Lower back pain creates a lot of discomfort, being unable to move around let alone make yourself a warm cup of coffee is a disastrous experience. There is a statistic that almost every human being experiences lower back pain at least once in their lifetime. While for some it comes early in their twenties, for others it comes later on in life, and others never have the problem at all.
Exercising and adopting better sitting postures can help prevent an occurrence of lower back pain in the future. Considering that a country such as the US spends $50 billion dollars annually on rehabilitation and physician visits, lower back is not an ailment to be taken lightly. Here are some exercises and tips on how to relieve lower back pain fast at home.
1. Knee to chest
This stretch is perfect for aligning the pelvis, stretching the lower back, and soothing the rear end muscles. Not to mention, it is very simple and requires no machines at all. Simply lie on your back (use a mat or place something soft on the floor) and let your toes point towards the sky. Next step, bend your right knee slowly and hold it or your shin with both hands.
Now gently pull it towards your chest until you feel your muscles at the back stretch. Hold that position for 20 seconds before returning the leg to the original position then repeat the same exercise with the left leg.
2. Lying knee twist
While still lying flat on your back, lift your left leg then cross it over the right leg so that both legs almost form a 90-degree angle. While doing so, make sure that your back is still on the floor with only your waist turning so as to stretch the paraspinal muscles. You will feel the back and buttocks muscle stretch gently; hold that position for 20 seconds before repeating the same procedure with your other leg.
This exercise is ideal for tightening your core muscles and realigning your spine while also stretching the back muscles so as to alleviate back pain. Also, it can be of great help in strengthening your back muscles. Repeat the exercise three times for each side and do it at least once every day.
3. Heat therapy
Heat therapy has been used by many people on several occasions to relieve back pain, and the results are always positive. To relieve lower back pain using heat therapy, apply heat on the affected area in 15-20 minute intervals. Try using moist heat such as baths, hot packs or showers because it is more efficient compared to dry heat.
Alternatively, you can purchase an electric heating pad and use it for the same purpose. A good heating pad will go for around $35, but you can also get one for less. Most people consider it one of its downsides because you can comfortably fall asleep while using a heating pad due to the smooth sensation and heat on your body.
If you cannot stay awake, set the alarm to wake you up after twenty minutes. Also, configure the heating pad on low or medium, never set it on high. Heat therapy offers incredible relief to your lower back and is an excellent way to help relaxed the tense muscles.
4. Cold therapy
Most people know that ice packs can be used to prevent swelling on any part of your body, but very few know that they can be used to relieve pain too. Also, they can be used for other conditions such as arthritis.
As for cold therapy to relieve lower back pain, put about ¾ of a kilogram of ice in a bag (plastic) and add a little water. Squeeze the bag until all the air is out, and then seal it and wrap it in a wet towel. Place it on the affected area and move it around every once in a while. Cold therapy is simple and just like heat treatment, can be achieved without the use of any machines.
If you do not have icepacks at the moment, you can also use a cold towel. Pour cold water on the towel the squeeze it before folding it and placing it inside a plastic bag. Freeze it for 15 minutes then remove it from the bag and place it on your lower back.
5. Stimulate your Trigger Points
Trigger points are the areas on your lower back where the pain emanates. I bet you have tried touching your lower back when in pain and felt some areas that are more painful than the others. While these might pass for trigger points, it is wise to remember that they might also be collateral damage and not the origin.
To stimulate your trigger points, you need to find them first; they’re tender and extremely painful. After that, apply pressure in sliding strokes in one direction. Massage every trigger point about 8-10 times and repeat the process for a minimum of 6 times a day.
Speaking of massage, did you know that a back massager can also be used to relieve lower back pain? According to the best inversion table reviews and comparisons 2017, you don’t even have to hold the hand-held back massager; a machine does all the work thereby reducing any more pain caused by movement. A back massager also helps relieve lower back pain by reducing muscle tension and improving balance.
Lower back pain may strike unexpectedly, and one needs to be prepared. While the above tips will help you manage it at home, it is advisable to engage in activities such as yoga or swimming to keep your body fit. However, if you already experience lower back pain, consult your doctor before partaking in strenuous activities.