Lower back pain can be painful, cumbersome, and is experienced by many people. What causes lower back pain? Anything from an accident, incorrect lifting, lack of exercise, and even age. There are many things we can do to prevent and alleviate that lower back pain most people experience. Read on to learn our top 10 tips on alleviating your back pain and how it can help.
Gentle Stretching Gentle stretching (check with your doctor first) can help to reduce tension in the muscles supporting the spine; tension in these muscles can worsen pain from any number of back pain conditions. Many people have also found that when stretching, they experienced an improvement in range of motion and overall mobility. It is recommended that stretching be performed or prescribed by a doctor or physical therapist.
Exercise Exercising that focuses on your core is great in alleviating the pain and can help to speed recovery from chronic low back pain. Be sure to check out NeuroMD’s complimentary ebook which includes 6 Simple Movements that Eliminate Back Pain. As always, check with your doctor before performing any exercise or treatment modality.
NeuroMuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES) NMES is great because electrical impulses are sent straight to the muscle, contracting and releasing that muscle, hence strengthening the muscle. NMES is very similar to exercise, but without the vigorous workout. This type of electrical therapy has been around for quite some time and was very popular among sport athletes to build muscle and increase healing. NeroMD provides a Corrective Therapy Device that has set parameters which can be increased or decreased in intensity. Results are typically experienced within 8 weeks.
Heat/Ice Yes, the good old fashioned heat/ice. Adding ice and heat to your back pain relief has many benefits for alleviating lower back pain.
First, we recommend applying ice because the cold constricts the blood vessels, reduces swelling, decreases inflammation, and causes a numbing effect. Apply for at least 20 minutes and always ice after a stretch or an exercise.
After applying ice, then apply heat. When you apply heat, it improves the flexibility of soft tissues, movement of muscles, and overall functioning of the back. The local warmth stimulates blood circulation in your lower back, which in turn brings healing nutrients to the injured tissues. We also recommend using heat intermittently several times a day for several hours.
Creams Many people like to use various pain relief creams as an alternative to medicines. Creams cause nerve endings to feel either heat or cold, which dulls pain. Ingredients to look for: cooling menthol; salicylate, the compound in aspirin; or capsaicin, a heat-stimulating substance found in hot peppers.
Medications such as NSAIDs or analgesics Medications are typically used when creams or heat and ice don’t work. Both types—nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs (such as Advil), and acetaminophen (Tylenol)—inhibit chemical pathways in the body that can produce pain. Since these medications are “purely for symptom relief.” Remember to take with food and try not to exceed 8 pills per day as some medications can cause liver damage.
Physical Therapy Physical therapists strategically stretch and strengthen the muscles that help hold the spine in place. Chiropractors manipulate the spine to relieve areas of tension on the muscles. Consult your primary-care doctor for a referral.
Try these 7 tips and give it time, your back pain will diminish and you’ll be happier. Perhaps start off the day with some gentle stretching. Afterwards, try an exercise, then use an NMES device. When completed, use a topical cream followed by an NSAID. Visit a physical therapist at least once a week.
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