Lower back pain is a prominent cause of disability globally, and it is one of the most common reasons individuals visit the doctor or miss work. It may be caused by a strain (injury) to the back muscles or tendons. Arthritis, structural issues, and disk injuries are other factors. Rest, physical therapy, and medicine are frequently used to alleviate the pain or discomfort. Maintaining a healthy weight and staying active can lower your chances of low back discomfort, too.

What is Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain can be caused by various accidents, ailments, or diseases, the most common of which is an injury to the back’s muscles or tendons.

The intensity of pain can range from minor to severe, and some discomfort makes it difficult or impossible to walk, sleep, work, or do daily tasks.

Lower back discomfort usually improves with rest, pain medications, and physical therapy (PT). Cortisone injections and hands-on therapies (such as osteopathic or chiropractic manipulation) can aid pain relief and recovery. Some back injuries and diseases necessitate surgical intervention.

Lower Back Pain Causes

  • Muscle or ligament strain
  • Bulging or ruptured discs
  • Arthritis and osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Lumbar herniated disc
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Facet joint dysfunction
  • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Deformity
  • Trauma
  • Compression fracture

Risk Factors of Lower Back Pain

  • Age
  • Lack of exercise
  • Excessive weight
  • Disease
  • Improper lifting
  • Psychological conditions
  • Smoking

Stretches For Lower Back Pain

Some stretches for lower back pain include:

  • Back Flexion Stretch: Lying on your back, bring both knees to your chest while stretching your head forward until you feel a comfortable stretch over your mid and lower back.
  • Knee to Chest Stretch: Place both hands behind one leg and pull them toward the chest, stretching the glutes and piriformis muscles in the buttocks.
  • Kneeling Lunge Stretch: Beginning on both knees, bring one leg forward until the foot is level on the ground, maintaining weight equally distributed across both hips (rather than on one side or the other). Lean forward with both hands on the top of the thigh to feel a stretch in the front of the opposite leg. This stretch affects the hip flexor muscles, which link to the pelvis and, if overly tight, can compromise posture.
  • Piriformis Muscle Stretch: Lie on your back with your legs bent and your heels flat on the floor. Cross one leg over the other, placing the ankle on the bent knee, and slowly draw the lower knee toward the chest until a stretch in the buttock is felt. Alternatively, lie on the floor and cross one leg over the other, pulling it forward over the torso at the knee while maintaining the other leg flat.

The Most Common Lower Back Pain Relief

Rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medications are commonly used for lower back pain relief. After a few days of recovery, you can resume your daily activities. Staying active boosts blood flow to the affected area and aids in healing. 

Other treatments for lower back pain are dependent on the underlying problem. They are as follows:

  • Medications – Your practitioner may offer nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) or prescription medications.
  • Physical Therapy – PT can help to strengthen your muscles so that they can support your spine. Physical therapy also increases flexibility and helps you avoid further injuries.
  • Massage Therapy – A variety of “hands-on” therapies can help to relax tight muscles, relieve discomfort, and improve posture and alignment. Massage treatment can also assist to relieve back discomfort and restore function.
  • Injections – Your doctor will use a needle to inject medicine into the painful spot. Steroid injections alleviate pain and inflammation.
  • Surgery – Some injuries and diseases necessitate surgical intervention. There are several minimally invasive treatments available for treating low back pain.

We at Massage Rx have been in the industry for years now, and lower back pain is a common problem with our clients. To learn more about lower back pain, see our Youtube video here: