Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain…UUUUGH…the bane of our existence. We’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives. It’s that annoying, nagging pain that just won’t go away. It can be caused by a variety of conditions, each with its own set of symptoms and treatments. So, let's dive into some of the most common conditions that cause lower back pain and some natural solutions to ease the discomfort.
Lumbago sounds like the next blockbuster Hollywood movie but it’s actually another name for lower back pain. It’s a general term that encompasses a wide range of conditions that cause pain in the lower back. It can be caused by poor posture, overuse, or muscle strain. To treat Lumbago, Chiro adjustments, Dry Needling, Cupping, Massage, stretching and using the Therapeutic Ultrasound are the most effective ways to help eliminate symptoms quickly.
This is a condition that occurs when the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back down to your feet, becomes compressed. This can cause sharp, shooting pain down one or both legs, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected leg. To treat Sciatica, a Chiropractor can perform adjustments, Dry Needling and Cupping. The use of the Therapeutic Ultrasound is a great added benefit as all of the mentioned treatments can be very helpful to alleviate the pain. Stretching, foam rolling, the use of the Spikey Massage Ball and a good old-fashioned Massage can also provide relief.
There is a condition called Piriformis syndrome that can present in a similar way to sciatica, however, with Piriformis Syndrome the pain is mostly local to the buttock and in worse cases some leg pain. Sciatica is typically with lower back pain as well as buttock and leg pain which can track down the leg.
This occurs when one of the discs between the vertebrae in your lumbar spine bulges or ruptures, putting pressure on the nerves that exit the spine in your lower back. This can cause pain, numbness or tingling in the legs or buttocks. To treat Disc Herniation, Chiropractic adjustments, stretching, Therapeutic Ultrasound and the use of a 4-in-1 TENS machine with an Interferential feature can be very helpful.
Facet Joint Imbrication
This occurs when the joints in your lower back become inflamed or irritated. This can cause pain in the lower back and can refer to your hips, or buttocks. To treat Facet Joint Imbrication effectively, we need to take a close look at postural imbalances, which is frequently a major contributing factor. Once again the good old Chiro adjustments and Therapeutic Ultrasound may work wonders in easing this condition, whilst the postural imbalances are addressed in the meantime.
Sprains or Strains
Whether it's your ligaments or muscles and tendons causing the issue, the pain will likely feel very similar. Pain on certain movements, which is made worse with prolonged sitting or standing, can be a sign of a sprain or strain. Although it is difficult to determine which of these issues might be the culprit without adequate training, the benefit at home is that they are both treated in a similar way. The best treatment is using the Therapeutic Ultrasound device with the Kirofix® Injury Relief Lotion. More on this below!
This is a degenerative joint disease that can occur anywhere in the spine and the lower back is no exception. It can cause pain, stiffness and reduced mobility. In treating osteoarthritis our main goal is to ease muscular tension in the area and address postural imbalance to take pressure off the joints and aid healing. Treatment by a Chiropractor along with some Dry Needling and Cupping goes a long way to loosening up the muscles to prevent excess wear and tear. For more information on arthritis and how you can help manage it at home click HERE to read our blog.
Fractures in the lower back can be commonly caused by a fall, car accident, or sports injury. They can cause severe pain, swelling, and difficulty moving. To treat fractures, you should seek medical attention immediately. Once the fracture has been stabilised (if required), you can start the process of healing these fractured bones at home with the assistance of the Trauma Relief and Bone Aid Homeopathic Pain Relief Quad Pack and Therapeutic Ultrasound.
SI Joint Subluxations
The sacroiliac joint (SI joint) connects the spine to the pelvis. When this joint becomes misaligned or subluxated, it can cause pain in the lower back, hips, and buttocks. To treat SI joint subluxations, Chiropractic adjustments are the quickest road to recovery. Often SI joint subluxation will result in one leg being longer than the other, so it is best to get it rectified sooner rather than later or other issues may arise as a result of walking around with a leg length difference.
Options For Treating Lower Back Pain
Now, finally...(Gimme tips for relief please! 🙏) let's talk about some natural solutions to ease lower back pain at home.
Don't scroll past this one! Its' a super important part of keeping our bodies in great condition, as a preventative and as rehabilitating injury. Stretching can help relieve muscle tension and improve flexibility in your lower back.
When you wake up in the morning, bring your knees to your chest and gently rock back and forth and side to side for a minute. This helps open up the lumber spine and encourage blood flow, which is great for healing. If you have a disc problem or fracture, only do this exercise if it doesn’t exacerbate your pain.
Once you have completed the knees-to-chest stretch, gently lower your legs, keep them bent and feet flat on the floor (or bed), then gently and slowly allow the knees to lower to one side at a time, keeping your shoulders on the bed or floor at all times. Do it slowly as we want to avoid the back from cracking. Hold for one minute once your knees reach the floor, or far as you can. Then gently return your knees to the centre and repeat on the other side for a further minute.
These two stretches will help stretch out the tight muscles of the lower back. Create this healthy habit today!
Once again you need to ensure that your back is safe to do yoga, for example, a recent disc injury or fracture will require some healing time to be able to do these moves safely. Some good yoga poses include the cat-cow stretch, child's pose, downward dog, cobra pose and some bird-dog exercises to start to build strength in the lumbar spine area. Remember to continue with your yoga breathing throughout, as this helps to bring you into the present and dissipate stress.
Regular exercise can help to strengthen the muscles in your lower back and improve your posture, which is critically important. The posture of the lower back and pelvis can change the biomechanics of the whole spine and even have a dramatic effect on conditions like Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, Achilles Tendonitis, Sever’s Disease, Shin Splints, knee pain and hip pain. All as a result of the changes in weight-bearing that occur with postural imbalances. So in the long-term, exercises to balance muscles in the lower back can not only help to ease current pain, but help prevent it in the future…and the bonus? It can also help to heal many other ailments such as those mentioned above. Exercises that target the lower back muscles, include sit-ups and glute bridges. Working on your leg muscles, which influence the tilt of your pelvis, are also beneficial. Exercises like squats and deadlifts can be particularly helpful, depending on the particular imbalances that you are experiencing.
Watch this video which shows some great ab exercises using the Resistance Band set at home to help ease lower back pain. (Sorry for the choice of leggings...pad pattern for the camera! 😊)
Heat And Cold Therapy
Applying ice to the affected area can help to relieve pain and inflammation, especially when the issue is acute. Using the Wrap-On Ice Pack helps to keep the ice pack compressed against the spine and allows you to be hands-free in its application. For heat on the other hand, this is only advisable to use when it is purely a muscular issue and not currently inflamed. Heating an area can increase the inflammation if the injury is still in the acute inflammatory stage and we don’t want to make it any worse. Once again, in those cases that heat therapy is indicated, the use of the Wrap-On heat pack makes the application easy and stress free. For those times when heat is indicated, also consider getting into a hot SoulSoak Recover Magnesium bath. Here you get the best of all worlds, the heat of the water will increase the blood flow and start the muscle relaxation process, while the 80 essential elements and minerals found in SoulSoak Recover Magnesium Bath Soak will enter your body via the skin to take muscle relaxation and repair to a whole new level. 💪
Not only does it feel amazing, massaging the muscles in the lower back and buttocks can help to relieve tension and promote relaxation and blood flow. You can use a foam roller or a Spikey Massage Ball to massage the muscles yourself, or see a professional massage therapist. There are certain muscles in this area that respond particularly well to using a Spikey Massage Ball, you can even sit on it and treat these muscles while you work, or watch TV…taking multitasking to the next level! If you’re lucky enough to have someone who’s willing to offer a back massage, be sure to encourage them to use a therapeutic massage oil like Restore Massage Oil so that you’re not only getting the benefits of the hands on experience, but also the benefits of the essential oils that are designed to further relax your muscles and increase circulation to help the body to heal. Due to the essential oils we have chosen to include in our very own unique blend, Restore Massage Oil isn’t just therapeutic, it smells amazing!!!
Our Premium Vacuum Cupping Set is the next best thing to a Dr Kez in your bathroom cupboard, giving you a tool to treat your lower back at home, as soon as they arise. For any type of muscular imbalance in the lower back and pelvis area, Vacuum Cupping therapy is a great option and can be done in the comfort of your own home. It can also be done, carefully, in the acute phase of these injuries because the patient can remain in a neutral position during treatment. Choose the appropriate size cups, rub oil onto the back muscles (or the rim of the cups) and then apply the cups to either side of the spine and onto the gluteal region. Leave the cups on for 10-20 minutes and enjoy the release you feel once you take them off. Watch this video on how and where to apply the Vacuum Cups for lower back pain.
Can The Acupressure Mat Help With Lower Back Pain?
The Dr Kez Acupressure Mat is brilliant to help with any type of back pain, including in the lower back. The Acupressure Mat aids increased the blood flow to wherever the spikes touch. Increased circulation is critical for healing so lucky there are thousands of spikes that cover a large area! Start by laying on the Acupressure Mat with your knees bent, to ensure the lower back touches the spikes, then after a few minutes, try to straighten your legs out to apply a traction through the lower lumbar vertebrae to open up the spinal joints to get all of the blood and nutrients deep into the discs where it is needed most for healing. Watch this video to take you through the process of getting the most out of your Acupressure Mat for helping to heal your lower back.
