It’s no secret that lower back pain can be an absolute nightmare. Whatever the cause, this condition can be hard to shake. Keep in mind that about one in four Americans say they experience some degree of lower back pain on a regular basis, so by no means are you alone. But how you choose to deal with it makes a significant difference. In this blog post, we will provide some easy ways to manage this debilitating pain at home.
- Ice before heat – It’s important to know that ice is best in the first few days after an injury because it reduces inflammation. While heat may feel better on your back, it doesn’t provide nearly the benefit in the first 24 to 48 hours. This is because heat actually inflames the inflammatory processes. Ice, on the other hand, does the opposite in that it reduces inflammation. After the second day, feel free to alternate heat and ice. Just remember to give your skin a break from both after 20 minutes or so.
- Keep moving – Though you may be in extreme discomfort, it’s imperative to keep moving as much as possible after the injury. We’re not advising you to run a marathon or overdo it, but keep doing your daily activities. These can be simple things such as going to work or walking the dog. As your pain gradually subsides, feel free to move on to regular exercises and more vigorous activity.
- Stretch – For those of us with back pain, there are times when all we want to do is lay down and watch our favorite show. Though it’s a good idea to rest here and there, don’t expect the pain to go away on its own. Make it a point to get up every 20 minutes and stretch. A lot of folks find relief from back pain by doing yoga. If you find yourself sitting at your desk chair all day long, be sure to take several short walks throughout the day. This is another easy way to loosen up those back muscles.
- Watch your posture – Whether at work or home, it can be a challenge to maintain proper posture throughout the day. To start at the office, consider designing your workspace so you don’t have to hunch forward to see your monitor or extend overly far for your mouse. Secondly, be mindful of when you lift heavy objects. Avoid bending over from the waist and potentially worsening the pain. Rather, bend and straighten from the knees.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers when necessary – This one is a bit touchy. A number of anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce back pain. However, OTC pain medications should not be relied on as a long-term solution. Please check with your doctor about any interactions these pain relievers may have with other medications you’re taking. If the pain persists, it’s best to stop and get in touch with a reliable back doctor.
About Our Spine Surgeon
Have you already tried each of the aforementioned tips, only to find little to no relief? Then it’s time to get in touch with an experienced spine surgeon. At International Spine Institute in New Orleans, we strive to be the most innovative practice. Our spine doctor, Dr. Marco Rodriguez, is proud to offer the least invasive procedure options to tailor treatments to patients. Unlike others in the area who provide back pain treatment, we don’t settle for simply masking the pain. Rather, our mission is to figure out the cause of the discomfort and come up with a recovery strategy accordingly. Whether it’s minimally invasive spine surgery or something else, we want to get our patients back to their previously active and pain-free lifestyle.
Call us today to schedule your initial consultation.