According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetime. This can be from a variety of causes ranging from a little wrong move to falls or accidents. Sometimes, it can occur without any obvious reason. We blame age for that. Pain can be severe at times. That is why it is one of the top reasons for missed work. And this is why I want to teach everyone a solution to low back pain.
Low back is the part of your back from below the rib cage up to above the pelvic area. In the middle of the back is the lumbar spine made up of bones one on top of the other called vertebrae. Pain in this area is referred to as low back pain. Sometimes, the pain can radiate down the leg and that is caused by a nerve impingement on the back. I wrote a separate article about that. You can check it here. In this article, we will be discussing pain that is felt only on the low back.
- Younger adults (30-60 years old) are more likely to feel low back pain from a muscle strain or other soft tissue strain from over-activity. This is described more of like soreness or stiffness and usually goes away in a few days.
- Low back pain can also be from the lumbar disc itself- disc herniation (slipped disc). A disk herniates when its jelly-like center (nucleus) pushes against its outer ring (annulus). If the disk is very worn or injured, the nucleus may squeeze all the way through. When the herniated disk bulges out toward the spinal canal, it puts pressure on the sensitive spinal nerves, causing pain. Some of these nerves go all the way down the leg and foot causing pain to be felt from the buttocks down the leg. This is called sciatica.
- Disc degeneration is when discs wear away usually with age but sometimes also overuse. The space between the spine get narrower or sometimes disappear. This causes pain and stiffness.
- Spinal stenosis is when space around the spinal cord gets smaller putting pressure on the cord and the nerves. Bone spurs on the spine and osteoarthritis can cause the stenosis.
- Scoliosis is more common in kids and teens. It is characterized by a curvature of the spine sideways and this abnormal curve can compress the nerves also and cause low back pain.
Symptoms of Low Back Pain
- Pain may be worse when bending or sitting
- Pain may be worse when straightening up or standing
- Pain may be worse when lifting
- Pain comes and goes with good days and bad days
- Pain may extend from the back to the buttocks, hip area or groin area but not down the leg
Home Remedies for Low Back Pain
Because low back pain can be addressed in a couple of ways, I will mention a few things you can do. Repeat the exercises 2-3 times a day.
- Applying ice if your strained your back will help decease the inflammation.
- Applying heat is better if you feel stiff and the muscles on your back are tight.
- Single knee to chest stretch – this is recommended if pain is worse when straightening up and better with bending or sitting. Lie on your back with both legs straight out. Bring one knee to your chest by bending the hip and knee of that leg and hold it there with your hands. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
- Double knee to chest – if the single knee to chest feels good, you can add this exercise. Lie on your back and bring both knees to your chest. Use your hands to hold your knees to your chest. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
- Prone on elbows – this is recommended if pain is worse when bending or sitting and better with straightening up. Lie on your stomach and prop up on your elbows. Hold that position for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
- Prone press up – if the prone on elbow feels good, this is the next step. Lie on your stomach and prop up on your hands. Some people call this the cobra stretch. Hold that position for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
- Hamstring stretch – lying on your back with legs straight, use a belt/bath towel/stretch strap and hook it to 1 leg. Bring that leg up with up with your knee straight until you feel the stretch. You can use your hands to pull on the strap to help bring your leg up. Make sure the other leg stay flat on the bed/floor. Hold that position for 20-30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
- Transversus abdominis contraction – this is a “core” exercise. Its purpose is to tone the deeper abdominal muscle to hold the spine in good alignment. Lie on your back with your hip and knees bent. Pull your navel gently into your spine without using your chest and other stomach muscles. Make sure not to hold your breath while you draw in your navel. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
Treatment for Low Back Pain
If the above home remedies are not enough to relieve your low back pain, Don’t Worry! We can design a specialized program that has shown great results at relieving your pain quickly. This program can consist of using different modalities including the revolutionary Laser treatment, manual therapy techniques and exercises. Call Restore Plus TODAY for more information or to schedule an appointment! (800) 905-0513.
Restore Plus Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation
33-10 Queens Blvd. Suite 301
Long Island City, NY 11101