I was picking up a box at work today, and I went SNAP! I couldn’t a moment later, I couldn’t continue with the same repeating process, I had to finally put an end to it. It was time to make this my mission to never feel the same pain again.
Many people worldwide deal with the uncertainty that lower back pain brings to them. Each particular person varying in different amount on a pain scale. Your pain could vary from 1-10, but can feel from 1-100 with no congruent conclusion to make from it.
Did you know that 80% of people worldwide will experience a lower back pain at least once in their lives? That’s not what’s scary as this is… Over $50 billion(yes, 50,000,000,000) dollars are spent annually on treating a back pain related injury, and that does include minor aches!
In this article I will be talking to you about how you can take care of your back pain by understanding how to treat a lower back pain you are having.I will present to you the following:
I’m breaking down everything from spine issues down to your muscles and joints that affect it. ALSO, If at any point you want a more structured list and a general overview of the 3 stages of pain, acute, sub-acute, chronic and sciatica, you should see my super advanced ways to get rid of any lower back pain article here.
The answer to understand lower back pain is far and wide. Many people theorize their own interpretation before they actually know the actual meaning. Here are some of those interpretations:
Don’t be fooled. This is not even close to true. I’ll find it…
Lower back pain is not an illness, nor is it a disorder, rather it is a “discomfort”. The discomfort comes from the lower region of your spine known as the Lumbar Spine. At this part of your spine is where it supports all of your upper body weight. Your Lumbar Spine is a magnificent “mechanically engineered” structure.
It provides so many functions such as bones, joints, nerves, ligaments, and muscles that all work together in conjunction to make you work the way you do. It is this reason that is so suspect-able to injury too.
It can be tough at times to identify with your lower back pain…you can get lost with all the amount of causes and symptoms that rise up. If you’d like a brief education and general overview, you can always reference my education page right here.
We’re indestructible and built like a machine right? Not exactly, and don’t machines wear and tear down from use too?
When it comes to understanding what the cause of lower back pain is, it can get a bit more complex than you might come to think. It’s more than just saying “yep there it is, that’s where my pain is coming from.” There is a time when you will find trouble figuring what the real cause of your lower back pain, and face the reality in the face:
It didn’t happen at the exact moment, but it happened over time.
Oh GEE, what do I mean? What this means is that your pain come from awkward use of your lower back muscles over time, so when you finally get the pain you so painfully feel, you just simply couldn’t understand it. You end up asking yourself, how?…
“I didn’t do a darn thing!”
Here is an example you need to carefully look at.
Ex: You prepared to go the work the same way you do every day.
STEP 1: You get out of bed, and get dressed
STEP 2: You head to the kitchen to make a plate of your favorite nice morning breakfast
STEP 3: 5 minutes after, you”re out the door
STEP 4: Into the car you zoom in, and out work you go
STEP 5: Now, you’re sitting sunk into your desk chair for a couple hours at a time
STEP 6: You got up and felt an ache on your lower back. You go on to ask, but how? I didn’t do A thing!
Answer from me: EXACTLY! It commonly doesn’t take one scenario or circumstance to lead you into the full wrath of pain all the time, BUT it takes wear and tear on your body over time. Take a look at how an example like the one we just went through can do to your lower spine.
In the picture above is my spine after a week of sitting in my vehicle for 40 minutes getting to work, and adding an 8 hour work day at sitting in front of my desk. My spine went into a posterior alignment(curving my spine towards my belly), and causing my:
These two causes are enough to turn what is a small acute lower back pain into a chronic pain. And that will be explained in a bit.
What’s the most common cause?:
Most commonly, the number one reason for any type of back pain, whether that be acute, sub acute, chronic or sciatica nerve pain are:
As a result of a sedimentary lifestyle, the pressure on your lower spine packs too much stress tension on your vertebrae, and its disc. Here are the common disk injuries you can get:
Let’s look at one at a time.
So… less flexibility = more stress
Put A Time Frame On It:
A degenerative disc can begin:
A re-occurring sport injury or an on going strain and muscle pull are the largest reasons for a degenerative disc so early on in your life. And as we age, our disc lose the fluid inside and around the disc, therefore they tend to shrink.
The great men vs women debacle race:
Does one “sex” group actually get it more than the other? You might think one does,but this surprisingly does not hold true! Both men and women are equally likely to get it at any age and any time. According to NCBI, they say so, and explain further on.
2. Herniated Disk. There will be times when your disk will hit a LARGE bump in the road..sort of speak. Like a tire can get flat from hitting a bump and cause a tire or two to pop, so can your disk. The center of the disk will open up and bulge out causing the fluid or the outer layer of the disk to push on your nerves, carrying messages to your brain. This can cause pain to radiate to your buttocks, and down your leg.
