If you have lower back pain, walking may be a particularly good form of exercise to relieve pain, since low-impact activity is less damaging to your joints and helps your body maintain bone density. Physiotherapists may recommend retro walking (walking backward) as well as an effective way to manage back pain.
Inflammation and pain can sometimes increase several hours after walking. As a result, even if there is no initial increase in pain, it is best not to overdo it at first. If standing causes pain, consult a doctor or physical therapist before beginning a walking program.
9 home remedies for lower back pain
- Stay hydrated, eat a healthy diet, and get enough sleep.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Warm up and cool down properly before and after exercise to help prevent muscle fatigue, sprains, and injuries.
- Perform back and core muscle stretching and strengthening exercises.
- Engage in some form of cardiovascular activity regularly to help keep back muscles healthy.
- Maintain proper posture and use ergonomic aids as needed, as these may provide the stability that the back requires.
- Use a mattress with good back support.
- Use topical analgesic balms or take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), Aleve (naproxen), or Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen).
- Take prescribed analgesics, opioids, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, they should only be used in the short term since they can be addictive, aggravate depression, and have other side effects.
5 surgeries to treat lower back pain
Depending on the cause of your back pain, your doctor may recommend one of the following surgeries:
- Spinal fusion: A bone graft is used to permanently connect two vertebrae.
- Artificial disc replacement: Damaged discs are removed and replaced with a synthetic disc, which helps restore height and movement between the vertebrae.
- Lumbar decompression: Structures that are pressing on a nerve root are removed either through microdiscectomy (protruding pieces of a herniated disc are removed under microscopic view) or laminectomy (a more open type of surgery in which the facet joints may be trimmed to resolve disc problems).
- Kyphoplasty and vertebroplasty: A balloon is inserted into a compressed vertebra, and bone cement is injected into the vertebra. This procedure is typically used to treat compression fractures or osteoporosis.
- Interspinous spacers: Small devices are inserted into the spine to keep the spinal canal open and prevent nerve pinching. It is used to treat patients who have spinal stenosis.
When should I talk to a doctor about lower back pain?
Generally, you should seek medical help if you are not feeling better after 3 days. Contact a doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms in addition to back pain:
- Difficulty controlling the bowel or bladder function
- Muscle weakness in the arms or legs that makes walking feel unstable
- Pain and numbness in the arms or legs, particularly if it worsens when coughing or sitting
- Sleep deprivation due to increased pain when lying down
- Fever, weight loss, or other symptoms of illness
Health Information Translations. Do’s and Don’ts with Low Back Pain. https://www.healthinfotranslations.org/pdfDocs/DoDontLowBack.pdf
Medline Plus. Taking Care of Your Back at Home. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002119.htm
Merriam-Webster. Moonwalk. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Available at: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/moonwalk. Accessed October 4, 2021.
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acetaminophen/aspirinAcetaminophen/aspirin is a combination medication available over the counter (OTC), used for the temporary relief of minor pain caused by headaches, muscular aches, fever, minor arthritis pain, and colds. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever (analgesic) and aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs). Common side effects of acetaminophen include hives (urticaria), itchy rash, toxicity to the liver (hepatotoxicity), blood disorders, and others. Common side effects of aspirin include rash, urticaria, angioedema, bronchospasm, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), hearing loss, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and others. Do not take if pregnant.
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