Suffering from lower back pain is a harsh reality that many people face every day, and the costs of medical treatments like spine surgeries and time lost at work make the condition one of the most expensive ailments in the country. Patients may be overlooking some effective solutions to their discomfort that not only work well, but incur little or no expense.
Strengthening the Core
Over time, people who perform exercises that build the muscles of the abdomen and lumbar region, or core, may experience less frequent episodes of back pain. When the core muscles are strengthened, they provide a protective structure for the spine that helps it keep its natural alignment and protects it from injury. Strength training should start out with a simple routine that is modified as a person gains muscle mass and endurance.
Cold and Heat Applications
Using ice packs 10 minutes per hour for the first 24 hours of an acute episode can be a great way to ease discomfort. After the first day, heat can be a great way to enjoy relief as well. Some people also find it useful to alternate heat and ice applications throughout the day. Riding in a vehicle, especially for long distances, is often a major cause of lower back pain. Grabbing a bag of frozen peas on the road, using disposable heat wraps, and taking advantage of the car’s heated seats can help alleviate lower back pain.
Tapping into the Body’s Natural Painkillers
The human body has a ready supply of endorphins that can easily be released by exercise or other means and act as a natural conservative spine treatment. A quick 10-minute spurt of aerobic activity or a vigorous massage may release enough of the chemical to provide back pain relief. Endorphin release is also stimulated by socializing, laughing, enjoying music and eating dark chocolate.
The muscles surrounding the lumbar spine often become stiff and contracted after periods of prolonged sitting. Practicing gentle stretches can help relax tight areas and allow blood flow to return to the affected region. One simple exercise is performed by standing upright and stretching the hamstring by placing one leg at a time on the seat of a chair.
Learn more about your options for back pain relief from the experienced physicians at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. We offer non-surgical back treatments in addition to traditional spinal fusion surgery, motion-preserving spine procedures, and minimally invasive surgeries. Call (310) 828-7757 and schedule an in-person consultation.