10 Ways to Manage Low Back Pain at Home
Low back pain is a common problem suffered by the young and the old. It can be very distressing for most people, making them less productive. Almost everyone has suffered it at some point. Here are some things you can do at home to treat your low back pain.
- Apply Ice: Best to use in the first 24 to 48 hours after injury. It reduces inflammation. Be sure to take off the ice packs after 20 minutes to give your skin a rest.
- Keep moving: If your body permits, continue your daily activities. Once you feel better, try regular aerobics like swimming, bicycling and walking. Don’t over-do it.
- Exercise: Once you have recovered. Be sure to avoid future episodes by exercising the muscles that support your back.
- Frequent stretching: Get up every 30 minutes or so and stretch your body. Don’t sit on your desk chair all day.
- Ensure a comfortable workspace: Make sure you don’t have to lean forward to see your computer screen or reach your mouse.
- Watch your posture: Especially when lifting heavy objects. Don’t bend over from your waist. Instead, bend and straighten from the knees.
- Wear low heels: High heels create an unstable posture and increase pressure on your lower spine.
- Kick out those habits: Research shows that smokers are more likely to have low back pain compared to nonsmokers. Stop smoking!
- Lose weight: Use diet and exercise to keep your weight within a healthy range for. Overweight puts excess stress on your spine.
- Try over-the-counter pain reliever: Anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, diclofenac. Acetaminophen is another option for pain management. Be sure to check with the doctor for any drug interactions.
You should talk to the doctor if:
- Your low back pain is severe or doesn’t subside after a few days
- You have weakness or numbness in your legs
Dr. Dzekem is a physician, researcher and a health policy advocate. He obtained his Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from the University of Buea and practiced as a primary care physician in Cameroon before moving to the University of Ibadan, Nigeria for post graduate studies and eventually to the United States as an Inaugural Obama Scholar where he obtained a Master in Public Health Policy and International Development, with focus on global health and health systems from the Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago. Dr. Dzekem has served as a speaker in international conferences, he is the author/co-author to several articles in peer-reviewed journals and a reviewer for the Cardiovascular Journal of Africa. He is the Co-founder and Executive Director of the Keafon Health. He has special interest in strengthening health systems and improving access to primary care in underserved communities.