Low back pain tips
Low back pain is considered a major public health problem, with a 60% to 85% lifetime chance of occurrence. It is a leading cause of work absenteeism. It can limit daily activities, and reduce the quality of one’s life.
Studies have shown that low back pain can generate anxiety around movement and exercise, leading to movement avoidance, which may lead to deconditioning and further increasing problems with activities of daily living. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6851039/#:~:text=A%20broad%20variety%20of%20factors,as%20well%20as%20more%20workplace
However, there are lifestyle strategies that can help manage lower back pain such as daily physical activity, quality sleep, targeted stretches, heat/cold packs, and massage.
Here it is – 5 tips to manage your low back pain
- Stay active – Regular physical activity and aerobic exercise can help alleviate low back pain by increasing blood flow and delivering nutrients to the affected area, which aids in the healing process and reduces stiffness. Additionally, aerobic exercise prompts the body to produce endorphins, which are natural painkillers that can help reduce the perception of pain. (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4934575/#B55-healthcare-04-00022)
- Get quality sleep – Quality sleep is essential for good health and wellbeing, and it allows the body to repair and restore itself. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night and try to establish a regular sleep routine. (Source: https://www.physio-pedia.com/Sleep:_Theory,_Function_and_Physiology)
- Stretch your back muscles – Certain stretches can help alleviate low back pain, such as Child’s Pose or a knee-to-chest stretch. Other stretches that may be beneficial include the Cat-Cow stretch and glute stretch.
- Use heat or cold therapy – Cold therapy can help reduce inflammation and pain in acute pain situations. Examples are applying a wrapped ice pack or a cold gel pack. Heat therapy is useful for chronic pain situations. This can be done by applying a heat pack from the microwave or boiled water. Always keep a layer between the skin and the pack and limit applications to 15-30 minutes. Allow for at least 2 hours of rest in between applications. Avoid sleeping with a heat or cold pack to prevent skin damage.
- Consider massage therapy – Massage can be a highly effective method for relieving low back pain. It promotes blood flow, increase elasticity in muscles and tendons, and reduce stiffness, inflammation, and scar tissue formation. Massage can also stimulate the release of hormones such as endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine. These can decrease pain, regulate sleep and mood, and promote relaxation. It is important to note that massage therapy should be performed by a qualified professional and that it may not be appropriate for everyone. If you are considering massage therapy for low back pain, it is recommended that you consult with your healthcare provider first.
Following these low back pain tips should help you feel better and more comfortable. If you are still experiencing discomfort, it is best to seek professional advice. Our Physiotherapy and Exercise Physiologist team are here to help. Book online or call us on 07 3352 5116 to see one of our team today!