Back Pain Tips from Greater Maryland Pain Management
Living with lower back pain is like carrying an invisible burden that impacts every aspect of your life, from work and play to getting a good night’s sleep. If you find yourself wincing in pain throughout the day, you’re not alone. Lower back pain is the top reason for missing work and visiting the doctor. This discomfort can stem from multiple causes, including sudden injuries, wear and tear, and arthritis. No matter the cause, here are nine tips on how to relieve lower back pain and keep your back healthy.
- Strengthen your core: The lower back supports your entire upper body, which means your core muscles must be in top shape to prevent strain. Since these muscles are not actively engaged most of the time, they need a little extra attention. Perform a few targeted lower back muscle exercises each day to benefit your spinal health.
- Stretch daily: Stretching is a surprisingly effective back pain relief method. Tight muscles can worsen the stress on your spine, leading to discomfort or injury. Introduce a daily stretching regimen that focuses on your back muscles.
- Maintain correct posture: Whether you’re an athlete, a construction worker, or someone with a desk job, maintaining proper posture is crucial. When lifting heavy objects, use your legs to avoid straining your back. Similarly, sitting upright in a chair that supports your lower back minimizes the risk of back pain.
- Wear the proper shoes: Footwear can either support or sabotage your spinal health. Wear shoes appropriate for the activity, whether that’s running, exercising, or working. Consistently wearing high heels, flip flops, or other unsupportive footwear can negatively affect your lower back.
- Get a massage: Massage therapy is highly effective at relieving lower back pain. A targeted massage lengthens tight muscles and relieves tension, providing much-needed back pain relief.
- Try ice and heat therapy: Apply ice during the first 24 to 72 hours following an acute injury to reduce swelling and alleviate pain. After that, switch to heat therapy to relax tight muscles and promote blood flow. To avoid skin damage, apply ice or heat for no more than 20 minutes at a time.
- Sleep on a quality mattress: A medium-firm mattress can do wonders for lower back pain. The best mattress for you also depends on your preferred sleeping position. If you’re a side sleeper, opt for a softer mattress, while back and stomach sleepers should invest in a firmer surface.
- Seek over-the-counter relief: Medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can temporarily relieve back pain, but consult your physician before starting any medication regimen.
- Know when to see a spine specialist: If your lower back pain persists for four to six weeks despite trying these home remedies, it’s time to consult a specialist.
Greater Maryland Pain Management is here to help. We offer a customized pain management approach with a range of interventional procedures and medications. Our highly skilled doctors provide physician-guided care, and same-day appointments are available upon request. Contact us at 410-672-2255 or visit one of our six Greater Maryland locations to start down the path to back pain relief.