Lower Back Pain Relief Tips

Did you know lower back pain affects 540 million globally, which equates to more than 1 in 10 people worldwide? According to the CDC, 25% of the U.S. adult population reported having acute lower back pain in 2020.

Common Lower Back Pain Causes

With approximately 4 out of 5 people experiencing lower back pain at some point in their life, it is an extremely common issue. While sometimes the result of a condition or disease, lower back pain is most often attributed to an injury. Injured muscles or tendons can occur from trauma, like a car accident, but can also be caused by everyday activities such as gardening, hauling groceries or high-impact exercise. 

Symptoms of lower back pain may present abruptly, or be more gradual in nature. Pain may be sharp, or a dull, achy, radiating sensation. If you notice a decreased range of motion, you may be experiencing stiffness. This can be caused by a sedentary lifestyle or posture issues. 

Likewise, overused or strained muscles and misaligned spine tendons can cause uncontrolled muscle spasms to occur. It is possible for lower back pain to also result from strains, sprains, fractures, disk and structural problems, arthritis and certain diseases.

At Home Remedies For Lower Back Pain 

Many times lower back pain will resolve with minimal at-home intervention. The most essential thing is to rest, so further strain does not occur. Typically, ice, rest and over-the-counter pain medication, like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are enough to resolve lower back pain. Following a few days of rest, you can begin to slowly resume normal activities. Assuming no pain arises, remaining active will help increase blood flow to the area and promote healing along with light lower back stretching.

Lifestyle Considerations

Some individuals may be more prone to lower back pain, based on a variety of risk factors. These include:

  •  Age: Anyone over the age of 30 will experience more bodily “wear and tear.” Spinal disks weaken with age, resulting in stiffness and pain.
  • Weight: Overweight and obese individuals place more pressure and strain on joints and disks.
  • Lifestyle and Occupation: People who drink, smoke or lead a sedentary life are more at risk, as well as those who participate in jobs or activities that require heavy lifting. 
  • Structural Health: Weak abdominal muscles can contribute to back strain or sprains. Severe pain can result from spine conditions, like scoliosis.
  • Mental Health: Depression and anxiety may manifest physically and lead to back pain.
  • Disease: Certain forms of cancer or tumors have a higher risk of lower back pain, as do those with a family history of osteoarthritis.

Back Pain Treatments 

While lower back pain usually resolves on its own with at-home care, contacting a medical professional is imperative, if pain persists. There is a possibility a physical exam will be completed to identify any broken bones or damage to muscles, disks, tendons or ligaments. You may receive an MRI, CT scan, EMG or spine x-ray to further investigate the cause of your lower back pain. 

Treatment protocols may include over-the-counter or prescription drugs to relieve pain. In some situations, steroid injections are also sometimes used to further reduce inflammation and pain. Physical therapy may be recommended, as a way to strengthen muscles, leading to a more supportive spine. PT has the added benefit of protecting against future injury, as flexibility will be improved. Similarly, manipulative work may aid in decreasing lower back pain by relaxing tightened muscles. These treatments include hands-on manipulation, like chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy, that improve alignment and restore proper function.

If the above treatments do not properly address lower back pain, surgery may be required. Certain conditions, injuries or diseases, might only respond to surgical repair. Fortunately, there are several surgical options available, including the use of minimally invasive techniques.

While you may not be able to completely eliminate the possibility of lower back pain, you have the power to drastically reduce your risk by making healthy lifestyle choices. Be sure to always lift heavy objects properly, maintain a healthy weight, and exercise regularly, focusing on improving core muscle strength. 

If you experience lower back pain, most people can treat it at home and recover without any long-term health complications. If pain continues, it is best to work with a medical professional to properly assess and treat your specific condition.  Check out some of our pain treatments here at Georgia Pain and Spine Care.

Good Posture During Quarantine Can Prevent Future Pain

With so many people working from home and in general spending almost every waking moment at their house means sitting and even standing at a desk is happening much more. During this time making sure you are keeping good posture can assist in preventing future pain, or making sure your current ailments are not irritated even more. 

Pain management does not only happen at the doctor’s office. Georgia Pain & Spine Care is here to provide some tips with all this time in one place to keep your mindset on good posture. If you do have any questions regarding any pain you may be having or even information on how to manage it better we do offer telehealth services so don’t hesitate to reach out. Our spines are not meant to be in odd positions for a long period of time and the more that we keep them correctly positioned the less pain a person will feel. 

For example, have you ever been watching a movie on the couch and not realizing it but go to get up and either feel pain or need time to adjust? That is a BAD POSTURE in the works!

What is Posture?

This is the position that we hold our bodies when we are sitting, standing, or even when we are lying down. The goal of Good posture is when your body is in the correct alignment and all the body parts are being properly supported. Most of the time our muscles will keep our body posture in place. 

Good Posture During Quarantine Can Prevent Future Pain

Good Sitting Posture:

  • Keep your feet on the floor and not tucked under a leg or dangling, if you need to use a footrest for stability.
  • Do not cross your feet, but instead always keep your ankles in front of the seat, and not tucked back.
  • Your knees should never be above your hips.
  • Ensure your back has support in both the low and mid parts of your back. 
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed with your forearms parallel to the ground.
  • Most of all avoid sitting for too long and every 30-45 minutes if possible get up and move around a little.

Good Standing Posture:

  • Try to make your weight rest mostly on the balls of your feet.
  • Do not lock out your knees, but instead keep a slight bend.
  • Your feet should be as wide as your shoulders.
  • Tuck in your stomach and have your shoulders pulled back not to slouch
  • If standing for a long time move  your weight from your toes to your heals

These are just some tips for proper posture, but now you might be asking why? So many are working from home now that you need to have the right tools for the job. That means if you choose to use a standing desk keeping those standing tips on your mind, or if you find that your work attire is now sweatpants and a teeshirt sitting for hours comes too easy. 

Tools For The Posture Correctness

  • If you are using a standing desk make sure it is at the right height for your shoulders and consider using a fatigue mat.
  • An office chair with proper support has never been more important if needed maybe ask your boss if you can take the one from your work home. This is so important for good posture as a quality chair will have proper lumbar support and height adjustments. 
  • Believe it or not routine exercise to keep your supportive muscles strong.
  • Last and most important keeping how your posture is at all times on the front of your mind. Make it a goal to think about how you are sitting or standing and if you can improve it. If some back pain is starting reflect on how your posture is and why that might be happening. 

Georgia Pain & Spine Care is here to help in any way so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions on this. We have offices in Peachtree City, Lagrange, and Newnan with a team of doctors that put patients first. We are all getting through this together so, during these times on the couch, floor or seat let’s keep our bodies healthy as possible.