Here’s how to manage your lower back pain at home..
Have you bent over or moved awkwardly and found that your back has suddenly “gone”. You feel like you’ve not really done anything wrong but you’re in agony, struggling to move and have to lie down and no-one understands how bad it is?
This sort of scenario is common and you’ve probably sprained a joint in your spine and have a lot of muscle spasm which is trying to protect you. It could be because you have an old injury you’ve upset or wear and tear or arthritis that is stiffening your spinal joints causing you to be not as flexible as you used to be.
Any severe back pain that lasts should be look be looked at by a health professional such as your chiropractor but here is what to do immediately it starts.
- Don’t panic, stressing will make it worse. This type of problem is common and it won’t last forever.
- Move but move slowly. Try and stay active if you are able.
- Use ice packs on the painful area (always wrapped in a tea towel to prevent ice burns), 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off, 10 minutes on every two hours.
- Try these lying positions-
- on your back with pillows under your knees
- on your front with pillows under your lower abdomen
- on your side knees bent with a pillow between them
Find what’s most comfortable for you and rest for an hour at a time and then slowly get up and move around.
- Stretch out. Child’s pose and gentle knee to chest exercises can be safe and effective stretches to open up the joints in the lower back and relieve muscle spasm.
- If you need to sit, perch on the edge of a chair with your knees lower than your hips. This helps maintain the natural curve in the lower spine and relieves pressure on the discs and joints.
- Supplements may help. Magnesium deficiency can lead to muscle cramps and weakness, turmeric and ginger are anti-inflammatory and can help ease pain.
- If ice doesn’t help try heat, using the same regime as above. Heat brings blood to the area and eases muscle spasm , but be careful it can make inflammation worse. Ointments with chilli like Tiger Balm can have a similar effect to heat.
- If you have any loss of bladder or bowel control this is a medical emergency and ring 111.
Acute lower back pain usually improves over 24 hours but can take weeks to recover fully from depending on the severity of your condition. No matter which home treatment you try if it works for you keep doing it.
If pain persists ring your chiropractor.
Chiropractors can assess your spine to discover the root cause of the problem. Once diagnosed we can help you recover quickly by mobilising joints and easing muscle spasm with a variety of techniques that are often painless despite the pain that you are in.
If this type of problem is happening regularly or you are also suffering with pain or tingling in the legs you may have a more serious injury and we can take x-rays to more accurately assess the condition of your spine.