How To Treat Low Back Pain...
Snow Shoveling: A hazard to your health
Snow in January of 2015
That's A Lot Of Shoveling!
This is a measurement nearby of the recent storm we had towards the end of January 2015. Take a look at the picture! I think NYC got 5 inches. They were so worried they shut down the subways :(. We all realized that they made a pretty big mistake. Seeing as it works out to be like 4 million dollars lost...
The last time the closed the subway down was for hurricane Sandy in 1996 and previously in '92 because of a Nor'easter. The bottom line is: Keep Your Low Back Healthy So You Are Ready. Whether it's prep for a possible big storm, or it the clean-up after.
Lower Back Pain Can Strike at Any time
For Me Personally, it started this week. I realized how weak my back really is. 2014 has been a crazy year for snow, especially in South Glastonbury. Today we got another 4 inches of the white stuff. The snow on our back deck is up to our knees, literally.Our oil truck could not make it up our driveway because there was too much snow fall.
Two things happened today that really caused my back to spasm.
First my husband and I got our SUV stuck in our own driveway. I know, LOL right? You see, our plow guys never came today. So we had to shovel our dear SUV that we love out of the snow. It took us 30 minutes of tireless labor to get the front and back wheel out the snow-ice that had developed on the driveway. Shoveling heavy snow with ice combined is very energy consuming. Exhausting.
Second, we had to shovel our deck around our house. The weather is "Supposed" to be warming up soon and we are worried about the snow melting and coming into our house. So we had to shovel our deck.
So what does this mean?
After shoveling my deck my lower back started aching. Right in the small of my back. I would have rated the pain as low (2/10, 0=no pain, 10=worst possible pain) and steady. I knew it was there, that is the worst part. Having to shovel two times in one day, really set my lower back on fire.
When you suffer from any kind of pain - it affects everything you do.
So what are my options for this lower back pain? For me personally, I will take the natural treatment route. I have other things I can do as well, in case this doesn't stop the pain.
How do you treat your low back at home?
What is your first choice for home treatment of your lower back pain?
Get Your Spine Aligned.
So this is my first choice for low back treatment. Chiropractic.
The Chiropractor aligns the spine - in this case the low back and the pelvis. They check your posture, feel your spine, check out areas of muscle spasm and tenderness and align the spine. They may also check your midback and neck , as the spine is a kinetic chain. They may also check your feet, and suggest orthotics etc.
The chiropractor mainly uses his/her hands to adjust you. They may also do other therapy such as moist heat pack or electric stim in their office. Additionally, they may also do trigger point therapy and stretches in the office to alleviate the pain and help with improving your posture.
Using a Low Back Support Belt can Help Immensely
Using a Hot and Cold Pack
Here is another treatment that I can do right at home. Right after my back pain started, I used a cold pack to help with the inflammation and the pain. It helped. 10 minutes, while I was watching TV and it numbed up the area and decreased my pain quite a bit. Yes it's an analgesic effect, but it really does help reduce the swelling and inflammation.
Usually if my back pain persists, I will use a heating pad to help relax the muscles and get rid of th the pain.
A simple 10 minute solution that yields low back pain relief.
Having two hot and cold packs in your medicine cabinet can help so many aches and pains. To hitting your foot against the bed to arthritis in the neck. I personally keep one heating pad in my cabinet, and I keep a cold pack in my freezer- ready to go when I need it.
Have your muscles worked out...Massage Therapy
Here is another option for pain in your back. This only works though if the pain is more muscular in nature.
Massage therapy works basically on the muscles associated with the back. One example is the paraspinal muscles of the lumbar spine. But it can be your gluteul muscles, your piformis and more. The therapist will know what's the most in need of massage.
On top of all that it's just plain relaxing and it feels good. Rest and relax for a change, let them do the work. Sometimes this also just let's you get rid of some of the mental stress you may have dealing with the pain.
Get something from the medicine cabinet
Many people will have over the counter pain medications in their medicine cabinet. For example in my medicine cabinet, I have advil, ibuprofen and also aspirin. Ibuprofen works great, especially if you have inflammation. All of these will help the lower back pain. This is not my first choice for pain relief. But if the pain persists, then I will try this before resorting to other treatment options.
Prescription Pain Medications
For me personally, I have not taken prescription pain medication especially for my low back.
These are often prescribed by a primary care doctor or even a pain specialist. These medications are much stronger and will therefore have a powerful affect on your lower back pain.
While these are acceptable in certain cases, they should be taken very carefully. By that i mean, it can become an addiction to take these medications over and over again.
Also, sometimes prescription pain medication can have other side effects. Take these seriously, as they can affect your ability to drive or work.
Surgery - Last resort, but sometimes very necessary
This is often the last resort, but if you have to go under the knife, you have to. There are so many surgeries and they are always changing but here's a couple common ones.
Discectomy - they cut out part of the disc that appears to be causing the pressure.
Fusion - A much bigger deal than the prior. One spinal segment is actually fused to the other.
Laminectomy - the lamina of the vertebrae is cut out.