You may feel anxious or helpless as a result of your lower back pain. Take back a measure of control by incorporating the following 4 pain-relief suggestions into your daily routine:
1. Cold therapy
There are a lot of recent high-tech innovations for combating back pain. But a simple cold pack remains an effective and proven method for treating your aching back.
Typically, cold therapy is most effective when it is applied soon after an injury occurs (within the first 24 to 72 hours); or after any activity that causes pain and/or stiffness. Cold therapy can also be helpful when it comes to alleviating postoperative pain and discomfort.
There are a number of options for applying cold therapy, including a frozen water bottle or gel pack. You may also find that combining cold therapy with a massage brings even more relief.
2. Heat therapy
Like cold therapy, heat therapy is a tried and true method for back pain relief. There are numerous benefits associated with heat therapy, including:
- Spurring the flow of healing oxygen and nutrients to your lower back
- Inhibiting the transmission of pain signals to your brain
- Decreasing stiffness through the stretching of your soft tissues
Heat therapy is typically applied following the initial 24 to 72 hours after an injury. But if you suffer from chronic back pain you might try alternating heat and cold therapy until you find what works best for you.
3. Hamstring stretching
If you have tight hamstring muscles (the large muscles in the back of your thighs), the motion in your pelvis may be limited. This in turn can increase the stress on your lower back. As you can imagine, tight hamstrings are particularly common for people who work sedentary office jobs.
Incorporating hamstring stretching into your daily routine is not as difficult as it may sound, as you can tie your stretching to a common activity. For example, every time your brush your teeth or drink a glass of water you can perform your hamstring stretches.
Make sure to speak with your doctor before beginning a hamstring stretching routine, as the wrong kinds of stretches may make your back pain worse.
4. Exercise walking
If you're like most people, your first reaction after a flare-up of back pain is to rest. This may be fine for a day or two, but prolonged rest can make your pain worse.
In contrast, most people with lower back pain can benefit from regular exercise walking (or some other form of low-impact aerobic exercise). Benefits of exercise walking include:
- Increasing the stability of your spine
- Increasing your range of motion (thereby making you less susceptible to future injuries)
- Spurring the release of healing nutrients and oxygen
Don't push yourself too hard if you are new to aerobic exercise. Simply begin with 5 minutes at a time, and then slowly build your way up.