Understanding Lower Back Pain and How Chiropractic Care Can Help
Approximately 31 million Americans suffer from lower back pain at any given time. A lower back injury can be mild and irritating and work up to debilitating and severe.
When your back hurts, many other things suffer too. Everyday tasks like putting on a coat, getting out of a car, sitting at a desk, picking up a child, or standing for too long may be unbearable. Back pain has many causes, such as injury, heavy lifting, aging, recreational activities, pregnancy, and everyday life stress. Achy pain, dull pain, spasming, or burning in the lower back makes life hard for many, but you don’t have to tough it out alone. A visit to your Hiram, GA chiropractor can help ease your pain and discomfort and get you back to doing what you love.
What Type of Back Pain Do I Have?
Your lower back is meant to give flexibility, strength, and support to your upper body. It’s no surprise that your lower back is so susceptible to injury and pain from everyday life. There are two main types of lower back pain:
- Acute lower back pain is short-term, often lasting for just a few days up to a few weeks. It is usually connected to an accident or injury. When acute back pain disappears, there is no permanent effect.
- Chronic lower back pain describes the type of back pain that continues for three months or more. In many cases, it begins without a clear connection to an injury.
Low back pain that starts as acute can become chronic. Around 20% of acute low back pain cases become chronic.
Tips For Naturally Treating Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is a widespread problem and one of the top reasons for missed workdays. That’s because the lower back bears the upper body’s weight and is subject to a lot of strain and stress—especially while performing everyday actions like twisting and lifting.
One of two things usually causes low back pain: Either aging and arthritis or an injury. No matter the cause of your low back pain, here are some suggestions that can help relieve your pain and prevent future problems.
1. Apply ice or heat on an injured back.
If you’ve suffered a lower back injury, applying ice within the first two days can reduce swelling and ease the pain. Afterward, apply heat to help relax tense muscles. Heat is also helpful for chronic lower back pain that isn’t linked to an injury. To prevent skin damage, neither heat nor ice should be used for more than 20 minutes at a time.
2. Maintain proper posture during activities and when sitting.
To avoid lower back injury, it’s crucial to maintain the correct posture when performing physical activities—especially if you have a job that requires repetitive motions or play sports. When lifting, do not bend from the waist. Instead, bend and straighten from the knees. Be sure to move your hips when turning your body to the side.
You can also prevent back pain by sitting with proper posture. At a desk job, keep your feet on the floor and use a chair that gives some lower back support. Also, avoid slouching forward to see your computer screen and reaching far in front of you to use your mouse or keyboard.
3. Perform Stretches.
Stretching is a great way to reduce acute and chronic low back pain—and prevent lower back problems in the future. Because the back’s muscles extend in many different directions, it’s important to do many different stretches. We have listed some basic lower back stretches here:
- Superman: Lie on your stomach with your arms stretched overhead and lift your chest and legs off the floor.
- Spinal Twist: Lie flat on your back with your arms outstretched in a “T” position, bend one knee, and twist in the direction of your straight leg while trying to touch your bent knee to the floor.
- Lie flat on your back and pull your knees to your chest.
4. Stay active and exercise.
If you’re suffering from lower back pain, the last thing you probably feel like doing is moving around. However, staying active and engaging in gentle stretching can help your lower back muscles heal quicker. Move within your comfort zone and avoid activities that cause you more pain.
5. Wear supportive footwear.
Supportive shoes can increase stability, improve your overall posture, and help prevent future lower back pain. Ensure you wear the proper footwear for the action you perform (sneakers for exercising, boots for working, etc.). Occasionally wearing unsupportive shoes such as heels or flip-flops is unlikely to cause lower back problems, but frequent wear can increase stress on your lower spine and cause pain.
6. Sleep on a quality mattress.
People dealing with lower back pain often benefit from sleeping on a medium-firm mattress. However, your sleep position also should determine your mattress choice. To preserve good posture, side sleepers should choose a softer mattress. Stomach and back sleepers should take a firmer mattress. If you suffer from back pain, it’s a good idea to avoid sleeping on your stomach altogether.
