How to Reduce Back Pain

    How to Reduce Back Pain In Different Situations

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    Did you know that back pain is among the most common reasons people visit their doctors, miss their work, and experience reduced quality of life? Low back pain is also the single leading cause of physical disability worldwide!

    Adults will then ask about the safe and effective ways how to reduce back pain in light of its adverse effects. We will discuss the natural ways to alleviate back pain in different situations so that you can enjoy a better quality of life.

    The Science of Back Pain

    In most cases, the cause of back pain is mechanical in nature meaning these are related to unhealthy lifestyle habits. These include lifting heavy objects, adopting bad posture, and sleeping on a lumpy mattress. Back pain caused by an underlying medical condition, such as an infection, an injury, or an illness like inflammatory arthritis or cancer, is relatively uncommon. 

    Back pain can be associated with these possible causes:

    • Strain in the muscle or ligament in the hips, back or spine from sudden awkward movements or heavy lifting
    • Ruptured or bulging disks resulting in a pinched nerve
    • Irregularities in the spine, such as scoliosis
    • Illnesses like osteoporosis and arthritis

    The best pain relief from back pain usually comes from an understanding of its underlying cause and its appropriate treatment. For example, your doctor will recommend medical treatment of your arthritis to reduce the intensity, frequency and duration of your back pain. 

    Fortunately, many of the ways to help back pain are easy to adopt on your own.  These include self-care and home treatment methods, aside from your doctor’s recommended lower back pain relief products like medications.

    Within two weeks, your symptoms should resolve on their own.  Otherwise, you should check with your doctor again since back pain may also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition.  This is especially true if you have severe back pain that doesn’t improve with rest; or if it causes numbness, weakness, or tingling in one or both of your legs; or if you experience unexplained weight loss.  

    The Science of Back Pain

    Reduce Pregnancy-related Back Pain

    Back pain is a common complaint among pregnant women –and it isn’t surprising. The body changes in many ways – the added weight around the abdomen strains the hips and backs, the center of gravity changes, and the ligaments in the pelvic joints start to relax due to the hormones. 

    Here are our recommended ways how to reduce back pain when you’re pregnant.

    • Practice good posture. When standing, adopt a comfortably wide stance or rest foot on a low stool. Keep your shoulders back yet relaxed, hold your chest high, and avoid locking your knees.  Use a lumbar pillow when sitting to add support to your lower back.
    • Wear the right shoes. Flat or low-heeled shoes with arch support are your best choices to maintain your center of gravity despite your growing tummy.
    • Respect your limits when it comes to lifting weights; ask for help instead. But if you must lift an object, squat down first before lifting with your legs.
    • Sleep on your left side instead of on your back.  Use a pregnancy pillow so that your head, neck and shoulders as well as your back, knees and legs are supported well. Even after delivery, use a body pillow since it will also aid in relieve lower back pain while sleeping.  
    • Try heat pads or cold therapy, even a massage. Either of these methods helps with back pain by promoting blood circulation and muscle relaxation.  Use a back massager, if needed. 
    • Adopt a moderate exercise routine on a daily basis. Even gentle walking for 30 minutes each day can provide relief from back pain because it can strengthen your back muscles. Gentle stretching exercises are also recommended. 

    But in case these self-care methods don’t resolve your back pain within two weeks, you should talk to your doctor. Keep in mind, too, that back pain can be a sign of a urinary tract infection or labor so check with your doctor about it. 

    Reduce Pregnancy-related Back Pain

    Reduce Back Pain from Sports

    Every person who has engaged in sports activities from elite athletes to weekend warriors know the facts of life where back pain is concerned.  First, everybody gets it sooner or later. Second, it will most likely be in the lower back. Third, it will resolve on its own, with or without treatment. 

    Here are ways how to reduce lower back pain as soon as you experience it after a strenuous physical activity: 

    • Rest your back for at least 24 hours. Avoid being completely immobile, however, since mild yet limited movement will also contribute to faster recovery.
    • Apply an ice pack on your back for 15-20 minutes for the first 48-72 hours after the injury, 3-4 times a day.
    • Apply moist heat after the 72-hour period has elapsed but only if it enhances your comfort.
    • Take over-the-counter medications to reduce the pain; examples include naproxen and aspirin, which also reduce inflammation.
    • Use a supportive pillow between your knees (i.e., sleeping on your side) or under your knees (i.e., sleeping on your back).
    • Ask about the possibility of a TENS therapy to aid in your faster recovery.  

    These are also effective ways in how to reduce upper back pain. You just have to treat the upper back with the most amount of pain, whether it’s a heat pack or a massage session. 

    After the initial treatment, you should adopt preventive measures including:

    • Stretch every 25-30 minutes when you’re sitting for prolonged periods.
    • Make a gradual transition into your sports and listen to your body before returning to your previous intensity.  Experts recommend increasing the exercise frequency, duration and intensity only by 10 percent per week.
    • Wear lower back support gear, such as a belt, so that the pressure can be evenly distributed. 

    When you get back into your sports activities on your normal level, you should work with your personal trainer or coach to reduce the risk of recurrence, too. 

    Reduce Back Pain from Sports

    Reduce Work-related Back Pain

    Sitting or standing for prolonged periods can cause or worsen low back pain. These are static postures resulting in increased stress on the arms, shoulders, and back, as well as on the legs in case of prolonged standing. The spinal disks and back muscles take the brunt of the added pressure thus increasing the risk for low back pain. 

    A few tips to decrease your back pain symptoms while at the office:

    • Use a standing desk or convert your current desk into one.
    • Use an ergonomic office chair to minimize stress on your back muscles, mainly by maintaining good posture even during an hour-long sitting session.
    • Adjust your chair according to your unique physical proportions, particularly in terms of exerting the least amount of stress on your spine. Use a cushion behind your lower back for support, as well as to avoid slumping forward or slouching down over time.
    • Stand, perform gentle stretching exercises, and walk around for a minute or so every 30 minutes.  On your break time, walk around for 15-20 minutes to maintain a healthy blood flow and strengthen your muscles.
    • Lift objects safely.  Start with a stable position and keep your back in a straight or neutral position. Avoid bending at your waist, leaning sideways, and twisting your back regardless of the weight of the object. Lift using your legs, too. 

    You can also use several methods to relieve back pain at home, such as using body pillows, getting a massage, and applying heat pads. You have so many ways available to cure back pain naturally, too, such as acupuncture and reflexology. 

    Reduce Work-related Back Pain

    About the Author Samantha Brown

    Growing up as a kid who played outside, Samantha enjoys an active lifestyle and emphasizes health as a key component to her life. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with others so that anybody can live a healthy life. On the weekends, you can find her hiking around Southern California!