How to relieve lower back pain
You’ve likely felt it before – that excruciating ache searing through your lower back, just irritating enough to distract you from your everyday work. Lower back pain is frustrating and debilitating, and it’s incredibly common in our culture. In fact, 31 million Americans experience lower back pain at any given time.
The tension is enough to keep you from fully living and enjoying your life. Lower back pain is even a top cause for missing work.
Routine massage therapy has been proven to relieve lower back pain. Especially when combined with exercise and stretching, massage therapy is known to be an effective treatment plan recommended by healthcare providers. With regular massages and a few at-home techniques, you can manage low back pain and keep it from causing you further suffering.
We want to arm you with plenty of lower back pain remedies to perform on your own between massage appointments. Here’s our guide on how to relieve lower back pain and get back to your usual self.
What causes lower back pain
From your job to the purse or bag you carry, many factors can contribute to lower back pain. A spasm may come on suddenly from a muscle strain during a workout, or pain may last for months when the spinal joints are inflamed.
For many people with chronic back pain – meaning the pain persists for longer than 3 months – jobs are often the culprit. Jobs where you’re constantly lifting or pulling heavy weight or twisting your spine can easily lead to back pain, but even sitting at a desk for 8 hours can bring it on. Often times, our office chair setup causes us to sit with poor posture, causing strain and tension on the lower back.
Whether you experience this irritation every once in awhile or on a daily basis, it’s great to know how to relieve lower back pain so you can manage it on your own.
Massage therapy for lower back pain
Many people find relief from lower back pain with massage therapy. In fact, 54 percent of healthcare providers say they will encourage patients to use massage therapy as part of their treatment plan.
Massage therapy helps relieve lower back pain in a number of ways, including:
- Increasing circulation: Massage therapy improves blood circulation to the strained muscles (and your entire body), bringing essential nutrients to the affected area to relieve soreness.
- Relaxing the muscles: Massages can help relieve the muscle tension and allow you to sleep better. This is huge, since approximately two-thirds of people with chronic back pain also suffer from disruptive sleep.
- Increasing endorphin levels: A massage releases those feel-good chemicals in your body, which is important for both managing the pain and stress that revolves around the pain.
To treat low back pain, try trigger point massage therapy. In this type of treatment, your massage therapist manipulates triggers spots with cycles of pressure and release. This type of massage might not be as relaxing as others, but it is effective in the healing process.
Swedish and deep tissue massage are also great for treating lower back pain. While experiencing relief from those knots being worked out, you’ll also enjoy more relaxation with these types of massages.
How to relieve lower back pain at home
Lower back pain can persist for so long that you forget what it’s like to live without it. Fortunately, you can take matters into your own hands and relieve pain with natural remedies. Here are a few ways to manage pain in between massage appointments.
Chill and Heat
When you first notice lower back pain, apply ice or a cold pack to the area. Cold therapy helps reduce inflammation, so use ice for the first 24-48 hours after an injury.
After 48 hours, switch to heat therapy to reduce your pain. Heat stimulates blood flow, bringing healing nutrients to the affected area. For heat therapy, try a relaxing bath, heating pad or a heat wrap.
Yoga and Stretching
Studies have shown that people who practice yoga regularly as well as conventional stretching had fewer symptoms of low back pain. Tight hamstrings are often overlooked as a contributor, so stretch these muscles a couple times per day. Spend some time each day in child’s pose and perform lower-back twist stretches to loosen the muscles.
Strengthen Your Core
Your core plays a big role in supporting your lower spine. Target this area through exercise to make your core a strong support system for your back. Perform core-strengthening activities regularly, or swap out your office chair for an exercise ball to engage your core muscles.
Get started on your lower back pain treatment plan
Lower back pain doesn’t have to consume your life. Use massage therapy to relax your muscles and relieve pain, and remember to perform regular stretching and core-strengthening exercises at home. Continue to move and be active without overdoing it.
It’s hard to show up as your best if you don’t feel your best. Take action to relieve lower back pain and enjoy life as you were meant to.
Ready to relieve the pain with massage therapy? Book your appointment with Gainesville Massage Therapy today!