Which age group and gender is affected most?:
As you age there are two things I know can happen:
There are more causes to a lower back pain than just these two though, and they are:
Other than your disc and chronic conditions like arthritis pain, there are more reasons that you can take for granted. Have you thought that for once it was not anything related to your spinal disc or spine injury directly?
Look below your waist and what do you see? I can tell you over 5.
All these are causes you shouldn’t rule out.
There are a numerous amount of ways to treat acute lower back pain, so many in fact you can get lost where to:
Luckily you don’t need to be like how I was anymore. I HONESTLY know what works very well from start to finish without jumping the gaps. Whether your pain is the result of a strain or just slow and on going inflammation, I have your back!
I’m about to get into the meat of things here, and address the finer details. I’ll to show you how you can treat lower back pain when at this exact stage step-by-step. So don’t turn the page just yet.
For all my acute lower back pain patients out there, come closer, i have something to tell you – STRAP IN, and take a look at this common scenario:
You’re fresh off the block- you NEVER had a lower back pain in your life. First of a big congratulations on going so long without it. Having your first ache is the one we take for granted. This was my mindset at first:
“Oh well, I will live with it”.
PUMP, PUMP, Not so fast! Where’s your mindset at? You have an outlook that doesn’t look promising an uncertain with this focus. With this head on your shoulders, you’re likely to force yourself into an injury. You’ll continue to:
This is where you need to have a hard look at yourself and ask yourself why you had pain in the first place. Was it from a way you were sitting? a twist, turn or pull? The way you lifted weights during your workout?
Break every situation down before you go into your day to day activities. To help you do so, you should check out my prevention article by clicking here.
Why Treat Acute Lower Back Pain As Soon As Possible?:
The primary reason you don’t want to avoid care of your acute pain is because it can cause further damage to your:
Your injury acclimates differently from the next person with similar acute lower back pain. You can be on any pain scale from a 1-10, so its vital that you understand your starting treatment sooner rather than later.
Seeing your doctor or back pain specialist would be really beneficial under traumatic circumstances like these:
Do you see the pattern?:
You could be put more at risk with a previous ongoing condition if you’re not careful. Pause what you are doing from your day to day activities, and seek medical attention before seeing beyond this point. Depending on the severity of your injury, you might need to attend to your pain differently.
Your in pain how do you treat it?:
In many cases that I’ve experienced and know too well about, at any age, the best way to start is with “Cold and Hot Therapy.”
A blow to your lumbar spine may have caused a ligament, a tendon, a joint, a muscle strain or a muscle sprain that needs your immediate attention. Here’s how you should continue from start to finish…
Start: First, You will want to put a local application of ice to the injured area. The ice will reduce inflammation.
Time: 15-20 minutes, every hour, for the next 48 hours. Generally, if you had a traumatic injury, you’ll be told to ice for a better time of 72 hours. Do this instead
Middle: Continue performing your day to day activities, except at a smaller rate. This will allow the nutrients to flow to the injured are, and keeps your blood in good flow. The result is it shortens the inflammation, and muscular tension reduces. The best is yet to come.
End: Heat therapy.
Time elapsed: 20 minutes.
There is a method that I like to use, called Contrasting Therapy. It is an extremely stimulating process, more used to facilitate an injury recovery. This causes your tissues to adjust to quick changes. It can help accelerate a process if you have strains a or sprains. It provides a couple of reliefs:
You can alternate between cold and hot therapy in one day without having to wait the first 24-72 hours to apply cold therapy.
Who’s it best for?:
This is the type of therapy that will work for anyone, but it’s used more by athletes than anyone.
Follow this 8 step procedure:
Grab yourself a bucket, a tub, a sink, you can use wrapping such as heating pads, or a soaked towel.
What else can you do?:
Ever heard of REFERRED Pain?
In many cases, pain doesn’t come from where your injury occurred. Sometimes one place in your body will cause pain in another, such as your lower back. A nerve sends signals running down triggering pain receptors in a different area non-related to your incident.
What I recommend you do:
STEP 1: Follow normal acute Lower back pain procedure which is proceed with your daily activities
STEP 2: Get at least 2 day’s of rest in between
STEP 3: Stretch and exercise, if you can otherwise you should follow the next step
STEP 4: Ice and hot therapy
I have a few articles based on all these steps that I highly advise you take a look at. To see each one take a look at the following links:
It’s sometimes hard to diagnose exactly where your pain originates, but when you feel like your hips and butt muscles are sore, you can go as far as getting a massage. According to Livestrong, getting a massage is the best way to release muscle tension and stress for your lower back.
