Cures for Lower Back Pain Lower back pain is the number two complaint and reason Americans visit their physicians. This is possibly due to the increasing American obesity epidemic, sedentary jobs, and improper lifting techniques. Lower back pain can be debilitating, often enough so that it may require a day or two of rest to aid in recovery. Once a back injury has been sustained, reoccurring injuries and continued pain is a common occurrence.
Due to the varying causes of lower back pain there are a number of “cures,” but there is no magic pill or cure to return your body to its previous state. Lower back pain can be managed with over-the-counter drugs and properly supportive chairs and mattresses. However, lower back pain is best cured through a combination of weight loss, exercise, therapy, prevention, and, in extreme cases, surgery.
Weight Loss This lower back pain cure may be an obvious solution to many of your body pain woes. Your lower back carries and supports the majority of your weight, particularly the weight in your midriff and waist. Using a combination of a healthier diet, increased water consumption, and appropriate exercise it is possible to stay within your suggested body mass index (BMI). This index uses your height in proportion to your weight to determine a healthy weight range to compare your weight loss goals to.
Walk Exercise is vital to a lower back pain cure not only because it helps decrease your weight, but because it strengthens lower back muscles to support your existing weight. Exercise also helps your posture, helping you naturally better support your lower back health. Muscle weakness significantly contributes to the chance of a lower back injury and the chance of lower back pain continuing from a previous injury. However, excessive exercise after an injury is not advised. One of the best exercises for improving lower back strength is as simple as going for a brisk walk for 30 minutes every day.
Therapy Lower back pain can be as unique as the individual suffering from it. For this reason therapies such as massage, chiropractic therapy, and acupuncture can make a difference in many cases, but are not for everyone. Dr. Oz gives some suggestion for self-massage that can aid in relieving pain from muscular knots in the back that affect 1 out of 3 people (Doctoroz.com, 2012). Dr. Oz suggests visiting a massage therapist to “locate and ease trigger points” through self-massage and using a tennis ball to help rub out knots.
Prevention Like many diseases and ailments, often times the best cure is to not get injured in the first place. Luckily, lower back pain is highly preventable. To prevent lower back pain it is important to maintain a healthy weight so you don’t overstrain your back on a daily basis. It is also important to understand and practice proper lifting technique and to be sure your lower back muscles are strong enough to handle heavy lifting. This can be achieved through “regular, low-impact exercise. Walk, swim, or ride a stationary bike. Stretch before you exercise” (WebMD, 2011). In combination with these important activities, it is important to create a supportive environment for your back as well. This can be achieved through a medium-firm mattress, supportive office chair, and low-heeled, supportive footwear.
While regular exercise is important, it is also important to be moderately active throughout your work day. This can be difficult for individuals working in an office position, therefore throughout your day it is important to watch your posture and take regular breaks to walk around. It is also important to not depend on a “back belt” because there are no studies proving they are effective in reducing back injuries (WebMD, 2011).
Surgery In some extreme cases, surgery is necessary to relieve lower back pain. Your physician will tell you whether surgery should be an option for you or not, but it is important to avoid surgery if possible. This can be achieved by first trying all the above listed cures and therapies first.
Lower back pain can be excruciating, but it is a strong indicator of a need for change in your diet and habits. Above are listed only some basic treatment options and can be achieved through hard work and pain management through over the counter pain killers until your muscles have regained strength and any residual swelling has been reduced.