When you have lower back pain it can feel as if youâ€™re carrying around a beast that wonâ€™t let go. Sitting, twisting, bending and even walking can be difficult and as a result, itâ€™s tempting to reduce the level of activity. Unfortunately thatâ€™s the worst thing you can do. The less you do the more itâ€™s going to hurt. Think of it this way. When you arenâ€™t doing anything to improve the pain, why would you expect it to improve? In other words, if you donâ€™t to exercises for lower back pain, how are the muscles going to get stronger?
Lower back pain is the result of both emotional and physical factors. They are intertwined and canâ€™t be separated. Exercises for lower back pain donâ€™t just deal with muscles. They also deal with your mental state that makes you believe lack of exercise is the cure for back pain. Exercise can help you adjust your attitude, get some feel-good endorphins flowing and strengthen your back.
Of course, some lower back pain will need surgical correction if the result of degenerative disease for example. But even in that situation, exercise serves the same purpose. It can reduce the amount of back pain you are experiencing while waiting for surgery by strengthening the muscles. Getting your lower back muscles into good shape will also help you recover faster from the surgery. Exercise is just plain good for you whether you have back pain or not.
Exercises for lower back pain include a variety of exercises that include even aerobic conditioning. The lower back muscles and bones are just a subset of your overall muscular skeletal structure. Whatever you do for the lower back benefits the entire system, and it works the other way around too. The better shape your body is in overall, the better for your lower back. If you are out of shape or overweight, both conditions can contribute to lower back pain.
Following is a list of some exercises for lower back pain. You can do these exercises at home, but if youâ€™re under the care of a doctor itâ€™s important to show the physician the plan. The important thing is to do them regularly. You canâ€™t do them for a few days and then quit and expect to see results. It may hurt at first, but if you stick with the program youâ€™ll be amazed at how the pain beast begins to let go.
â€¢ Abdominal contractions
â€¢ Wall slides or squats
â€¢ Straight leg raises
â€¢ Alternating knee to chest
â€¢ Stationary bike
â€¢ Balance ball arm and leg raises (lie on stomach)
There are others you can do too. You should start with 3 ten minute sessions a day and add time as your muscles get stronger. Exercises for lower back pain can scare the pain beast away so you can restore your lively step to your daily activities.
One of the most common reasons for back pain happens to come from the way
people sit and sleep. Often mattresses and chairs are not suited for a
person or can put pressure on different areas of the spine and cause pain.
It is essential for someone to determine whether their bed or the way they
sleep is adding to their back pain before seeking expensive or extensive
therapies. There are several products on the market to help with this
problem. For instance, there are pillows, mattresses, heating pads, chairs,
and chair pads. One of the most popular is using a back pain relief pillow.
When choosing a back pain relief pillow, it can partly depend on which part
of the back is sore, how much money should be spent, and whether it is for
sleep, car, or travel. Pillows can be an inexpensive way to try to alleviate
back pain before moving onto more intense therapies or costly measures.
There are several different types of pillows available. For strain on the
lower back, it is said that using a back pain relief pillow between the
knees when lying on your side or just under the knees when lying on your
back. It has been proven that these positions do alleviate lower back
discomfort and pain. For this any normal pillow that someone already has can
be used. Using a back pain relief pillow that is as long as the body placed
behind can help to alleviate pain as well. It can support the head and neck
and the back and knees at the same time. However, it is necessary that when
using a body pillow that it is not used in the front with a leg straddled
over it. This causes the spine to twist and can make back pain worse. For
lower back pain or lumbar pain there are support pillows available. Using a
back pain relief pillow for lumbar support can help back pain by providing
support for the inward curve of the spine. These pillows are used to fill
the space between the lower back and the chair. These pillows are excellent
for work, long car rides, and travel. However, these pillows often can wear
down over time and therefore may need to be purchased yearly or so. However,
most are not too expensive and can be replaced easily. Further to this, the
lumbar pillows can be fancy and extremely expensive. They can offer massage,
heat, or both. They can also offer adapters for cars so they can be taken on
trips and car rides. All of the above pillows can be easily found in most
stores and medical stores.
Sciatica is a term used to describe a problem with the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that starts at the lower back and runs down the back part of each leg. It is responsible for the movement of the muscles in the back of the lower leg and knees. It also is what gives you feeling in the back of your thigh, your lower leg and sole of the feet. Symptoms of sciatica are numbness, weakness or tingling. Although, it’s usually only on one side of your body and starts in your lower back, it can affect your thighs, calf, foot or your toes.
Many people don’t fully understand sciatica and don’t realize they are victims of sciatica because of where the pain is located. The majority of their pain may be in their thigh or calf and assume they have a problems with their legs rather than the sciatic nerve in their back. In some situations, sciatica may go away on its own, but it often needs medicine, exercises or possible surgery. Although at times, doctors can’t find a cause for sciatica, it my come from a pelvic fracture, ruptured intervertebral disc or spinal stenosis.
Some of the symptoms of sciatica are different changes in the sensation you feel in the back of the thigh, calf or sole of your feet such as tingling, numbness or a burning sensation. These are usually the first signs that something is wrong. Any sensations that are abnormal may be signs of sciatica, especially if they are mixed with pain. The pain may start minor and become severe or vice versa. In some of the more severe cases of sciatica, the patient may experience inability to move the feet or bend their knees along with having trouble walking.
