6 Remedies For Lower Back Pain
For anyone that has experienced lower back pain, they’re all too familiar with that nagging feeling that has a tendency to resurface and interfere with your everyday life. With studies showing that up to 80 percent of adults have dealt with or will deal with lower back pain, the odds are against most of us. While prevention is one of the key things you can do to avoid back pain, fortunately, there are also steps you can take to heal when you are already in pain. Here are 6 remedies for lower back pain that you can try today. Of course, always remember to advise with a healthcare professional before trying anything new.
Use a hot/cold compress
Alternating between a hot and cold compress can do wonders for reducing your lower back pain. Applying a hot compress to your lower back, stimulates blood flow, thereby flushing the area with nutrients that can help heal it. It also helps in stopping the pain messages from travelling from your back to the brain. Applying a cold compress reduces inflammation and reduces pain by slowing down nerve impulses that often lead to pain and spasms.
Stretch your hamstrings daily
Tight hamstrings are a common culprit of lower back pain, so it is important to stretch them twice daily. Hamstrings are located at the back of the thigh, and when they are tight, they add stress to your lower back, which results in pain. For a hamstring stretch, lay down on your back and lift your right leg in the air, keeping it straight while resting your hands on the back of your thigh or calf and pulling your leg gently toward you. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on your left leg, for 2 sets on each leg. Make sure that the leg you are not working remains outstretched on the ground. If you are experiencing any other pain while doing this, please stop immediately and consult a professional. For more hamstring stretches ask one of our Big Hit coaches.
Take care of your feet
Unhealthy feet can be a contributing factor to back pain, so it’s vital to take care of them. In particular, uncomfortable shoes for both men and women can affect our feet and thereby our back. One of the ways to combat this is to consider putting orthotics in your shoes. Reflexology can also help, as well as putting your feet into a bucket filled with comfortably hot water and Epsom salts.
Adjust your sleeping position
A proper nights sleep is essential to reducing lower back pain, but unfortunately, low back pain can often lead to a poor nights sleep. One way to mitigate this discomfort is to ensure you have a supportive mattress that’s medium firm and no older than ten years. It is also helpful to adjust your sleeping position. People with low back pain should try sleeping on their side with a pillow between their knees if it is uncomfortable to sleep on their back. If this creates a gap between your waist and the mattress, then place a small pillow in the gap for added support. Remember to alternate which side you sleep on so as not to create an imbalance.
Use a foam roller
When it comes to lower back pain, a foam roller can be your best friend if utilised in the right manner. Doing targeted stretches on a foam roller can help heal other areas, which are affecting your back pain like your hip abductors and hip flexors. A lot of the time pain stems from surrounding areas, so it is important to pay attention to these areas too.
For a hip flexor stretch, put your hands in a plank position and rest the top of your thighs on the foam roller. Slowly roll yourself forward so that the foam roller moves towards your knees and then back again. Roll yourself back and forth for 30 seconds, for 2 sets. (See image on the left for reference.)
For a hip abductor stretch, place the foam roller vertically alongside your body and put your right leg on top of it at a 90-degree angle. Roll the foam roller along the inside of your thigh from the hip to the knee. Roll for 30 seconds on the right leg and then repeat on the left leg, for 2 sets. (See image on the right for reference.)
Consume anti-inflammatory foods
Most of the time treatment starts from within, and one way to reduce your lower back pain is to eat a diet high in anti-inflammatory food and supplements. Introduce more brightly colored fruits and vegetables into your diet like carrots, sweet potatoes, cherries, grapes, pomegranate, and beets. As well as, green vegetables like kale, broccoli, and spinach, along with olive oil, green tea and lean proteins such as chicken and turkey. As for supplements, fish oils, turmeric, papain and bromelain enzymes, and MSM all contain anti-inflammatory properties.