Managing lower back pain
It doesn’t matter who you are, muscular lower back pain is bound to affect you at some point! It is estimated that 7 out of 10 people will experience lower back pain at some time during their life.
There are many causes of lower back pain, such as overstretching or lifting something too heavy, which can cause a strain or sprain in your back.
Because of the complex structure of the lower back, even a small amount of damage to that area can lead to a lot of pain and discomfort. Luckily, there are lots of ways you can help to ease lower back pain and even prevent it coming back.
Easing back pain
If you have back pain, you know how it can interfere with the simplest of activities, such as sitting in a comfortable position, tying your shoelaces and even falling asleep at night. You might think that the best thing to do is to rest and avoid putting any pressure on your back, but experts now recommend you try to keep moving as much as possible. Make sure you speak to your doctor before participating in any physical activity that may affect your back.
Exercise can also help. It not only helps to keep you moving, but there are specific exercises that can help to strengthen the muscles that support the spine. For more information, read the article Tips to Help Strengthen Your Back. Of course, you do need to take care when exercising and avoid activities that may damage your back. Instead, choose gentle options like walking and swimming.
You might find your back pain makes it difficult to exercise. If you are able, it is a good idea to keep active and do gentle exercise. If you are experiencing pain, a pain reliever can help. Medical guidelines recommend paracetamol as a first line treatment for acute low back pain. You can take paracetamol regularly to help manage your pain, making sure it is taken as per the dosage on the label. If your symptoms persist for more than 3 days, consult your doctor.
Experts also advise applying heat to the affected area, for example, with heat patches or blankets.
Keeping back pain at bay
There is a wide range of things that you can do to help keep back pain from recurring:
- Keep moving. There are a number of activities that can help improve muscle strength, flexibility and endurance, including swimming and walking.
- Manage your weight. Being overweight puts additional pressure on your lower back.
- Sleep on your side. Sleeping on your side is the best position for your back. Sleeping on your back or stomach can put extra strain on your back or neck.
- Watch your posture. Slouching or hunching over can stress or pull back muscles causing pain.
It’ll take practice to learn how to sit, stand and lift properly, and it might be a struggle to lose weight, but the end result of a life where you can help control your back pain is worth it.