Here’s how it can look for you:
One for all the athletes:
If you are an athlete you will need to do stretching and lower back strengthening workouts. By doing this you will be able to further prevent another sore back in the future.
The Worker in you:
What if work has something to do with your pain? Here are a few factors to consider:
Stress related issues at work can cause you to naturally get a muscle strain, and or spasms much faster than someone who is outworking their body from a workout.
feeling pressured, or things like not likening your job can cause you to do your job differently, and as stress builds up in your mind, your physical body will start to operate in different forms.
What you can do:
This is tricky, and it still is for me till this day. There’s really not a perfect formula, as it depends on a multitude of factors when you are at work like:
If you find that you sit a lot, one of the things I do that helps is stretch by doing a quadratus lumbordum stretch. This is where I twist my body in my chair and get a nice rib cage stretch. This will add more mobility. Check out how to do it here at work.
I never like to recommend anti-inflammatory drugs but there are cases where you just need to use them period. In younger adults you can take Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs(NSAIDs) otherwise known as pain relievers, or Use Acetaminophen. These medicines will work just fine:
Talk to your doctor for the right prescript-ed amount, and always read the label for the active ingredients.
Options for Exercising:
It’s obvious that you need to make a lifestyle change if you want to stop getting the same ache and pains time after time. You should take a look at our prevention page for more information, but I’ll explain a couple things:
Best Option: At this point you will want to look into stretching, and strengthening. Beginning this too soon can worsen your pain though. Seek out a physical therapist to begin with if need be(but not required this early into back pain). They will assess where your pain is coming from and what type of stretches and movements will work the best for you.
Option # 2: When you decide to stop seeking a PT, I recommend looking into Yoga. Your pain by this point might be close to gone, or is. In either case, yoga will help strengthen your back muscles, and give you a great sigh of relief…literally! Your breathing will get better and your mind will get way stronger.
This works well if you have constant back pain flares that are acute and tough to keep away because your mobility is tight. Yoga will train your mind to deal and get over the pain that keeps re-occurring.
Doing less of what you do is another must:
Stay away from lifting heavy objects. Get help from a co-worker to shift the weight, and proceed with caution. Remember to avoid twisting and bending, slow as well as fast.
For help with lifting at work, you can temporarily use a back brace if you need to. Check out our back brace article right here.
You might have taken a slippery ride down the acute back pain road, and found yourself at the mercy of something greater: Sub-acute lower back pain that is. This stage is common among people who didn’t either treat their injury properly or didn’t make the effort at all to adjust their lifestyle. This pain will last between 4 to 12 weeks. And a medical evaluation should be considered first before you continue forward.
The tendencies to do anything and limit your are greater…
In the Sub acute stage, it has the effect to limit you from participating in the following:
The damage to your tissue has become greater now, causing slightly more pain throughout your day. You should take immediate action that are of the following:
What you can take:
You can take NSAID drugs if necessary. They are commonly the first line of therapy and it is common to react to this form of treatment for a more severe low back acute pain. Some you can take are:
Another problem with sub acute pain is that your muscles ramp up to another level. You will constantly feel like your muscles are hurting and weakening your lower back. Take a look at your natural muscle relaxers by going here.
Here is something I don’t recommend, Opioids. They do little benefit, You can be more at harm with a larger dose of use too.
Proceed with a physical therapist if need be. They will well asses what type of movements you need to take to work around your pain, not through it.
How do you go about treating a lower back pain that might not go away? It is a hard fact to face but one you can kick butt at. At 12 weeks and greater, pain will persists causing chronic lower back pain. 20 percent of people with acute lower back pain get to this point. The other 80%unfortunately begin with it, from a large blow to the the lumbar spine and its surrounding components.
Before I continue, if you want to see what your best chronic lower back pain treatments are, check out this chronic back pain article.
#1 Strengthening exercises. Get into strengthening your break right away. You will want to do this because your pain is radiating to a higher pain scale. You’re looking at anywhere between level 7-10. Strengthening is the speediest recovery.
What’s happening inside your back: Your muscles are weak from all the wear and tear it took from an injury or from a previous stage such as acute pain. This is all too important for people will skeletal irregularities, such as:
You’ll notice with Chronic pain that it will take you more effort to find relief. Once again, the healing process is different from one person to the next, but one step is common among everyone…
Talking to your doctor. Once all your doctors options have been exhausted, its time to seek a back pain specialist. I want to make that last sentence very clear, for a primary reason.
