Back Pain Relief: Tricks and Tips
By Med-Fit UK Content Team . Last Updated Wednesday, 4th January 2023
Back pain is an extremely common injury observed by medical professionals and ranks among the leading causes of disability worldwide. The back possesses both strength and vulnerability, as it bears the weight of the spine and muscles, which perform numerous functions. When the back is injured, even simple activities become arduous tasks.
Back pain can affect individuals of all age groups and stem from various causes, but the likelihood of experiencing lower back pain tends to increase with age. Fortunately, preventive measures can be taken, and most episodes of back pain can be alleviated.
Lower back pain often arises from issues with the discs between the vertebrae, the ligaments surrounding the spine and discs, the muscles in the lower back, the bony lumbar spine, and other potential areas. On the other hand, upper back pain presents differently, potentially caused by chest tumors, inflammation of the spine, muscle strains or tears, or disorders of the aorta.
The human back is a complex composition of ligaments, tendons, discs, bones, and muscles, all working in harmony to provide support for the body and enable daily tasks. However, if any of these components fail or sustain an injury, the rest of the components must compensate, resulting in pain and the possibility of further injury.
What causes back pain?
Back pain can occur due to injury or damage to ligaments, muscles, bones, or discs. However, there are instances when back pain develops without a discernible cause that can be identified through various tests and scans conducted by your doctor.
Several common conditions associated with back pain include:
- Arthritis: Osteoarthritis can affect the lower back and, in some cases, lead to spinal stenosis, which involves the narrowing of the space around the spinal cord.
- Osteoporosis: This condition primarily affects the vertebrae of the spine and can result in fractures if the bones become brittle.
- Muscle or Ligament Damage/Strain: This is a prevalent condition that often causes back pain. Heavy lifting, awkward movements, or sudden, rapid motions can strain the back muscles and spinal ligaments. If your physical condition is poor, frequent strains on the back can also lead to muscle spasms.
- Sciatica: Another common condition characterized by sharp shooting pains, typically caused by a herniated disk exerting pressure on a nerve.
- Kidney Issues: Back pain can be caused by kidney infections or kidney stones.
Good exercises for back pain
These types of exercises and stretches are fine to do at home or perhaps even in a quiet place at work.
1. Back Flexion Stretch – If you start by lying on your back, pull both knees to your chest whilst flexing the head forward until a comfortable stretch can be felt across the low back and mid back.
2. Corner Stretch – Stand facing the corner of the room and then place your forearms on each wall with your elbows around shoulder height. Then gradually begin to lean forward until you feel a stretch under the collarbone.
3. Knee to Chest Stretch – Lie on your back with your knees bent and both heels on the ground. You should then place both of your hands behind one knee and pull it toward the chest, this will begin stretching your piriformis and gluteus muscles in your buttock.
Best sleeping positions for lower back pain
Choosing the right sleeping position is crucial for individuals experiencing lower back pain. Sufficient sleep promotes faster body recovery, whereas lack of sleep can exacerbate existing back pain and lead to restless nights.
It is generally advisable to avoid sleeping on your stomach as this can disrupt the natural alignment of your spine. Those suffering from sciatica may find that sleeping on their side can worsen the pain.
For individuals who prefer sleeping on their back, elevating the knees can provide relief and contribute to a better sleep experience. Placing a pillow beneath the knees helps reduce stress on the lower back and maintains a natural curve in the spine.
Side sleepers can optimize their sleeping position by paying attention to pillow placement. Placing a pillow between the knees while on the side and using another pillow to support the head helps align the lower back and pelvis, alleviating pressure.
Remember that everyone's needs may differ, so it's essential to experiment and find the sleeping position and pillow arrangement that works best for you. Consulting with a healthcare professional or a sleep specialist can provide further guidance tailored to your specific condition and preferences.
Best tens machine for lower back pain?
We offer a range of TENS machines designed specifically for back pain relief. TENS machines are widely regarded as effective devices for managing various types of pain, particularly for individuals with conditions such as:
And numerous other conditions.
TENS machines work by providing pain relief. Users simply place one or two electrodes on the affected area, ensuring proper attachment to the skin. Then, following the provided guide, the TENS machine is switched on to maximize its benefits.