• Outi Holmes

Alternative management of low back pain


Low back pain is the leading cause of disability in the UK. Nearly 80% of adult population suffer from it at some point of their lives and anyone who has ever suffered from it, knows how debilitating it can be.

A massage therapy can greatly reduce your symptoms by targeting specific muscles, such as quadratus lumborum, piriformis and gluteus medius, which are known to play an important role in the low back pain. But there is also something that you can do at home.

1. Hot and cold therapy

Either hot packs or hot water bottle can be used. Heat increases blood flow and decreases muscle spasms. Heat is also very soothing and relaxing. Cold therapy is great for recent injuries. Never place hot or cold packs straight on the skin, as it can cause burns.

2. Think about your posture

Increased curvature in the lumbar region of your lower back can cause low back pain. Maintain your buttock- and abdominal muscles strong by pulling your belly button towards your spine and don't lock your knees. When sitting, do not slouch and sit back firmly in the chair.

3. Do stretches

Gently stretch your back and lower limbs. Stretching should never cause pain. If it is painful, stop immediately, as it might be causing more damage than good. Before you start stretching, ask your doctor or massage therapist for advice to find the right stretches for you. Some yoga postures are also very good for a low back pain.

4. Sleep well

Sleeping on your side with your knees drawn up can relieve low back pain. Place a supportive pillow between your legs for an extra comfort. This position keeps your spine, pelvis and surrounding muscles aligned.

5. Keep moving

There is rarely need for a bed rest. Staying active strengthens your muscles and speeds up the recovery. When you do gentle exercises, your body releases endorphins, which will make you feel happier, but can also reduce the pain.

6. Meditate the pain away

Meditation can help you by moving your focus somewhere else from the pain and it can make you feel more positive. Why not to try a guided meditation to start with? Remember that the mind is a powerful thing!

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