Immediate Relief for Your Low Back Pain
Low back pain. Just reading those three little words brings a grimmace to your face, right? You know what low back pain feels like. In fact, maybe your back hurts right now!
A lot of people frequently wake up in the morning with low back pain, either due to poor sleeping habits, an old mattress, or sleep disorders. Many more suffer from low back pain because of poor posture. Maybe you even suffer from a chronic back condition, like sciatica.
Whatever the reason behind your back pain, right now, we know that you don't really want an explanation, all you want is relief for your pain! While preventative care is the best solution to most problems (including this one), if you're already hurting, we have collected some tips for immediate relief of your low back pain.
Tip #1 - Ice (NOT HEAT!!)
One of the things a lot of people like to do to relieve sore muscles is hop in a nice, hot bath, or stick a heating pad on their back. This is NOT what you want to do right now, especially if you don't know what is causing your low back pain. Ice is the route you should follow if you want immediate relief. Using ice or a cold pack will not only relieve pain, but it’ll also help with inflammation and swelling. While it may provide some temporary relief, heat can make pain and inflammation worse in the long run.
Tip #2 - Stretch it Out
Some may be skeptical here, thinking, “I’ve stretched before, it only makes me hurt more!” That’s because you’re not stretching the right way! If you’d like some tips and tricks on proper stretches to relieve your pain, check out these videos on guided stretching here!
Tip #3 - Use a Foam Roller
A foam roller is definitely not an expensive item you’ll have to save up for - anyone can afford one! You can find one as cheap as $5 on Amazon (and sometimes at Walmart), but they’re an investment worth making if you can pick one up around $10 or $15. A good foam roller will do most of the dirty work for you in stretching out your lower back muscles, and you can use it anywhere: home, work, the gym.
Tip #4 - Think of Ergonomics
If you don’t know what ergonomics means, that’s perfectly ok - we’re going to explain! Ergonomics has to do with the design of certain products that will efficiently and safely improve the way you interact with them. You may still be saying, “Yes, but I have no idea what that means.” Think about the chair you sit in at school, work, the dinner table, even your living room. How is it ergonomically designed to help your body? Now, think about how much time you spend sitting in those chairs. A design lacking in proper ergonomics may be a culprit behind your lower back pain.
Tip #5 - See Your Chiro
Nothing is better for immediate relief than seeing your chiropractor. They’ll be able to give you an adjustment that will help get your body to where it needs to be! Ice can numb the pain and reduce your swelling, and investing in a foam roller or more ergonomically designed chair will provide relief, yes, but seeing your chiropractor will take care of your lower back pain right at the source, preventing it from resurfacing as quickly. Medical doctors are great, but when it comes to lower back pain, the American Medical Association actually recommends you try a chiropractor!
Tip #6 - RELAX!!!!!
When do you notice your lower back pain the most? When your mind is racing and you’re already stressed out. This stress is only going to make your lower back pain worse. It’s important to take at least a minute or two every hour to step away from your desk, excuse yourself from your family if you need to, find a quiet spot and relax. Pay attention to how fast your heart is beating and what your breathing is like. This time doesn’t need to be lengthy or drawn out by any means, even just a couple of seconds if that’s all you need.
Tip #7 - Get a Massage
If your partner or family member is feeling extra generous, ask them if they’ll massage your sore muscles for a couple minutes. You can reach back and try all you want, but laying down and relaxing while someone else works out all those "kinks" is going to provide much more relief. If you’d feel more comfortable having a longer massage from a trained masseuse, then use this opportunity to treat yourself! This will also provide the relaxation time you need and give you some much needed “me time.”
Tip #8 - Exercise
“Okay, now you’ve lost me!” These are the thoughts that run through your head as you read our eighth tip. Yes, while exercising can certainly cause sore muscles, it can also help relieve some of the pain! Exercising will strengthen your entire body, and you can find simple to advanced workouts to target specific areas, including your back. Start light and go from there - this is incredibly important.
If you’re newer to exercising, know your body’s limits before you decide to push past them, especially if you’re looking to relieve pain, not cause more.
Exercising can cause a rush of endorphins throughout your body in addition to strengthening your muscles. It will also give your brain something to focus on besides the pain in your back. When choosing a workout plan, focus on workouts that strengthen your core, as your core is what’s supporting your lower spine.
Overall, be aware of your lower back pain. When do you notice it more? Do you wake up with it, or does it develop later in the day (after sitting in your chair at work for three hours?) You know your body better than anyone, and you are your own biggest asset when it comes to providing relief for your lower back pain.
Ready to get rid of that pain for good? We want to help!