Low back pain is a common condition affecting people of advanced ages. The pain associated with this condition is often described as dull and aching or sharp and shooting. In some cases, low back pain is characterized by stinging and burning with tingling and numbness of the lower limbs.
It is important for a patient to seek medical attention immediately for sudden and severe pain arising from the back as this may be due to a more serious condition. On the other hand, if the pain is constant with no other associated conditions, the below tips can help alleviate the symptoms of discomfort.
A common misconception in patients with back pain is that they are not allowed to move. However, being sedentary makes the muscles around the spine weaken, which can make back pain even worse. Doctors advise patients to gently move the affected area to allow a range of motion and release muscle stiffness that may be causing the pain. The movement also stretches the spine and the discs relieving pressure.
Keep up with the usual activities such as walking and doing your daily chores but ensure not to apply force or pressure within the lower back.
Stretching and muscle-strengthening activity can help either relieve or prevent low back pain. These workouts are best done first thing in the morning to warm the muscles prior to doing any strenuous activities. Older people are encouraged to do them later in the day if it interferes with any morning routine.
The cat stretches done by lying flat on your belly then slowly pushing yourself up until your backbends in a slight C position is the best way to lengthen and strengthen the vertebrae. Yoga, Pilates, and Tai chi are other ways to also strengthen the core and other muscles around the hips.
Keeping a good posture means standing tall, pulling your shoulders backward, and keeping your head centered over the pelvis.
When working in front of the screen, avoid slouching or craning your chin forward. Rest both arms evenly on the table and make sure that you are looking at the top of the screen and not leaning forward too much. Try to get up every few hours and walk around to stretch your back muscles and your legs.
Weight plays a big factor in low back pain. With increasing weight comes more burden for the lumbar joints, which supports the lower back. Weight reduction is one good way to relieve this burden as well as maintain a healthy lifestyle overall. If you are experiencing low back pain and have a BMI of 25 or above, consider losing some pounds to get some joint relief. You could also ask a doctor for help with a diet and exercise plan to help you lose weight.
Studies show that smoking places a person four times at risk of spine problems as compared to nonsmokers. One reason is that the chemicals produced by burning cigars take away nutrients from the vertebral discs. In addition, these chemicals make you lose fluids within your spinal discs, causing them to be less mobile and become painful.
The heat helps alleviate pain by relaxing the muscles. This also promotes healing by increasing the blood flow within the injured area. If you are experiencing prolonged back pain due to muscle fatigue or if there is associated muscle stiffness, apply a warm compress for relief. Caution should be taken when you apply a muscle cream within the area as this may cause burns.
On the other hand, the cold helps to reduce inflammation. If the low back pain is in its onset, apply a cold compress to reduce swelling.
There are many kinds of creams, ointments, and patches that can help when your back is stiff and sore. Creams contain menthol or lidocaine that provide comfort and ease the pain. They also help numb the area for additional pain relief. Make sure to ask for help in applying these creams around your lower back if you are unable to reach them to ensure proper application.
Foods are the best sources of nutrients to keep your spine healthy. Calcium and vitamin D are the minerals needed by the bones most to keep their integrity and strength. Ensure to eat food high in calcium or take supplements with these minerals. You may also benefit from taking collagen supplements which strengthens cartilages and spongy structures within the spine. Magnesium is also a mineral needed to keep the muscles healthy and strong. And turmeric might help with inflammation in the body when taken as a supplement. Check with your doctor the supplements recommended for your condition.
A rolled-up towel can help with back pain. Try putting it under your pelvis when you are lying down. Let your hips relax over the towel and stretch out the tension in your lower back.
Back braces also help with back problems; however, they should not be worn too often or too long as they can injure the skin.
Chiropractors have specialized training to diagnose and treat spinal conditions with the use of non-surgical manipulation techniques.. They apply gentle pressure using their hands to correct any joint misalignment causing pressure within the nerves in the lower back. Chiropractors treat a variety of conditions including low back pain, neck pain, headaches are radiating nerve pain.
If you are struggling with low back pain and decide to use home remedies, watch your condition closely. If after a short period of time you are not improving or are worsening it is time to see a healthcare professional, like a chiropractor.
Additionally, if you decide to use home remedies, talk with your health care provider about the safety of any remedies you’re considering or using for low back pain.
You can find out more about it by clicking conditions for low back pain or by talking to our specialists who work with low back pain.