I know that most time chronic lower back pain is hard to deal with, and than there are time when you feel great, like you just drank a boost of energy to get your blood going. People seek out the worst with chronic pain. They feel a need to get surgery, or turn to injections. It can make the pain worse!
Do the following instead:
Ex 1: Take more constant breaks
Scenario: Teaching a class?
Solutions: Take time away to walk around, and keep your spine up.
Ex 2: Make more trips to grab the groceries
Ex 3: Give up smoking
Ex 4: Substituting the couch for a walk
Increasing blood circulation:
One of the most important aspects of chronic lower back pain is that it reduces the amount of blood from getting to your area of pain. This is not a good sign because it can cause your pain to worsen and cause large muscle stiffness. So my recommendation is to continue heating. This is even more crucial when the weather gets colder because your muscles can get tighter and stiffer. Make sure you reference my article for the cold weather on that here.
For A Degenerative Disc:
Living with a degenerative disc doesn’t end with a permanent disability. You can control it and defeat it at an early stage. The first two weeks are important in recovering, and you should go full throttle with it. The focus and attention I had to get was the following:
Degenerative Disc Actions:
You’ll want to follow the same steps I did and have learned with my studies. You have options, but you should follow a careful step-by-step guided process that can look like this:
What I experienced from a herniated disc is that it healed in 2 weeks. It takes normally up to six weeks from what my doctor told me. This can vary in nature and per person. You don’t have to go surgical, go conventional.
I Advise to get less invasive, like Epidural injections. Try other options to begin with. I really emphasize yoga, and for good reason. It is the best stimulant. You get to release endorphins, and its the best way to get you back into activities, and improving diets, and in return you get a better lifestyle.
When you find that you have sciatica nerve pain, this can be overwhelming at first, and far more than the other levels of pain. For acute Sciatica you should do the following:
Time elapsed: 20 minutes. Repeat for two hours.
How to apply: A towel or cloth will work fine. Many people prefer heat packs or water jets because it applies the right amounts of pressure to their area.
2. Pain medication if needed. NSAIDs. Ibuprofen or Naproxen will do.
3. Exercise. You want to reduce your inflammation. Walking and stretching is the best form.
4. Yoga. It relaxes your mind, and strengthens your body.
5. Bed rest. 3 days of rest should work just fine.
6. Use topical creams. Creams don’t let the nerves release pain.
7. Acupuncture. Opens up the pathways of energy in your body
I felt the same way you did when I had a back, and when I get flares still, I make it a point to find the best way to treat my lower back. Many people give themselves a large burden by spending massive amounts of dollars to find the treatment they need, and “think” they need. Annually, it just hurts my head, 50 billion, I had to hold myself back from writing the zeros. This highlights one thing very true.
People are unaware, and not educated about how to treat their lower back pain. It starts at the cause. Understand where your pain came from. Ask yourself the 6 Q’s: Who? What? Where? When? Why? and How?
Work backwards to find the root of the cause, and work to improve from there. This way you will be more prepared the next time around. Each person has a different type of pain. It could either be acute, sub-acute, chronic, or Sciatic.
Your treatment depends on your pain scale from a 1-10, and so follows your type of treatment. The small the pain(acute), the less time you need to spend strengthening, and focus on Cold and Hot Therapy followed by the other factors. For Sub-acute we discussed that you should continue with the acute stage but implement more strengthening to your muscles.
At Chronic pain, it can be more of a mind game. Focus on strengthening your back, working on a good diet, and getting the right support for your back in and out the house. Sciatica is its own category. Focus on relieving stress with meditation, and more rest means more topicals, and more.
Older adults in 50 and above may find it more difficult to continue with regular exercise and may need to fall dependent on drugs. If so, than use it moderately in smaller dosages to lessen the event of an organ damage.
If you have any questions for me, please feel free to shoot me a comment, question, or offer your thoughts down below. You could have advice, or a story you’d like to share too. I will get back to you right away!
The Remove Back Pain System
The next segment needs to highlight the importance of why I like helping you and many others. Other than learning how to treat a back pain, and in my “getting rid” of supplemental article, It’s important that I expose you to the natural ways.
Hi My name is Michael Granados, I am of the age of 26 years, and I’m a back pain specialist, enthusiast, and expert. All of us have had or will have lower back pain at least once in our lives, and whether it’s acute or a more chronic condition, you can depend on us here at Remove Back Pain to take great care of you. I ensure you’ll take the right and most appropriate steps for you to heal the safest and most productive way. Get ready for a better lifestyle!
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