Lower Back Bugging You? Before Surgery, Look at Your Options
When we experience lower back pain, it can cause great anxiety because of its association to many serious conditions. The truth is that it’s a fairly common ailment and, for most of us, it’s a symptom of something else gone wrong in the body.
There are a variety of lower back pain triggers, and not all forms of relief will work for all triggers. But for the majority of people who have been touched by lower back pain, there are some non-surgical first steps you can take for relief.
5 Non-Surgical Options for Lower Back Pain Relief
Most people will suffer from back pain at some stage. The most common reason is due to lifestyle: bad posture, poor ergonomics, stress, obesity, etc. As such, the condition is temporary and a few stretches—even 7 minutes of stretching the right muscles—can immediate relief.
Lower back pain is often because muscles are tight, so focusing on stretching them will loosen them up, bringing instant relief. However, if you experience lower back pain regularly, you may need to make stretching a habit instead of a once-off.
Here are two of the most popular stretches to try:
- Aligning the pelvis and stretching the lower back and glute muscles: Lying with your knees bent and back on the floor, bring one leg up from the knee, toes to the ceiling, while the other remains straight. Grab your knee with both hands and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat 3 times on each side.
- Stretching the paraspinal muscles and strengthening the abdominal muscles: Lie on your back with legs straight. Bring one knee up and gently swing to the opposite side, while your torso remains straight. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on each side 3 times.
2. Spinal Adjustments
Spinal adjustments by chiropractors for lower back pain act as good prevention as well as a first-line treatment for many conditions that produce pain.
Visiting a chiropractor instead of reaching for a pill means that you’re searching for the root cause of the problem instead of covering it up with medication. While this is a longer process for relief than taking pills, it is a good idea to seek out medical professionals like a doctor, chiropractor, or physiotherapist to help adjust your body and put a stop to the pain once and for all.
A review of whether chiropractic spinal adjustments are safe shows that the estimated incidence of stroke from cervical adjustment is 1 to 3 incidents per million treatments and the use of NSAIDS carries a hundred times greater risk of severe injury or death.
People who have injuries may benefit from seeing a chiropractor, and those with the following conditions respond well to this form of treatment:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Ear infection
- Fertility issues
- Frequent colds or the flu
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Loss of equilibrium
- Menstrual problems
- Multiple sclerosis
- Neck pain
- Respiratory infection
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
3. Weight Loss
People who are overweight are at greater risk to develop lower back pain and suffer from joint pain. As far as back problems go, excess weight in the stomach pulls the pelvis forward, straining the lower back, which leads to pain.
In addition, many overweight people find exercise uncomfortable, which further compounds the problem because lack of exercise can result in poor flexibility and weak muscles in the back, pelvis, and thighs. In turn, this may increase the curve of the lower back, causing the pelvis to tilt too far forward.
When the pelvis is out of line, posture is affected. As posture weakens, other areas related to the spine (like the neck) may become painful.
4. Discharge Endorphins
Endorphins—hormones that are made naturally in our bodies—are just as strong as any pain medication! When they are released in the body, they can block the pain signals from registering with your brain. This equals pain relief.
These natural peptide chemicals also help reduce anxiety, stress, and depression, which are all associated with chronic back pain and often make it worse. When these hormones are discharged, it’s like taking anti-anxiety medication and morphine—but without the side effects.
Methods to release these feel-good chemicals:
- Cardiovascular exercise
5. Get Better Sleep
There’s an unusual connection between back pain and insomnia… Insomnia is not a sleep disorder, but rather a symptom—mostly from a mental or emotional condition.
Although pain plays a big role in insomnia, it is not the cause of it. Poor sleep may create a higher perception of pain, but does not actually cause more pain.
The results of one study show how cognitive behavioural therapy can effectively cure insomnia in people suffering from chronic pain. Therefore, if you deal with the emotional or mental condition that’s causing insomnia, you will relieve lower back pain, too.
Any of these 5 approaches to back pain should help your symptoms and even treat the root cause. Obviously seek the opinion of your medical practitioner before starting on anything, but barring any major issues, these are all functional ways to help ease your lower back pain.