Low back pain is a common problem, especially for middle-aged people. 80% of people experience back pain at least once in their life. You may experience back pain if you bent the wrong way or strained your back when lifting heavy objects. Low back pain may also be a sign of degenerative conditions. Before contacting your Ramsey low back pain specialist, there are lots of home remedies that you should try out. Some of them include:
1. Ice It Before Applying Heat
Chilling your lower back may help alleviate the pain. The best time to ice your lower back is within 48 hours. It may reduce inflammation and relax your back. Ice packs are better than warm compresses. Even though applying heat to your low back may help you feel better, it increases the inflammation. However, it is okay to apply heat after 48 hours.
2. Maintain a Good Posture
Slumping will increase low back pain. It exerts excessive weight on your lower back. Keep your back straight and avoid lifting heavy items. If you are experiencing pain in your lower back, avoid bending over from your waist.
3. Stay Active
Your spine is supposed to move. Do not stop doing your daily activities when you experience back pain. It is okay to perform light exercises such as walking and cycling.
4. Avoid Wearing High Heeled Shoes
If you like to wear high heels, take a break and wear flat shoes for some time. Wearing high heels increases the pressure on your low spine and affects your posture.
5. Stop Smoking
Avoid smoking. It is an unhealthy habit that may increase your chances of getting osteoporosis of the spine. It can trigger low back pain. If you struggle with addiction, seek professional help.
6. Use Over-the-Counter Medication
Anti-inflammatory drugs may help with back pain. Drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and aspirin may be helpful. Speak to your doctor and they will prescribe the right medication for you. Certain drugs may be inappropriate if you have conditions such as liver disease and ulcers.
7. Use Complementary Therapies
There are lots of complementary therapies that may help you deal with low back pain. Some of the most common types of complementary therapies include:
- Movement therapies including tai chi and yoga. They stretch your muscles and alleviate pain
- Acupuncture on specific points
- Therapeutic massage to help relax the muscles
- Spinal manipulation
Even though home remedies are great, there are times when you may need to call a doctor. Seek the help of a doctor if:
- You can no longer control your bowels
- You have severe back pain
- You continue to experience severe pain even when lying down
- Your legs are numb or weak
- You have difficulty walking or standing
- The pain makes it difficult to go on with your daily activities
The symptoms may be an indication that you have underlying health conditions. With back pain, age is usually the biggest culprit. However, you should seek the help of a doctor before making that conclusion.