7 easy and effective ways to relieve your lower back pain

The term “lower back pain” describes any discomfort or pain felt in the lumbar spine, which is located in the lower back between the ribs and the pelvis. Pain can vary in intensity from mild to severe and may be triggered by various conditions such as arthritis, herniated discs, poor posture, injury, strain, and other illnesses.

A common issue, lower back discomfort may afflict people of all ages and walks of life. It can be either acute – lasting for a brief time – or chronic – lasting more than three months. Depending on the underlying reason and severity of the problem, people with lower back pain may find relief from medication, physical therapy, exercise, or even surgery. [1]

Causes of lower back pain

Depending on the reasons and symptoms, there are several forms of lower back pain. The following are some prevalent causes of lower back pain:

  • Mechanical lower back pain: The most common type of lower back pain is a result of a strain or injury to the muscles, ligaments or joints of the lower back causing localized soreness and it gets worse as you move.
  • Lower back pain: Compression or irritation of a nerve root in the lower spine is the source of this form of lower back pain. The pain may go down the leg and be excruciatingly intense. Sciatica is another name for this.
  • Referred lower back pain: This type of lower back pain originates from other areas of the body, like the hip, pelvis, or abdomen. It may be challenging to identify the discomfort since it may be dull and achy.
  • Wear and tear of the spine: Lower back discomfort that is degenerative is brought on by the wear and tear of the spine, such as arthritis or a herniated disc. The discomfort might be persistent and get worse over time.
  • Strain or injury: Lower back pain that comes on quickly and is typically brought on by an injury or strain is referred to as acute lower back pain. Even though the pain might be very intense, it usually subsides within a few days or weeks. [2]
  • Chronic pain: Lower back pain that is chronic lasts longer than three months and can be brought on by a number of problems, such as underlying medical issues or degenerative illnesses.

A healthcare professional should be consulted in order to identify the precise reason for your lower back pain and create a suitable treatment strategy.

How to relieve lower back pain

If you are experiencing lower back pain, then here are some tips you can use to relieve what you’re feeling.

How to relieve lower back pain
Photograph: YuriArcursPeopleimages/Envato

Take over-the-counter pain relievers

By lowering discomfort and inflammation, over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or naproxen can help treat lower back pain. However, it’s crucial to adhere to the dose recommendations listed on the label. Consult with your healthcare provider if you have any additional questions or concerns about the dosage of painkillers. Overusing painkillers can have negative side effects and may not effectively treat the underlying cause of your lower back pain.

Use heat or ice therapy

If you suffer from persistent or chronic lower back pain, heat treatment can be effective. It works by improving blood flow and relaxing muscles. To apply heat treatment, you can use a heating pad, a hot water bottle, or a heated bath. You should not use heat therapy for no more than 20 minutes at a time to avoid burning your skin.

Lower back pain with an abrupt or rapid onset may be relieved with ice treatment. To relieve discomfort, try using frozen vegetables, an ice pack, or ice cubes wrapped in a cloth. Apply for a maximum of 20 minutes at a time.

Stretching and exercise 

Regular stretches and workouts can reduce lower back discomfort by enhancing the back’s flexibility, strength, and mobility. [3] Remember to start with easy workouts and stretches and gradually build intensity as your back gets stronger and more flexible.

Before beginning any new workout or stretching program, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have a history of lower back discomfort or an accident.

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Maintain good posture 

By putting less strain on the muscles and ligaments in the lower back, good posture helps ease lower back pain. Poor posture can make your lower back curve excessively, putting additional strain on the muscles, discs, and vertebrae in your lower back. Lower back pain and stiffness may result from this.

By distributing your body weight evenly, proper posture can help your lower back muscles operate more effectively and with less effort. In addition to keeping your spine in a neutral alignment, good posture also lowers your chance of spinal misalignment and the ensuing back discomfort.

Chiropractic care

Lower back discomfort can be effectively treated with chiropractic treatments. Chiropractic doctors are medical specialists with a focus on the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, such as lower back pain.

Spinal adjustments, which are delicate manipulations of the spine that can help realign the vertebrae, increase joint mobility, and reduce pain and inflammation, may be used in the course of chiropractic treatment for lower back pain. To assist treat lower back discomfort, chiropractors may also recommend alternative treatments including massage, stretches, and exercise.

Acupuncture

Thin needles are inserted into precise body sites during acupuncture, an ancient Chinese medicine. It is thought that by triggering the body’s inherent healing mechanisms, acupuncture can ease pain and aid in recovery.