Patients are usually diagnosed with sciatica after seeing a doctor for pain in the lower back that extends downward. The doctor will first run blood tests, take X-rays as well as MRIs or EMGs. Nerve conduction tests to determine nerve damage are also taken.
Treatment of sciatica may vary depending on the severity of the illness. The first part of the treatment involves pinpointing the exact cause of the nerve disorder. In some cases that are minor, there will be little or conservative treatment. They will only do this if there appears to be little or not trauma to the area or no degeneration of the nerve area.
If the sciatica is caused from a herniated disc, they may choose to remove the parts that are putting pressure on the nerve. Other forms of treatment for sciatica are injections to reduce an inflammation near the nerve or pain relievers. Physical therapy may also be recommended in some cases to help rebuild the strength of the muscles.
There are many things you can do on your own to find lower back pain relief. You donâ€™t have to suffer day after day. Many cases of lower back pain arenâ€™t bad enough to drive you to the doctor, yet the continual or intermittent pain is enough to interfere with your activities. Getting up in the morning, picking up heavier objects, bending and squatting, and any twisting at the waist can cause pain thatâ€™s uncomfortable and tiresome.
There are many therapies you can do at home for lower back pain relief. Managing your own back therapy sessions gives you the option of instituting any of a number of methods that have proven to work for most people with pain that occurs during the performance of daily activities. You can even sneak a few into your workday if you so desire.
The first â€œhome remedyâ€ is doing limited exercises to begin strengthening the lower back muscles. The lower back muscles are often the source of pain and not the lower spine itself. When muscles are weak, they are more prone to injury and sprains. You can begin an program that includes the following exercises which target the lower back. These exercises will stretch the muscles and make them strong and flexible so they are better able to handle your daily activities.
* Lie on your back with knees bent and pull one knee at a time to your chest
* Lie on your back and flatten your lower back against the floor; release tension and repeat
* One your hands and knees, first round your back up to the ceiling and then curve it towards the floor
* On your hands and knees, raise the left arm and right knee and hold
These are just a few of the kinds of exercises you can do to find lower back pain relief. Another method of pain control you can use at home is ice or heat packs. Ice packs will reduce muscle inflammation, while heat promotes healing. The choice you make depends upon your injury or strain. The one caution about using ice and heat packs is to not apply them directly to the skin. You want to wrap the ice or heating pad in a towel or cover so you donâ€™t cause any skin damage.
You can also try some of the over the counter medications for lower back pain relief, but do so with a full understanding of how they will affect your lifestyle. Many of the over the counter medications are now what used to be prescription strength. They will interact with other drugs you may be taking for other ailments. Anti-inflammatory medications can cause you to bleed abnormally or even cause liver damage. These medications should only be used according to the package instructions.
You can usually find lower back pain relief through adherence to a home pain management program if you are consistent. But sometimes you have to admit your home plan isnâ€™t working and will need to see a doctor. The doctor has a large array of options to offer for lower back pain relief. The doctor will probably do some tests first to make sure there is no spinal disease or damage.
If the pain in your back worsens, or you canâ€™t find relief through moderate exercise and over the counter medications, itâ€™s time to see a doctor to find the cause of lower back pain. There can be many reasons why youâ€™re having back pain and they can extend beyond simple muscle sprains. Finding the cause can be tricky though, because many times the problem wonâ€™t show up on an x-ray or MRI. For example, a spine slightly out of alignment with your body may not be very noticeable, yet it causes d8aily pain.
The doctor will do many tests to begin eliminating each possible cause of lower back pain. For example, he or she will manipulate the leg through various moves to determine if the pain increases or results in pain elsewhere in the body. Some tests you will be familiar with such as the reflex test. Other tests may be unfamiliar but they are very simple. If the doctor determines the basic moves indicate further testing is necessary to find the cause of lower back pain, the next steps will be taken.
Some of the tests the doctor will perform entail the use of very high tech medical equipment. Each test can provide a higher level of detail of your spine and surrounding muscle and ligaments. Most people have had an x-ray in their life, but an x-ray will only show bones. If the cause of lower back pain is muscle, tendon, ligament or nerve damage, the x-ray is pretty much a useless test.
The MRI, on the other hand, gives a lot more information about your back. It can show the doctor the condition of every part of the structure of your back including the nerves and discs. There are so many possible causes of lower back pain, that when pain wonâ€™t subside, the MRI is a great tool for diagnostic testing. Other testing methods include a CAT scan or a discogram. A discogram involves injecting dye into the spinal discs to pinpoint the source of pain.
So what can be the cause of lower back pain? There are numerous conditions that can result in ongoing back pain.
* Herniated disc
* Pinched nerve
* Strained muscle
* Spinal tumor
* Degenerative disease
With all these potential causes of back pain, itâ€™s no wonder it can take several months and lots of testing to determine the problem. The lower back is particularly susceptible to pain, because it has a lot of pressure put on it while sitting. People who sit at desks all day frequently end up with lower back pain. In that case, strengthening the lower back muscles can work wonders. There are even special chairs made that take the strain and pressure off the lower back while sitting.
The good news is that most of the time the cause of lower back pain is quite simple, and can be corrected with moderate exercise.