10 ways to manage low back pain at home


Back pain is one of the most common physical ailments. Studies show that eight in 10 Americans have back pain at some point in their lives, usually in the lower back.

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Your might have sprained it while working in the yard or cleaning house. Or your back might hurt from an old sports injury or a chronic condition such as arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis.

Sudden or severe back pain should be checked by a doctor or a physical therapist. That also goes for pain that won’t go away.

But sometimes you can treat nagging pain & discomfort on your own.

Wilson Ray, MD, chief of spine surgery for the Department of Neurological Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, says home remedies ” tend khổng lồ be better when they"re combined than alone.”

1. Keep Moving

You might not feel lượt thích it when you’re in pain. But this is probably the first thing your doctor will recommend.

”A common misconception in patients with isolated back pain is that they can’t stay active,” Ray says.

Try khổng lồ keep up with your usual level of daily activity & movement. It can be a brisk 30-minute walk or circling the block with your dog. Aim to get on your feet at least three times a week.

Being sedentary “allows the muscles around the spine and in the back to become weak,” says Salman Hemani, MD, an assistant professor of orthopedics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. “That in turn can cause less tư vấn for the spine” & lead lớn long-term pain.

2. Stretch & Strengthen

Strong muscles, especially in your abdominal core, help tư vấn your back. Strength and flexibility may help both relieve your pain và prevent it.

“A lot of times, I encourage people to vị that first thing in the morning,” Ray says. But if you’re older or worried about overdoing it, you can stretch & do your strengthening exercises later in the day when your toàn thân is warmed up.

Yoga, Pilates, & tai chi are just a few of the ways khổng lồ strengthen your core and the muscles around your hips. One exercise that targets your entire upper & lower back is to lớn lie on your tummy và lift up your legs & arms in the flying position.

3. Keep Good Posture

This helps ease the pressure on your lower back. You can use tape, straps, or stretchy bands to help keep your spine in alignment. Aim to lớn keep your head centered over your pelvis. Don’t slouch your shoulders or crane your chin forward.

If you work in front of a screen, rest your arms evenly on the table or desk, & keep your eyes level with the vị trí cao nhất of the screen. Get up from your chair and stretch và walk regularly.

4. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Shedding extra pounds lightens the load on your lower back.

“Weight loss really helps because it reduces the amount of mechanical force onto the spine,” Hemani says.

If you need help, ask your doctor for advice on a diet & exercise plan that may work best for you.

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5. Quit Smoking

Research suggests that if you smoke, you may be four times more likely than nonsmokers to have degenerative disk disease or other spine problems.

Nicotine in cigarettes và other tobacco products can weaken your spinal bones and take away vital nutrients from the spongy disks that cushion your joints. A healthy spine keeps your back flexible and its muscles from getting stiff and sore.

6. Try Ice & Heat

You may have heard that one is better than the other for relief from back pain. The short answer is that the best option is whichever works for you.

“Some people come in and they swear by heat or ice,” Ray says. “You might want to lớn try both, and you’ll probably find that one is better suited for your relief.”

Usually, ice is best if your back is bothered by swelling or inflammation. A heating pad may be better if you’re trying lớn relax stiff or tight muscles.

Hemani suggests limiting ice or heat treatment to đôi mươi minutes at a time. And don’t use them if you’re also putting muscle-ache creams or ointments on your skin.

7. Know Your OTC Medications

Nonprescription pain relievers can help with muscle aches & stiffness. The two main types of over-the-counter options are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) & acetaminophen. NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.

True to their name, NSAIDs help lower inflammation that can lead to lớn swelling và tenderness. But acetaminophen does not relieve inflammation. You can reach for either type of pain reliever for occasional back pain. NSAIDs may work a bit better, Hemani says, if you have arthritis of the spine or other inflammatory conditions.

8. Rub on Medicated Creams

Skin creams, salves, ointments, or patches may help when your back feels stiff, sore, và tense. Many of these products contain ingredients such as menthol, camphor, or lidocaine that can cool, heat, or numb the affected area.

Put on creams right where you hurt. Ask someone khổng lồ apply it if you have trouble reaching the spot.

“It"s not going lớn be a mainstay at providing significant relief, but it can calm things down,” Ray says.

9. Ask About Supplements

It’s best to lớn get your vitamins and minerals from foods. But ask your doctor if supplements might help.

For example, many people don’t get enough vi-ta-min D, which is important for bone health. That can happen from lack of exposure lớn sunshine or because your body can’t absorb enough vi-ta-min D from foods.

Magnesium deficiency may lead to muscle weakness và cramps. & Hemani says turmeric, a vivid yellow spice that’s related to lớn ginger, may help calm inflammation.

Always talk to your doctor before you take any supplements.

10. Throw in the Towel

A rolled-up towel can be a handy tool for back pain relief. Try putting it under your pelvis when you’re lying down. Let your hips relax over the towel và help stretch out the tension in your lower back. See how lớn sleep on your back.

A back brace can sometimes help, especially after an injury or surgery. But they’re not meant to be worn too often or for too long. “People become dependent on it, và it actually allows those muscles khổng lồ become lazy,” Ray says.

No matter which trang chủ treatment you try, Hemani says, “If it helps you, if it makes you feel better, keep doing it.”