When lower back pain interferes with your quality of life, finding a remedy that works best for you is essential for adequate relief. There are quite a ways of treating back pain naturally and from the comfort of your home.
In this post, we’re covering the causes and commonly overlooked or underused remedies for lower back pain that can get you back to feeling like yourself.
The causes of lower back pain
Lower back pain is a common cause for visits to the doctor. According to Healthline, at least 80 percent of Americans will experience low back pain in their lifetime. Contributing factors commonly linked to lower back pain include:
Age is a common culprit of lower back pain. Over time, joints and bones in your lower back start to change. Your discs (the spongy cushions that separate bones in the spine) tend to wear and are sometimes fragmented-- these structural alteration results in pain.
A herniated disc occurs when a disc pushes out of the space between bones and compresses the nerve at the area where it branches from the spinal cord. Based on where the herniated disk is, it can lead to pain, weakness or numbness in your arm or leg.
Sciatica can occur with a herniated disc if the disc presses on the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve connects the spine to the legs. As a result, sciatica can cause pain in the legs and feet. This pain usually feels like burning, or pins and needles.
Strain or sprain
Strain or sprains happen all the time. The muscles and ligaments in the back can stretch or tear due to excess activity. Symptoms include pain and stiffness in the lower back, as well as muscle spasms. Sometimes, the problem often goes away on its own, but if it persists for more than three days, it's best to look for a lasting solution.
Abnormal spine curvatures
Scoliosis is an example of a condition that causes abnormal curvatures in the spine.
This is a congenital condition that is usually first diagnosed during childhood or adolescence. The abnormal curvature causes pain and poor posture because it places pressure on:
Solutions for lower back pain
It’s estimated that 50 million people are living with chronic pain. When it comes to lower back pain—or any pain at all—living with it takes away the joy out of many things in your life.
A lot of people reach a point where they’re in so much pain that they begin to consider more drastic options such as surgery and injections. We’re going to be covering six effective, natural remedies for back pain and inflammation that give you relief:
1. Get enough restorative sleep
Healthy adults should get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Not only is sleep important, but how you sleep plays a major role in contributing to the well being of your back.
Sleeping on your back is essential. Place your pillows under your knees to help flatten your back, which opens up the spaces where irritated nerves cross, giving them a break. Pro-tip: to prevent kicking your pillows away while you're asleep, slip them under your fitted sheet.
2. Stay hydrated
Water is so important. It is often overlooked and neglected. Back pain (or any other pain for that matter) can result from a lack of hydration. When you don't drink enough water, the discs between your vertebrae can become a little dry and brittle, exacerbating back pain. These discs need fluid to cushion the bones, and taking enough fluids is the only way to solve this problem.
3. Stretch your hamstrings daily
One overlooked culprit of lower back pain is tight hamstrings. Hamstrings are located in the back of your thighs, and when they are too tight, your sacroiliac joints and lower back become stressed, leading to more pain.
Hamstring stretching ought to be gentle and should not hurt. Do the stretches at least twice a day for about 15-30 seconds each time.
4. Strengthening your core muscles
Regular exercise helps build flexible and strong muscles that are less prone to injury. It can also accelerate the healing process for aching back, prevent health problems in the future, and improve function. Some exercises known to help with lower back pain include:
Walking on flat ground
5. Using cold packs
Applying cold packs for 15 or 20 minutes with at least two hours of rest in between can significantly reduce inflammation and pain. To do this, simply use a bag of frozen peas from the freezer, wrapped ice in a cloth, or a cold gel pack. However, keep at least a layer between the cold pack and your skin.
Avoid heat packs; they temporarily distract the brain, which feels good, but ultimately create a vasostatis, which causes a buildup of metabolic waste in the area, increasing inflammation.
6. Massage therapy treatment for lasting lower back pain relief
When you have a strained or hurt muscle, it responds by contracting or shrinking so that you can't and won't move it so that the muscle can heal. It's what we like to call: "mother nature's cast".
Without proper treatment, your muscle heals shorter and more contracted than it was before you got hurt. This takes away your normal range of motion. And you're not able to use that muscle the same way you once could before. And if you’ve been struggling with lower back pain for years, your neck has been held in that short, contracted state for a very long time.
Getting your lower back muscles released through massage therapy will eliminate your lower back pain—for good. And at Therapy Central Bodywork, that’s exactly what we do. We lengthen your fascia (soft tissue) so that your muscles can take their original shape. This stops your muscles from painfully pulling at any of their attachments.
At the end of this process, your muscles and fascia are lengthened—which gives you back full range of motion, proper blood supply, and lymphatic drainage to your problem areas that have been worked on.
Even if you're experiencing hip flexor tightness or Psoas muscle pain, we can massage your iliopsoas area and unlock your hip flexors. We focus on all the right places, so you can loosen up tight and sore muscles and realize long-lasting lower back pain relief.
If you’re tired of still having your pain problems persist, you’re in the right place. Book an appointment at our Round Rock or Westlake location or give us a call at (512) 244-6241 to talk to one of our licensed massage therapists today.
Our massage therapy method has helped thousands of injured athletes and people living with chronic pain throughout the Greater Austin area in cities like Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander and more!