LOWER BACK PAIN MAKING LIFE MISERABLE?
Lower Back Pain
Has your lower back pain caused you to feel like you can't stand up straight - or sleep at night?
But you know, lower back pain - sometimes called lumbago - affects approximately 80%
of all people in some form during their lives!
Pain in the back is responsible for more sick
leave and disability than any other medical condition!
My husband who is a chiropractor says that
70% of his entire practice consists of people with this problem.
Causes of low back pain are endless. They can be caused by anything from kidneys to the reproductive
It is, however, usually caused by such small things as:
- sitting for too long
- standing on a concrete floor
- then there is lifting
- oh, and gardening
- and how about a bad mattress - that will do it too
- oh, and working on the computer
- some back pain needs medical attention (see below)
Fortunately for us who fall into this minor discomfort category there are many things we can do.
- Ice. If you have swelling or inflamation apply ice. Ice reduces swelling
by decreasing circulation and moves tissue fluids from the involved areas, allowing the
swelling to go down. It also cools the hot inflamed tissue.
- Heat. If there is no swelling heat will feel good on your low back as well as
stimulating circulation to the area which promotes healing.Moist heat can be applied with a moist towel wrapped around a rice pack or hot water bottle. Moist heat penetrates better than dry heat.
- Chiropractic Adjustment. Chiropractors specialize in spines. It makes
sense to consult with them when you have a backache. A good adjustment aligns the spine, relieving
presures on nerves, muscles, and other soft tissues. It just feels great.
of the low back area is often helpful.
Massage helps relax
the muscles and improve circulation of both blood and the body's vital energy.A hot tub with the
jets directed to the low back is effective. Manual massage with essential oil or an essential oil blend is also effective.
- Herbal Remedies.
Herbal remedies that are used for lower back pain include things such as:
- Dandelion tea - really, fresh dandelions picked from your yard (make sure their are no dogs or pesticides around)
- Meadowsweet and Wintergreen can also be made into a tasty tea
- Mullen leaf tea or Willow bark infused oil (which you can make yourself)
- Dandelion infused oil or
St. John's Wort infused oil
can be applied externally to treat low back pain.
- Exercise. Experts declare that
the worst thing you can do for an aching back is stop exercising. Since 80 to 90% of back
problems are caused by weak muscles, it makes sense that we should be doing more exercise to condition our backs.
- Note: A common misconception of low back discomfort is that your low back is weak and needs to be strengthened. Most of the time a person with low back issues has extremely tight and short muscle fibers in their low back which causes aches and pains.
- If you think your low back is weak and you do exercises to strengthen it you can actually be doing more damage than good.
- What you need to do is increase flexibility in the low back, hamstrings, hip flexors, and quadriceps, along with strengthening of the hamstrings, gluts and abdominal regions.
- So to actually strengthen our lower back muscles we need to do
exercises that strengthen our core and our abs. So do ab crunches, ab twists, roll outs, sit ups, leg lifts. Also exercises that
strengthen our hamstrings include leg curls, single leg bridge and toe touching type
- Foam Rolling. Foam rolling is also known as Self Myofacial Release. To use a foam roller you must first have one, fortunately they are relatively inexpensive to purchase.
- Foam rolling aids in increased flexibility and neurological stimulation. It is the process of applying pressure on shortened muscle fibers which signals a Golgi Tendon Organ (GTO) to relax the muscle fiber which improves length tension and circulation.
- This aids in correcting muscular imbalances, muscle tightness and certain types of joint pains and inflammation.
- Stretching. My personal favorite stretch for relieving an aching back is to lay on the floor with an exercise ball under your knees and ankles.
Roll slowly to one side
(you may have to move your feet a little to stay with the ball)
and then roll slowly back to the
Do this several times until you feel relief, then with your feet pull the ball right
up to your bottom and hold it for a few seconds. Repeat as many times as needed.
I love this little stretch. Not only does it bring low back relief but it relaxes you as well. It has worked well for many members of my family and friends. I hope you enjoy it.
Be advised that some lower back pain needs medical attention and you should evaluate your condition before
doing anything on your own. Some red flags that would signal the need for help might include:
Recent significant trauma.
- Lesser taauma if you are older than fifty years of age.
Lower back pain concurrent with unexplained weight loss.
- Previous or current cancer.
- The presence of osteoporosis or other known musculoskeletal conditions.
- Neurologic disorders
such as numbing into the fingers or toes for more than a few weeks.
- Previous or old injuries
that can cause recurrent low back pain, etc.
If your back pain falls into any of these areas and/or you feel uneasy or unsure about your
condition - it is a good idea for you to consult a qualified health care provider.
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