Is it possible to treat lower back pain at home?
Yes, you can. Low back pain affects daily activities making it difficult to manage normal
chores. It can occur due to mechanical or non-mechanical reasons which
include poor posture, herniated disc, muscle weakness/inefficiency, muscle strain,
trauma, spinal arthritis, etc. It can usually get better within a few days to some weeks. But if
it continues for long then you must seek medical attention. One may also try self-care
measures for lower back pain at home to get rid of the pain or discomfort.
How to relieve lower back pain at home?
When it starts hampering your daily activities and interferes with your quality of
life, several self-care measures can be followed to treat it. Depending on your
severity of it, you may try the following measures:
Lower back pain home treatment measures:
- Cold and heat therapy – It’s best to use cold compression or ice packs if you have
acute lower back pain (0-3 days) as it can help in decreasing pain by numbing the area
and reducing the swelling. Applying hot fomentation or a hot-water bottle to your
back may also be helpful if your pain is chronic (> 7 weeks) in nature. The
heat relaxes the muscles. It also increases the blood flow which aids the healing
process. You can use cold or heat therapy as the first line of treatment for lower back pain.
- Limited bed rest – Limit your bed rest. If you are
suffering from acute pain then a person’s first step is to take rest. However, on the
contrary, longer bed rest doesn’t help in relieving pain instead it may lead to stiffness
and muscle weakness. Thus, it is important to mobilize yourself or perform some
light exercise. Remember if your pain is severe and acute in nature, take bed rest as
this might help in relieving your pain.
- Stay active – Movement is the key to a healthy back. Keep yourself physically active
at home. Exercises aid in building strong, flexible muscles that will help in supporting
the spine, be less prone to injury, and also assist in the healing process. A typical
physical exercise training regime might include aerobic activity, strength training,
flexibility exercises, and a few stretching exercises. Exercises also help in improving function and preventing future problems. You may indulge in regular walking,
swimming, cycling, pilates training, yoga etc.
- Pain medications – One of the effective measures in providing pain relief than rest
are over-the-counter pain killers. Low back pain can be reduced by (NSAIDs)
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. NSAIDs have anti-inflammatory effects that
help in reducing the pain and inflammation in the internal tissues. Another way to
treat it is by using muscle relaxants. Topical creams, sprays, gels, and
patches are also available that provide relief from pain.
- Pilates training – A widely known exercise form of strengthening the spinal muscles
is Pilates. It incorporates the principles of breathing to relax and strengthen the core
muscles. It helps to tone the muscles making then flexible and strong. This can be
easily practised at home or an online pilates class can help you to achieve your goals
and prevent any pain.
- Massage therapy – A therapeutic massage that relaxes aching muscles. Herbal oil
massage can help in muscle relaxation and may provide relief from it.
- Acupuncture & Dry Needling – It is a therapy wherein thin needles are inserted into
precise points through the skin to release blocked energy and break the adhesions in
- Yoga – It can help improve the flexibility of back muscles. It also relieves stress and
improves the quality of life.
- Diet – Diet is one of the essential components in treatment at home.
You should avoid certain foods such as sugary drinks, fried foods, processed snacks,
high-fat dairy products, etc. Avoid over-eating or over-snacking and follow a healthy,
balanced nutritious diet. Keep a track of your body weight and maintain a healthy
weight. Include foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats beans, and legumes/
proteins in your meal and routine diet.
- Watch out for your posture – Bad posture is one of the major reasons for the pain. Thus, correcting your posture and avoiding slouching is one of the advises
which will help in preventing the pain. Be careful while lifting heavy objects
and avoid sitting for prolonged hours.
- Ergonomics – Adopt good ergonomics in your workplace or design your home
workspace ergonomically to prevent the pain. Use a chair that supports your
lower back and lets your feet lodged firmly on the floor. Do not hunch forward to see
your laptop screen or computer monitor.