5 Tips to Relieve Sudden, Acute Low Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point in their lives. In fact, low back pain is the number two reason that Americans see their health care provider. It is second only to colds and flu.
For acute back pain, pain that usually comes on suddenly and goes away within 2 to 6 weeks, making some simple changes in habit and lifestyle choices can help alleviate the pain. Dr. Royce Hood offers 5 tips on what you can do at home to find acute low back pain relief.
1 Practice Good Posture
The human body is designed for many things, but long hours seated in a chair isn’t one of them. Our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, hunched over at desks and in front of screens, can wreak havoc on our backs if we aren’t paying close attention to posture.
If you want to do your lower back a favor, be mindful of your posture, which means:
- Keeping your back flat up against the back of the chair
- Placing both feet flat on the ground
- Sitting with your shoulders back
- Keeping your screen at eye level
2 Strengthen your Muscles
It’s been shown in research that if you’re looking to reduce your low back pain, you’ll need to strengthen your low (lumbar) back muscles and your core muscles.
All these muscles work together to help stabilize your spine and pelvis – which in turn will reduce low back pain, stabilize your spine, and prevent injuries.
3 Stretch it Out
Whether you stand or sit for large chunks of time, take frequent breaks to move and stretch. Low back pain may be caused by tight muscles. Stretching throughout the day is an excellent way to prevent tight muscles and ease lower back pain. While not all back pain can be remedied by stretching, sometimes those with lower back pain have tight hips and legs, so strengthening and loosening these muscles can help you find relief.
4 Apply Heat Therapy
If your lower back gets tight or achy, try delivering heat to relax tense muscles. Applying heat helps stretch the soft tissues around the spine. Regular heat therapy on the back typically provides decreased stiffness and injury, an increased range of motion, and can make exercising more tolerable.
5 Lose Weight
Our musculoskeletal structures are only designed to carry so much weight, so when you add to this burden, it can easily place too much stress on areas like your lower back. Losing weight, even a few pounds, can have a positive outcome on relieving back pain and discomfort.
When should you see a doctor for low back pain?
Anytime you’re experiencing pain that lasts longer than two weeks without any improvement in symptoms, we strongly suggest you get the care you need. Consult your primary care doctor, request an appointment through our online form, or call the office to schedule an appointment today.