Lower Back Pain: Relief and Treatment Options
Back pain can be debilitating and can interfere with your personal and professional life. Low back pain should not be a way of life for anyone. Treatment for lower back pain comes in many forms. The degree and frequency of one’s pain will determine which methods to use.
Chiropractic for Lower Back Pain Relief
In a chiropractor’s point of view, the body is like a tree and the spine is the trunk. When the tree’s trunk is crooked or injured, all the branches of the tree are also affected. Doctors of Chiropractic have reported that allergies, sinus problems, flu symptoms, headaches and even constipation can be the result of a misaligned spine.
A misaligned spine is very common and can be hereditary or the product of poor posture. A spine that is not in perfect alignment is the main reason the pains. Low back pain treatment is a chiropractor’s area of expertise and he/she will use many methods to give their patient’s lower back pain relief.
- x-rays to check for spinal abnormalities
- Spinal manipulations, also known as ‘adjustments’ in which the spine is gently and eventually set back in its correct and natural alignment.
- Deep massage machines
This is only recommended for people seeking instant relief for temporary pain. Caution: Pain medications are both habit forming and the body will eventually build up a tolerance which will cause a person to need a higher dosage. However, for people who have suffered an injury or have strained their back from over-exertion or exercise can occasionally use pain medication for low back pain relief.
Acupuncture Can also Help With Low Back Pains
The ancient Asian practice of Acupuncture has brought millions of people relief from sciatica and chronic back pain. Acupuncture involves the use of very thin needles that are placed in the pores of the skin in a systematic pattern. Many acupuncturists in the Western world incorporate a use of massage therapy as well. Most acupuncture clinics will offer a package deal of massage and acupuncture which is sure to alleviate back pain quickly and safely.
A person is treated in the privacy of a peaceful room and is encouraged to sleep or rest while the needles are inserted. Usually, the patient does not feel the insertion or the presence of the needles. The needles can be left up to an hour at a time. Many people report relief after only one session.
Can I Relieve the Pain with a Good Massage?
The use of massage for lower back pain relief is ancient and holds many benefits. Professional massage therapists or your trusted loved ones can perform massage on your pain safely and effectively. In addition the relief of pressure, the act of kneading deep tissue and muscles in the lower back will promote blood flow and oxygen to this enflamed area.
There are several different types of massage and the best type is a personal preference:
- Swedish Massage uses long strokes that are accompanied by kneading the muscles very deeply.
- Thai Massage is associated with deep stretching in addition to deep kneading. A massage therapist practicing the Thai technique will often pull their client off the massage table in different ways to aide in pain relief and deep relaxation.
Yoga as a Treatment
Much like stretching, Yoga poses and the deep breathing that is taught in Yoga classes is almost guaranteed to ease pain. The ancient practice of Yoga approaches the body as a sacred temple that is meant to be in harmony with nature. Through specific strengthening poses and a systematic form of breathe control, the body and mind are put at ease but also empowered. Yoga poses can be modified to meet all physical abilities so anyone can truly benefit from this form of exercise.
This method is similar to acupuncture in the sense that the body has certain areas that, when manipulated, will improve blood flow to painful areas and ultimately relieve pain. In Acupressure, no needles are used. Only a person’s fingertips and body strength are used to relieve pain. When used for lower back pain treatment, acupressure can often be used on the bottom of one’s feet. This is also known as Reflexology. Reflexology is the idea and practice of treating certain areas of one’s feet that are connected to the rest of their body.
Lower abdominal exercises are great for everyone but especially necessary for low back pain treatments. When a person has weak abdominal muscles, their posture is affected adversely. Often such people will stand with a tipped pelvis that compensates for their weak stomach muscles. This poor posture can cause chronic back pain. For many people, relief for lower back pain must begin with their tummy muscles.
The natural treatment involves the use of herbs, diets, vitamins and oils. There is a cream that is called Cramp Bark and it is said to relax muscle spasms when the cream is massaged in the irritated area. In addition, there are also capsules that can be taken. When looking for a natural cream or solution, keep an eye out for ingredients such as Chondroitin, Sulfur and Devils claw. All of these help the joints by generating tissue growth, increasing fluids to the area and relieves inflammation. All of these improvements will positively affect the pain and immobility caused by lower back pain.
If you consider using oils as treatment you should keep in mind a few key oils to try out. Take a bath and mix in some lavender oils, juniper, rosemary and Bergamot. The previously listed oils can help to relax the body and increase circulation, causing a decrease in pain. These oils can be both massaged in directly or soaked in with a bath, but either way they will be effective.
A word about vitamins:
- Vitamin C can cause a huge difference on back pain. Ingesting at least 2,000 mg 2-3 times a day can begin to improve back pain within just a few days.
- Omega-3 is a great supplement too. It is sued for reducing inflammation, which will significantly improve back pain.
This is a great way to relieve back pain almost immediately. So many jobs and everyday demands force us to sit at a desk or in our cars for hours at a time. This can be the sole cause of lower back pain. Often, we are not sitting in an ergonomic chair or using seated posture that will take pressure off our backs. Here are a few fantastic stretches that will feel great and stretch out your cramped spine:
Start standing with slightly bent knees. Begin at the top of your head as you slowly roll down, vertebra by vertebra, until your hands are as close to the ground as possible. Be sure to tuck your chin into your throat so the back of your neck is stretched also. If you can’t touch the ground comfortably, don’t push yourself. Gently touch your shins or knees and relax.
Take several deep breathes and hold this stretch for at least 30 seconds. This movement is commonly known as a Hamstring Stretch, and as your hamstrings burn, you will soon understand where it got its name. However, for the benefit of low back pain relief, adjust your body so that your back feels the relief more than your hamstrings feel the burn.
Lying with your back on the floor and with bent knees, place your right foot over the top of your left knee. Then, lift your left foot off the ground and hold your left thigh close to your chest. The closer you are able to hold your leg to your chest, the deeper the stretch. Again, hold this position for a minimum of 30 seconds for maximum results. Then, repeat on the other leg.
Find a sturdy counter or wall bar and grip firmly. Be sure the counter or surface you pick will not easily move out of place since you will be putting your entire body weight against it. Now, holding firmly, bend at your hip flexors and pull your buttocks back to the wall behind you. This will cause your body to be in the shape of a sideways V. Be sure to drop your neck and totally relax your neck muscles while in the V. As with any stretch, holding for a minimum count of 30 seconds is necessary for maximum results.