Suffering from lower back pain and need some help?
Our 2021 article on lower back pain causes, home remedies & exercises may make your back pain a thing of the past.
We’ve broken this article into 3 sections, read through or click to the section you’re most interested in.
- 11 Common Lower Back Pain Causes
- 8 Lower Back Pain Home Remedies & Exercises
- When to Seek Professional Help
1. 11 Common Lower Back Pain Causes
There are many causes to lower back pain.
According to Isaac Borowiec, an expert chiropractic doctor, overloading your back muscles can cause strain of the muscles or even a sprain of the joints.
Leading Dr Richard G. Fessler, further explains that lower back pain can vary from a dull pain to one which develops into a gradually persistent, sudden or sharp pain.
These Are 11 Common Lower Back Pain Causes:
- Bending and lifting with a poor posture
- Attempting to pick up something which is too heavy
- Forceful movement
- Repetitive bending overtime
- Bending or twisting into awkward positions
- Prolonged sitting with an incorrect posture
- Standing in one position for too long
- Sleeping in an awkward position
- Sport which involves quick twists and movements
- The mattress you sleep on
- Experiencing some type of physical trauma (e.g. falling down)
Two major parts of anyone’s life which concerns the lower back in particular is work and sleep.
As many people tend to spend the majority of their working hours sitting on a desk…
Sitting with an incorrect posture for a prolonged period of time can lead to an injured lower back, which can result in:
- Back spasms
- Numbness of the legs
- Tingling sensation down the legs
If the cause of your lower back pain is due to your work being more physical in nature (e.g. factory hand or retail) not amending the way in which you work or not seeking any remedies can lead to increase aggravation and pain.
Dr Isaac Borowiec states that sleeping in a correct position is also ideal, as sleeping in an awkward position can lead to irritation/ inflammation of the facet joint.
This is a joint alongside the spine which enables bending and twisting.
If these joints were to get stiff or spasm, body movements would become increasingly difficult.
Expert Dr Talbot Sellers who specialises in rehabilitative treatment of back and neck pain states that sleeping on the wrong mattress can cause or increase the severity of lower back pain.
If you are suffering from any of these common lower back pain causes, there are home remedies available which may alleviate your pain.
2. 8 Lower Back Pain Home Remedies & Exercises
Professor and holistic healthcare practitioner Dr Debra Rose Wilson reviewed that 80 percent of adults experience lower back pain at least once throughout their lives.
To reduce lower back pain in the best and fastest way possible, a holistic treatment approach would be ideal.
So implementing a range of these lower back pain home remedies and exercises would be great.
Here are 8 lower back pain home remedies & exercises:
- Cold and hot treatment
- Make sure to get enough sleep
- Update your mattress and pillow
- Over-the-counter pain relief
- Apply pain-relief cream
- Low-impact activities (yoga, swimming and walking)
- Core-strengthening exercises
- Posture improvement
1. Cold and hot treatment
One of the most common home remedies for lower back pain is cold and hot treatment.
This is simply applying an ice pack or a bag of frozen veggies wrapped in a cloth/ towel directly on the back to reduce inflammation.
If you experience sudden, intense pack pain:
Cold treatment can also provide a numbing effect, reducing the pain.
It’s important to note that it is best to only apply the cold treatment in intervals of 20 minutes at a time.
Using a heating pad or wheat pack can also alleviate pain and relieve achy muscles.
If you are to use the heating method, make sure to follow the product instructions and test the heat before applying it to yourself.
2. Make sure you get enough sleep
The amount of sleep you get can affect how much pain you can tolerate and disturbances in sleep can actually make your lower back pain worse.
A mixture of an uncomfortable mattress/ pillow can also trigger back pain.
Research done by the National Sleep Foundation recommends the following amount of sleep:
To avoid and decrease lower back pain:
Correct alignment of the back and neck alongside a supportive pillow is essential as you sleep.
3. Update your mattress and pillow
Another reason for lower back pain could be the mattress or pillow you sleep on.
As simple as it sounds, updating your mattress and pillow can work wonders for your lower back and body in general.
What is the best mattress and pillow for back pain?
These products can not only transform the way you sleep, but they are excellent for back pain.
One of the companies who sell both these products is Ecosa.
70% of their customers noticed a reduction with their back pain after using their memory foam mattress in a box.
Dr Talbot Sellers stresses the importance of finding a mattress with back support to reduce lower back pain.
If you find that you are waking up with a sore back/ neck, you may need to update your mattress and pillow.
4 & 5. Over-the-counter pain relief and applying pain-relief cream
Both these options especially when used together can really give you instant lower back pain relief.
A range of deep heat creams and over-the-counter pain relief would be best to use.
Although fast pain relief is great…
If you would like to prevent further lower back pain in the future, it is important to also implement the other mentioned remedies.
6. Low-impact activities (yoga, swimming and walking)
Implementing low-impact activities into your daily/ weekly routine such as yoga, swimming and walking is an excellent form of lower back pain treatment.
Yoga consists of a range of stretches for lower back pain and doing them daily can really benefit you.
It can also prevent your pain from returning in the future.
7. Core-strengthening exercises
There are a range of exercises such as planks and bridges that will work the abdominal and back muscles.
These great lower back pain exercises assist with strengthening your muscles which will help to support the back.
8. Posture improvement
Poor posture can be a main lower back pain cause.
If you study/ work from home and spend a lot of time sitting down, it is important to:
- Not slouch
- Be mindful of your posture and sitting tall with shoulders back
- Get up and move about. Take regular breaks
You should also update your work station if required.
Investing in a good chair and setting it to the correct height whilst ensuring your computer screen is at eye level can help reduce pain.
3. When to Seek Professional Help
If your lower back pain doesn’t start to reduce within 1 – 2 weeks, or you’re experiencing worrying symptoms, this is a strong indication that you may require medical care.
Furthermore, if you have implemented the home remedies and you’re still experiencing any of these symptoms, you should seek professional treatment.
Symptoms which indicate severe back pain that require medical care include:
- Weakness and numbness
- Tingling sensation down the legs, arms or across the chest
- Pain throughout the chest
- Sharp pains which inhibit movement
Lower back pain causes can vary.
Whilst the majority of back pain causes can be treated at home, there may be instances where professional medical care is required.
All in all making simple changes to your lifestyle and throughout your day can go a long way when it comes to preventing and treating lower back pain.
If you’re dealing with lower back pain and have some great tips to share, please do so in the comment section.