According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), about 80 percent of adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Some people also experience upper back pain or neck pain. Lower back pain or lumbar ache is the most common problem which, generally, arises due to spasm or sprain in the ligament or muscle in the lumbar region, osteoarthritis, and pressure on nerve roots due to spinal stenosis or herniated disc.
A few simple changes may be all you need. Learn how healthier habits can improve your back health and relieve your pain.
1. Give your back a break
A word of advice for the four-fifths of Americans who know lower back pain: Consider slacking off, just this once. People who don’t pursue extreme treatment tend to have fewer complications than those who end up rushing into MRIs, x-rays, epidural injections, narcotics, and even spine surgery long before it’s truly necessary, according to research.
2. Go hot and cold
Break out that bag of frozen peas (or an ice pack, if you want to get fancy) for the first 48 hours after the pain sets in, and put it to use for 20 minutes a session, several sessions per day. After those two days are behind you, switch to 20-minute intervals with a heating pad.
3. Focus on your feet
Some back trouble starts from the ground up. Women whose feet roll inward when they walk (what’s known as pronation) might be particularly susceptible to lower back pain, according to a recent study in the journal Rheumatology. Another study finds that correcting the problem with orthotics may help.
4. Keep moving.
Our spines are like the rest of our body — they’re meant to move,” says Reicherter. Keep doing your daily activities. Make the beds, go to work, walk the dog. Once you’re feeling better, regular aerobic exercises like swimming, bicycling, and walking.
5. Stay strong.
Once your low back pain has receded, you can help avert future episodes of back pain by working the muscles that support your lower back, including the back extensor muscles.
6. Oil Therapy
Take 4 tablespoons of mustard oil, sesame oil or coconut oil. Put it on low flames and fry 7-10 garlic cloves till they turn light brown. Then, strain the oil. Allow it to cool. Massage this oil on your lower back. Use this therapy regularly for 15 days or so, to get effective results.
Grate a few raw potatoes and wrap them in a thin cloth. Use it as a poultice on your lower back. Keep it for at least one hour.
8. Lemon Juice
Extract juice of a lemon and add some common salt to it. Stir well. Drink it on a regular basis, in order to get relief in lower back pain.
Milk is a good source of calcium. It strengthens the bones and minimizes the risk of osteoporosis and lower back pain. Add a tablespoon of honey in warm milk or water. Drink it to cure the pain.
Cook some whole oats. Mash them with vinegar. Apply it hot on your lower back to alleviate the ache.
11. Capsaicin Cream
Capsaicin is a compound that is found in chili peppers and has an analgesic effect. When applied topically, it helps reduce several types of chronic pain, including lower back pain. Apply capsaicin cream, four times a day. Initially, it will cause burning sensation or sting, but later, you will be relieved of pain.
Yoga poses like locust posture, corpse pose, plow pose, cobra pose, and raised feet pose are very beneficial in soothing the pain.
13. Stretching Exercises
Lie down on your back with hands somewhat away from your body. Keep your feet together. Concentrating on your lumber region, take a deep breath. Turn your feet on the right side. At the same time, turn your head to the left. Take deep breaths and hold the posture for some time. Resume the initial position. Now, do it on the other side of the body.
14. Chamomile Tea
Stress stiffens the muscles of the back, thereby, causing pain. Chamomile is, said to be, a great stress-buster which soothes tense muscles. Take 1 cup of boiling water and add 1 tablespoon chamomile flowers to it.
15. Ginger Root
The anti-inflammatory compounds of ginger alleviate the pain. When your lower back aches, drink ginger tea. Slice fresh ginger root and put these slices in 1 quart boiling water. Steep them on low heat for half an hour. Let it cool and add honey to sweeten it. Sip it twice a day.