How to Manage Lower Back Pain
Updated: Aug 7
Back Pain is a common complaint among people of all ages. It comes and goes, and the level of pain varies from person to person, ranging from mild to severe. As time passes without any relief, you may start to think that treating your back pain is a hopeless case, but don’t fret — you are not out of options. Keep reading, as there are a number of ways you can manage back pain.
Maintain an Active Lifestyle
If there’s one thing you should do, it’s to keep moving. Try to commit to an exercise plan. Having a workout routine doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to get out of your comfort zone. It can be as simple as walking your dog, hiking to a new spot, or doing light aerobic activities. The key is consistency.
Above all, listen to your body. If a certain physical activity is giving you pain or discomfort, don’t push yourself too hard to complete it. Over time, you’ll notice your back pain naturally start to improve.
Add Back Stretches to Your Daily Routine
If you’re looking for home remedies for your back pain, there are several simple stretches you can try. These are easy exercises, perfect for beginners to do in between other activities. They can help relieve back pain and strengthen muscles over time.
Here are some stretches you can try at home:
Lower back flexibility exercise
Lower back rotational stretch
Seated lower back rotational stretch
Shoulder blade squeeze
Do these exercises a few times a day. You can begin to increase the number of reps as the days progress and the movements get easier.
Use Hot and Cold Therapy
Your back pain may be due to sore muscles. Bad posture, previous injuries, and general overexertion can all contribute to this. For temporary relief to sore muscles, try using hot and cold packs.
Some people find that heat helps soothe aching muscles. Some relief methods include:
Taking a warm bath
Putting a hot water bottle over the aching area
Using a heat pack on the affected area
On the other hand, cold compresses can also help bring relief. You can use an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables on the aching area. Remember not to apply ice directly onto your skin, as it can cause cold burns. Wrap the ice in a clean cloth or towel first.
You can also alternate between hot and cold therapy. Hot and cold compression packs are usually available at drug stores.
Take Over-The-Counter Medicine
If the pain becomes too much to handle, you can always buy over-the-counter pain medications. Taking them can help you manage the pain better.
Here are your options:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like naproxen sodium or ibuprofen
Topical pain relievers, which come in the form of creams, gels, salves, ointments, and patches
Make sure to follow the prescribed dosages indicated on the medicine packaging. Overuse can lead to serious consequences. If you’re unsure what kind of medicine is best for you, don’t be afraid to ask your pharmacist.
If non-prescription medicines aren’t helping you find relief, it may be best to consult your doctor for prescriptions. Don’t put off asking your doctor any questions you may have regarding your back pain.
Do Physical Therapy
A visit to your physical therapist may be just what you need. Your doctor can evaluate your condition and recommend the best course of action to help manage your back pain. They can educate you on what to do when back pain hits. They may even suggest a routine that can strengthen your muscles and improve flexibility.
Try Injection-Based Treatment Options
If the above treatments aren’t helping with your back pain, it may be time to explore other options with your doctor. One of these is an injection-based treatment, which involves the injection of cortisone, a strong anti-inflammatory drug, into the back. Upon injection, the cortisone will reduce the inflammation around the area. Results can last up to 3 months, significantly reducing your reliance on oral pain medications.
If you’re dealing with extreme back pain and it’s severely affecting your quality of life, you may need surgery to correct the underlying cause. Your doctor will recommend the most minimally invasive and effective procedure available.
Expert Back Pain Doctors in Orlando, Florida
Back pain is such a common yet typically short-lived condition that most people don’t give it a second thought. However, as time passes and the pain doesn’t subside, it may start to become a cause for worry. It’s important to know that there are numerous ways to treat back pain — some can even be done at home.
When in doubt about your back pain, don’t think twice about calling your orthopedic doctor. You don’t need to look far for a reliable team. The doctors at ACME Spine & Orthopedic are board-certified and ready provide expert, compassionate care to all patients.
Meet Dr. Michael Thomas
Dr. Michael Thomas is a researcher and neurosurgeon specializing in diseases and conditions that affect the brain, spine and peripheral nerves. Dr. Thomas earned a B.A. in Biology from William Jewell College in 1987, a degree in Osteopathic Medicine from Oklahoma State University College in 1991 and completed his residency in Neurosurgery at the Long island Jewish Medical Center/Schneider’s Children's Hospital. Dr. Thomas obtained his board certification as a Neurological Surgeon in 2001 and has helped many patients find back pain relief through minimally invasive procures since then.Dr. Michael Thomas, DO is a member of the Back Pain Centers of America network.