Tips for Easing Lower Back Pain at Home
By Karen Heslop
Seeing a chiropractor isn't the only beneficial move you can make to ease your lower back pain. To ensure that the pain stays at a manageable level, it's best to incorporate a few activities that support the chiropractic work. In most cases, you can gain the benefits of less lower back pain without changing much about your daily routine.
Exercise Is Essential
Being physically active does more than keep you fit. Exercise has been proven to release endorphins which can help to naturally block pain signals from the brain. As an added bonus, endorphins are great for easing feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety. If you're not up for aerobic exercise, meditation and massage therapy can also release endorphins.
Make the Time to Stretch
Tight hamstrings can put an enormous amount of pressure on the lower back and sacroiliac joints. When this happens, the pain in your lower back worsens. Unfortunately, most persons are unaware of the correlation between their hamstrings and lower back pain. Stretching the hamstrings can help to ease lower back pain because it makes the muscles more flexible. When you're starting out, it's best to use gentle exercises twice daily. Stretching should never cause pain to get worse.
Does this cycle sound familiar? You can't sleep because of lower back pain and then the lack of sleep somehow makes the pain worse. When you rest, your body gets a chance to repair itself from the rigors of the day. That can include soothing inflamed muscles that cause pain. If you're sleeping properly, there's no time for that to happen. While you can research the best ways to encourage a good night's sleep, it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor about all your options.
Use Heat and Cold
When your back is hurting, applying a cold or hot pack to the area can help to alleviate the pain. Cold will reduce inflammation and the heat will improve blood flow as well as relax the muscles. It's recommended that you try them out on separate occasions to see which one helps with your pain. Whichever one you use, ensure that the pack doesn't touch the bare skin as it may cause damage. You should also only the packs for a maximum of 20 minutes each time.
Everyone is different and so it may take some time to figure out what works best for you. As you're figuring things out, talk to your chiropractor and regular physician. They may have some suggestions on modifying existing strategies for your circumstances.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Raleigh, N.C.