Lower back discomfort may be effectively treated with acupuncture. Acupuncture is said to enhance blood flow, lessen inflammation, and let the body’s endorphins, which act as natural analgesics, out.

Acupuncture has been found in studies to be a successful therapy for persistent lower back pain. People who underwent acupuncture for lower back pain in one research reported more improvement in pain and function than those who got conventional medical therapy.

Herbal remedies

Herbal treatments can ease pain and inflammation in the lower back by numbing the region. Numerous herbal medicines have anti-inflammatory ingredients that can aid in reducing swelling and discomfort in the muscles and joints of the lower back. Some plants, including devil’s claw and white willow bark, include aspirin-like chemicals that can lessen pain and inflammation.

Some herbs, like ginger and turmeric, also contain substances that can aid in boosting circulation and fostering healing in the afflicted region. [4] Lower back discomfort and stiffness may be lessened as a result.

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While herbal therapies may be successful for some people, it’s important to remember that not everyone will have success. Prior to using any herbal treatments, it’s also advisable to see a healthcare professional because they may combine with other prescriptions or have undesirable side effects. Herbal medicines are to be taken in conjunction with a whole treatment strategy that calls for dietary adjustments, physical activity, and other therapies as prescribed by a medical professional.

Stretching

Lower back discomfort can be lessened by stretching. These stretches might be helpful for you:

Knee to chest stretch

Steps:

  • On a soft surface, such as a yoga mat or carpeted floor, lie on your back.
  • Put your feet level on the ground while bending both knees.
  • Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, draw one knee toward your chest with the help of your hands.
  • Feel a little stretch in your lower back and buttocks as you hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • After releasing the leg, extend the opposite leg.
  • Repeat the stretch two to three times on each side.
  • Try bringing both knees to your chest simultaneously as you get more accustomed to the stretch.

Cat-cow stretch 

Steps:

  • Starting from a kneeling position, place your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  • Take a deep breath in as you lower your belly to the ground, arch your back, and elevate your head and tailbone to the ceiling. The cow stance is as shown.
  • Exhale while curving your spine, bringing your belly button up into your spine, and tucking your chin towards your chest. The cat stance is as shown.
  • Continue moving with your breath, between the cow and the cat. For the cow stance, inhale, and the cat pose, exhale.
  • Repeat as often as is comfortable for 5 to 10 breaths. 
  • Additionally, you may incorporate a small amount of mild hip movement while you alternate between the cat and cow positions.
7 Easy and effective ways to relieve your lower back pain
Photograph: koldunov/Envato

Child’s pose

Steps:

  • Starting from a kneeling position, place your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  • While maintaining your arms out in front of you, bring your hips back toward your heels.
  • If it’s more comfortable, place a block or cushion under your forehead and rest it there.
  • Take a few deep breaths while letting your chest descend toward the floor. You should feel a little stretch in your thighs, lower back, and hips as you do this.
  • Hold the stretch for as long as it feels comfortable, between 30 and 1 minute.
  • Roll up to a sitting posture gradually to exit the pose.

Piriformis stretch

Steps:

  • On a soft surface, such as a yoga mat or carpeted floor, lie on your back.
  • Put your feet level on the ground while bending both knees.
  • Your ankle should be lying just above the other knee as you cross one leg over the other knee.
  • Stretch your buttock and outer hip of the crossed leg by using your hands to gently draw the uncrossed leg towards your chest.
  • Repeat the stretch with the opposite leg after holding it for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Repeat the stretch two to three times on each side.
  • You can draw the uncrossed leg closer to your chest while gently pressing on the crossed knee with your palm to deepen the stretch.

Hamstring stretch

Steps:

  • On a soft surface, such as a yoga mat or carpeted floor, lie on your back.
  • Keep your foot flat on the ground while bending one knee.
  • Wrap the ball of your other foot with a strap or a cloth.
  • Using the strap to gently pull your foot up towards your head, slowly straighten your leg toward the ceiling.
  • Keep your other leg at a comfortable angle and the floor with your lower back.
  • Feel a stretch at the back of your leg and calf as you hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Stretch the opposite leg again after releasing the strap.
  • Repeat the stretch two to three times on each side.
  • You might try stretching your foot toward your head while gripping the strap to make the stretch deeper.

[1] https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007425.htm
[2] https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/what-helps-with-lower-back-pain
[3] https://www.goodrx.com/well-being/movement-exercise/stretches-lower-back-pain
[4] https://www.spine-health.com/blog/7-ways-relieve-back-pain-naturally

The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.