One of the most frequent health disorders is back pain. According to studies, eight out of ten Americans have back pain at some point in their life, most commonly in the lower back. It’s possible you sprained it while mowing the lawn or cleaning the house. An past sports injury or a chronic ailment like arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis could be the cause of your back pain. A doctor or physical therapist should be seen if you experience sudden or severe back pain. That also applies to persistent pain. However, nagging pain and discomfort can occasionally be treated on your own.
Home treatments “tend to be better when they’re combined than [when done] alone,” according to Wilson Ray, MD, chief of spine surgery for the Department of Neurological Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
1. Stay active
When you’re in pain, you might not feel like it. However, this is likely to be the initial suggestion from your doctor. “A widespread misperception among individuals with isolated back pain is that they are unable to remain active,” Ray explains.
Attempt to maintain your normal amount of everyday activity and movement. A brisk 30-minute walk or circling the block with your dog can suffice. At least three times a week, get up and move around.
According to Salman Hemani, MD, an assistant professor of orthopedics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, being sedentary “allows the muscles around the spine and in the back to become weak.” “As a result, the spine may receive less support,” which can contribute to long-term pain.
2. Strengthen and stretch
Your back is supported by strong muscles, particularly those in your abdominal core. Both relieving and preventing pain can be aided by strength and flexibility.
“I encourage individuals to do that first thing in the morning a lot of the time,” Ray explains. If you’re older or concerned about overdoing it, wait until your body has warmed up before stretching and strengthening activities.
Yoga, Pilates, and tai chi are just a few of the exercises that can help you develop your core and hip muscles. Lying on your stomach and lifting your legs and arms in the flying posture is one workout that targets your entire upper and lower back.
3. Maintain proper posture
The pressure on your lower back is relieved as a result of this. To keep your spine aligned, you can use tape, straps, or flexible bands. Keep your head over your pelvis as much as possible. Do not slump your shoulders or lean forward with your chin.
If you’re working in front of a computer, keep your arms evenly spaced on the table or desk and your eyes level with the screen’s top. Get out of your chair, stretch, and go for a stroll on a regular basis.