How a TENS Machine Can Help Ease Back Pain
If back pain has been plaguing you for a while, there comes a time when you would do anything to just get a little relief. The best way to do this is to use the 4-in-1 TENS machine on the Interferential setting to help mask the pain and give your body (and mind) a break. How does it work? Basically, the brain can only perceive one sensation from an area at a time. So if your brain is currently experiencing pain from your lower back and you add a TENS machine to the area to add a second stimulus, the brain will start to feel the new tingling sensation of the TENS machine and no longer the ongoing chronic back pain. Sounds great hey! Using the machine on the Interferential feature takes this deeper into the body and is even more effective than the standard TENS feature, making it perfect for deep-seated lower back pain. This is a great way to help you get through the day without the ongoing nag of lower back pain, while in the background you are (hopefully) doing the above at suggestions to fast-track recovery. Watch this video on where to place the electrodes on the lower back, to get the most out of your 4-in-1 TENS machine.
What If I Have A Fracture Or Acute Disc Injury?
Once you have been to your GP and confirmed that it’s a stable fracture and followed their advice, it’s time to start healing at home. The Trauma Relief and Bone Aid Homeopathic Pain Relief Quad Pack is the first step to helping your body recover from a fracture in the lumbar spine. This pack contains the two creams needed for healing topically and the two homeopathic counterparts to encourage healing from within. Apply the creams three times daily. The homeopathic oral sprays, two sprays of each, three times daily, to get the body focused on healing the fracture stronger and faster. Follow up the use of the creams twice daily with a 10-minute Therapeutic Ultrasound treatment. The ultrasound sound waves pass energy onto the underlying cells, encouraging healing at a faster rate. Perfect for both fractures and acute disc injuries. For acute disc injuries lay in an anti-gravity position to take pressure off the disc during treatment (this simply means adding a couple of pillows under the belly/pelvis area, which will result in the bottom being pushed into the air slightly. Watch this video to see how to use the Therapeutic Ultrasound on the lower back.
What Do I Do If The Pain Isn't Getting Any Better?
Some lower back pain can be easily treated from home and then there’s the stubborn variety that needs a bit of outside help. If you are doing the suggestions above and still feeling significant pain, (don’t get me wrong, lower back pain can take a couple of weeks to heal), then perhaps it’s time to reach out to a Chiro or Osteo and get them to take a look.
In our Chiro clinic, Life Balance Adjustments, we take you through a full assessment, including a postural assessment, to determine where the issue lies and begin treating right away. There’s nothing worse than going to get your back treated and coming out of the Chiropractor's office with a referral for an x-ray and not getting any treatment done. We get to work straight away on loosening the tight muscles and realigning the subluxations in your spine and pelvis that can’t be treated from home. The beauty of consulting with a Chiropractor is that we can also guide you in what is best for you to do at home to get the fastest results with your specific condition. Perhaps the addition of a different stretch or exercise might be the missing piece to your back issue. This is quite often the case. So don’t discount the option of a Telehealth appointment if you find it difficult to get to a Chiro appointment. If you’d like to book a Telehealth or appointment with Dr Kez (Chiro) at her clinic in Watsonia /Greensborough VIC, click HERE
No, you can’t do this at home!! This is a brilliant technique your professional provider will do, that involves inserting extremely thin needles into trigger points in the muscles to help relieve pain and tension within the muscles. Great for postural imbalances and speeding up the healing of a significant number of conditions, including those mentioned above. It is an extremely effective technique in the lumbar spine and pelvis area. A highly trained practitioner can feel the muscles that contain these trigger points and know where to place the needles for the best result and to keep you safe. Even patients with acute disc bulges and fractures can enjoy the rapid benefits of Dry Needling when many of the other options like exercises, yoga and stretching are off the table initially. To experience the benefits of Dry Needling with Dr Kez at her clinic in Watsonia / Greensborough click the link above. Unfortunately, this incredible modality is not one that can be done via Telehealth.
What Else Can You Suggest For Prevention of Lower Back Pain
So when it boils down to it, lower back pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, each with its own set of symptoms and treatments. Natural solutions like Chiro care, Cupping, Dry Needling, stretching, and Therapeutic Ultrasound can all be effective in helping relieve lower back pain. Remember to always consult with a licensed healthcare professional if you aren’t getting a resolution to your lower back symptoms. They can help determine the underlying cause of your pain and recommend the most effective treatment plan.
In addition to these natural solutions, there are also some lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent lower back pain in the future. Maintaining a healthy weight, practising good posture, avoiding sitting for long periods of time (especially with poor ergonomics), and engaging in regular exercise can all help keep your lower back healthy and pain-free. Watch this video for more information on how to assess the ergonomics of your workstation.
In conclusion, lower back ailments can be a real pain in the backside, but with the right treatment and preventative measures, it doesn't have to be a chronic issue. So, if you're experiencing lower back pain, take action today and try some of these natural solutions to help get the relief you need. Your back will thank you!