and skeletal structure also increases. If you are overweight and suffering from lower back pain constantly, it is time to look into reducing your weight. Excess weight particularly in the mid-section puts additional strain on your back muscles due to the shifting of the center of gravity forwards. Go ahead and adopt some lifestyle changes like a healthy diet and regular exercise to counter and reduce unnecessary back pain.
9. Choose lower heels
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If you wear high heels regularly and you are currently having lower back pain, it is advisable to switch to flat shoes or lower heels. Wearing high heeled shoes places a big pressure on the ball of your foot and the rest of your body compensates for this ‘imbalance’. The spine’s natural alignment is affected as your lower back is pushed forward, and over time this may result in back pain. As you get older, the cushions between each joint may also wear away slowly, therefore back pain becomes more common.
In summary, although you may suffer from back pain or muscle strain as a result of your daily activities, there are some positive health actions you can take to reduce the pain and avoid further injury. Start now to correct your lifestyle and apply the suggestions in this article to prevent further severity of your back pain and condition. Remember, if your back pain is accompanied by weakness, difficulty walking or numbness, it is best to seek proper medical advice or come and see us atYapChanKor for an assessment.
For more back pain recovery stories, go to: https://yapchankor.com/treatment/back-and-spine/
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|Overall article points||https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/features/manage-low-back-pain-home#1|
|Posture and its effects to the spine||https://www.powerofpositivity.com/four-scientists-explain-sitting-long-body/|
|Smoking and back pain||https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/284869.php
|Wearing lower heels||http://www.thespinehealthinstitute.com/news-room/health-blog/how-high-heels-affect-your-body|