Updated: May 16
Lower back pain can effectively be tackled by easy lifestyles changes, stretches and exercises. Learn how to get rid of lower back pain with these simple 7 tips!
HOW COMMON IS LOWER BACK PAIN?
Nearly everyone will experience some form of Lower back pain (LBP) in his or her lifetime. It is so common that, according to the Work Foundation, in the UK it now accounts for a third of all long-term sickness absence from work, and nearly a fifth of any sick leave. From my practice, using real patient cases, I found that most people who have had lower back pain for years, tend to think that it is something that you simply have to live with.
Although it isn’t a life-threatening condition, when severe lower back pain doesn't go away, living with nagging pain does a lot of disservices: it takes your energy away, affects your mood, affects your productivity and your ability to enjoy life. It can stop you from doing things you love: your favourite sports, long walk outdoors, fun and games with your kids.
WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE THE MOST COMMON LOWER BACK PAIN CAUSES?
Prolonged sitting in an awkward position
Highly physical jobs
WHAT SHALL I AVOID TO DO IF I EXPERIENCE SEVERE LOWER BACK PAIN?
1. As mentioned above, Lower back pain is extremely common, and there are many ways to reduce its intensity, frequency, and duration. Therefore don’t overstress about it as science tells us that fear and anxiety actually increase pain; on the contrary, learn effective lower back stretches and start to experiment!
2. At the same time, don’t underestimate. Lower back pain, as if left untreated, it could lead to more serious conditions. Seek immediate medical advice if you experience any of these:
Pain with coughing or urinating, leg weakness, and fever
Numbness in the groin, buttocks, and inner thigh areas, which prevents you to even feel a light touch
Loss of control of the bowels or bladder
Consistent lower back pain after a serious trauma such as as a motor vehicle accident.
Nerve pain caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve, which could result in pain radiating down through the buttocks and down one leg, sometimes even reaching the foot. It is usually caused by muscular tension and could be resolved with massage and proper stretching. Even though sometimes sciatica can be a consequence of a disc injury and rupture or herniation (occasionally due to excessive exercise or heavy lifting), therefore it is always better to get a medical diagnosis to understand what’s the best way to treat it.
3. Don’t rely on chemicals or jump into surgery too quick, as in most cases using non-invasive measures such as regular lower back stretches and strengthening core exercises are better than invasive methods for severe lower back pain, according to an article published by the World Health Organization.
HOW TO GET RID OF LOWER BACK PAIN FOR GOOD:
Try to incorporate these lower back exercises and stretches into your daily habits and see what happens!
Unless your doctor tells you to bedrest, use Gentle Movement as your miracle medicine, it is definitely the best exercise for lower back pain! Research suggests that Prolonged Bedrest not only seems to worsen severe lower back pain, but can also lead to secondary complications such as depression, decreased muscle tone, and blood clots in the legs.
If you experience hip pain at night lying on side, start your day by gently exploring different movements, avoiding activities that noticeably aggravate or worsen back pain. Don't limit your stretch routine to the muscles in your lower back, but try to also explore hip flexor stretches (see below) and upper back stretches that can both help to alleviate lower back pain.
HOW TO DO HIP FLEXORS STRETCHES:
Learn what are your limitations and welcome them, working patiently with a positive attitude! The so-called placebo effect will only help you to recover faster, so start to think “your body can adapt to anything and you’ll be well soon”, rather than keep complaining you’re getting older and your back is hopeless!
2. SIT COMFORTABLY!
Don’t slouch, instead try to keep your shoulders back
Make sure work surfaces are at a comfortable height and sit
Use proper support for the low back and a footrest
3. TAKE THE GUESSWORK OUT OF YOUR WORKOUT!
Most lower back sports injuries are caused by repetitive overuse of the spine either through twisting, compression, or flexion (such as it happens when playing golf) or by high impact sports such as running, football, or volleyball.
After any period of prolonged inactivity, it is best to choose low-impact lower back pain exercises such as speed walking, swimming, or stationary bike riding 30 minutes daily, which can all increase muscle strength and flexibility and prevent lower back strains.
Whether you are a serious athlete or a fitness lover who wants to step up into a new challenge, make sure you read this article from Fitness Volt, which will explain you the most common causes and the most effective prevention methods for lower back pain when following a strenuous exercise regime such a marathon training plan.
4. DO CORE EXERCISES
Research shows that one of the leading causes of lower back pain is a weak core musculature. Strengthening your core will help you to build solid lumbar support in a gentle and safe way, promoting better posture as well as reducing stress on the lower back.
HOW TO STRENGTHEN CORE MUSCLES WITHOUT HURTING THE BACK?
5. MASSAGE THERAPY
While exercise is fundamental and it is the only way to strengthen muscles, it is also important to stretch and relax those muscles that have become shortened due to 'bad posture'. Try to maintain a balance of strength and flexibility between the lower back and the abdominal muscles. That’s why we recommend both massage and exercise.
Research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2011 found that a weekly massage for 10 weeks relieved patients’ severe lower back pain and improved functioning at least as effective as medication and exercise. The upside is that massage has no side effects, unlike meds. The benefits of massage therapy continued to last up to 3 months after the study ended.
Massage therapy can effectively help to loosen the lumbar muscles, alleviate spasms and muscle soreness, which all can lead to the tightness that may cause pulls.
A good therapeutic massage which combines deep tissue, positional release and stretching techniques (like Shiatsu and Thai massage) will bring the musculature into balance and release the trigger points associated with the discomfort. As a massage therapist, I am particularly passionate about assisting people with lower back problems. As I was born with a mild malformation of the spine (Scoliosis), which used to cause me severe lower back pain, I understand very well this type of discomfort and what to do in order to alleviate it. Massage, yoga and exercise have truly changed my approach to health and I am here to help you and share with you how to get rid of this chronic physical discomfort for good!
6. STRETCH YOUR GLUTES AND HAMSTRINGS EVERY DAY!
How to stretch your glutes to release lower back pain while sitting at your desk:
And if you would like to have more ideas for lower back pain exercises and stretches, make sure you check our lower body stretching video library.
7. DON’T MAKE IT WORSE
Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes if you are on your feet all day.
Lighten Your Bags to reduce the amount of pressure on the spine or use a wheeled briefcase instead.
Do dynamic rather than static stretches before exercise or other strenuous physical activity (Want to know more? Read our article about Dynamic vs Static stretching)
Don't try to lift objects that are too heavy and don't twist while lifting.
Live a healthy lifestyle, stop smoking, and keep off the extra weight.
We hope you have now a better idea of what are the best ways to defeat severe lower back pain! Remember: try to add a quick core exercise, a lower back stretch and a small lifestyle change every day and.. you’ll soon enjoy lower back pain relief for good!