Dealing with pain in your lower back? Thousands of people worldwide suffer from discomfort in the lower back, but that doesn’t mean that you have to welcome it into your life without a fight. It’s the fifth most common reason for hospitalizations and third most common cause of surgery. Whatever the cause, once you have low back pain, it can be hard to shake.
And it turns out that some seemingly insignificant everyday habits can take a big toll on your back over time. There are tons of treatments aimed at alleviating back pain. According to the latest research, these are the methods that really work. We’ve borrowed these tips to reduce or relieve lower back pain from our readers. Try them out, and let us know which ones work for you.
The Effective Tips for Lower Back Pain At Home
- A Good Night’s Sleep: For a better night’s sleep, start with a good bed and experiment with different sleeping positions. Try sleeping on your side and on a firm surface to prevent any curvature of the spine that could lead to or worsen back pain. Additionally, some people find that sleeping with a pillow between their knees helps them sleep more comfortably.
- You’ve Been Ditching the Gym: Get moving to alleviate aches and pains and fix back pain faster. New research shows that 40 percent of people become less active after back pain strikes a strategy that’s likely to delay healing or even make their condition worse.
- Exercise your core: The muscles in your abs and back play a critical role in supporting the lower lumbar spine. These muscles don’t get a good workout in most people’s normal day. Consumer Reports reported that in retrospect, 58% of people with back pain wished they had done more back strengthening exercises.
- Yoga: Taking 12 weeks of classes led to greater improvements in function for adults with chronic low back pain versus receiving conventional care (like meds or physical therapy), research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found.
- Walk around: If you can, walk around for a good hour on the treadmill, or outdoors, where there are natural inclines and declines. Don’t push yourself, and stop whenever there’s significant pain. Walking is considered by some doctors to be “the best exercise” for back pain, as it promotes healthy circulation and naturally strengthens the lower back muscles.
- Wear low heels: Exchange your four-inch pumps for flats or low heels (less than 1 inch). High heels may create a more unstable posture, and increase pressure on your lower spine.
- Fix How You Sit: Most of us have to spend good amounts of time sitting down, whether it’s while you’re at work or during the commute to and from it. Though sitting down for long periods of time may be far worse for you than you realize, you can minimize its impact by sitting properly. Correct posture in a chair means having all the bones in your spine lining up neatly, like a new game of Jenga.This means keeping your feet flat on the floor and your computer keyboard within easy reach so you’re not leaning forward.
- Rub in some relief: Ask a partner to massage the aching area. If you want to use a “back rub” cream or ointment, go ahead, but use caution, as most topical creams produce skin irritation after a few applications. For a simple back-massage aid, stuff several tennis balls into a long sock, tie the end of the sock, and have your partner roll it over your back.
- Try stretching for lower back pain: Lower back pain can be a vicious cycle. Your back hurts, so you don’t want to make it worse by stretching or exercising. But by not stretching or exercising, you weaken the muscles in the lower back, leaving them more susceptible to pain and less supportive of the weight they are designed to hold.
- Do the water bottle curve: While sitting at a desk, push your back firmly against the back of the chair. Take a cold water bottle and lodge it between your lower back and the chair. This will make you sit properly, and the cold will ease inflammation and pain.
The tips in this blog are simple ways to help your spine and back stay in alignment and maintain a stronger, healthier you. We encourage you to still try to remember the simple things you can do for your back to help it heal and get stronger and healthier over time.