7. Get a back massage.
Massage therapy is another excellent way to help relieve tension in the lower back. Healthy lower back muscles lead to improved stability, which can help prevent future lower back problems.
8. Visit a chiropractor near you.
At Cornerstone Chiropractic, we offer non-invasive, natural treatments that work to relieve your pain for good – no surgery or needles required. With chiropractic adjustments, spinal decompression, massage therapy, or a combination of all three, we can help you feel better in no time. Give us a call today at 770-439-7765 for back pain treatment in Dallas, GA.
Chiropractic care is an excellent way to relieve swelling and pain caused by low back pain. Regular chiropractic care provides lower back pain therapy, a safe, non-invasive alternative to addictive pain medications.
Chiropractors deliver a gentle, non-invasive treatment called a chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractic adjustments decrease joint limitations or misalignments in the spine and other joints in the body to reduce inflammation and improve both the affected joint and nervous system’s function. Here we have listed some of the health benefits chiropractic care can provide patients with low back pain:
- Improved flexibility
- Decreased pain and discomfort
- Enhanced muscle tone and strength
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved range of motion
At your first visit to Cornerstone Chiropractic in Hiram, GA, our chiropractic doctor will explain how chiropractic care works and give you an evaluation to see if chiropractic care is right for you. We can then create a custom plan of chiropractic care that is specific to your health goals. Our Hiram Chiropractor is ready to help you today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Sleeping Positions Cause Back Pain?
Another connection between back problems and sleep is how your sleeping position can affect spinal alignment. Posture is usually correlated with sitting and standing, but it is also essential to be aware of your posture while lying down.
A sleeping position that involves bending, twisting, or putting pressure on the spine can cause pain and stiffness in the back. This type of pain is often worse in the morning, but it can continue throughout the day.
What Are The Best Sleeping Positions For Lower Back Pain?
According to studies, the best sleeping position for preventing lower back problems is on your side with a slight bend in your knees. Keeping your knees bent reduces pressure on the spine and helps balance the body. Many people get relief from using a pillow between their knees to make this sleep position more comfortable.
Many back and stomach sleepers have a difficult time adjusting their sleeping posture. However, they can still take steps to decrease pressure in the lower back:
- Back sleepers can put a small pillow under their lower back, legs, or knees to support the spine’s proper curve and reduce pressure.
- Stomach sleepers may opt for only a thin pillow under their head and place a more supportive pillow beneath their abdomen and hips. This serves to block the lower back from slumping into a U-shape that stretches the spine out of alignment.
Some people use an adjustable bed that makes it easy to raise the upper or lower part of the mattress to reduce pressure in the lower back.
Can My Mattress Cause Back Pain?
Your mattress choice can play an essential role in decreasing and preventing lower back problems.
Correct spinal alignment requires a quality mattress that doesn’t sag excessively. Research recommends using a medium-firm bed to prevent back pain. However, the proper firmness can vary depending on a person’s body shape, weight, sleeping position, and personal preferences.
How Can I Sleep Better With Lower Back Problems?
Getting quality sleep is a crucial part of recovering from back problems, but sleeping may seem impossible when your back hurts. While there’s no guaranteed way to sleep better, these tips may help:
- Find a supportive sleep position. Ideally, you will sleep on your side, but no matter the position, make sure your spine is aligned correctly. If needed, use additional pillows for support.
- Try relaxation methods. Finding methods to wind down can put you in the right state of mind for sleep with less focus on the pain.
- Be careful with caffeine and alcohol. Though alcohol may initially help you get to sleep, it can throw off your rest. As a stimulant, caffeine often makes it harder for people to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Reduce potential sleep disruptions. If you wake up in the middle of the night, back pain may make it difficult to go back to sleep. Try eliminating excess light and noise from your bedroom, or wear earplugs or a sleep mask. Set your room to a temperature that will be suitable all night.
These tips may help develop your sleep habits to sleep better with back problems.
For more information about how chiropractic care can alleviate low back pain, contact us or visit our chiropractic office in Paulding County today to speak with a licensed doctor of chiropractic. 770-439-7765