Whether you blame it on long hours working at your desk or that sudden movement, developing lower back pain at midlife is very common. A study published in the Journal Menopause Review found that women, in particular, experience an increase in low back pain with perimenopause and menopause.
The list of possible causes is long: being overweight, lack of exercise, being too sedentary, smoking, poor eating habits, postural issues, injuries, spinal diseases, and other health conditions such as arthritis or osteoporosis. And then, of course, ageing – when our muscles start to lose elasticity and our spine begin to lose cushioning- may increase the problem.
Aches and pains in the spine are just facts of life – says Dr Alexis Tingan from Pennsylvania Hospital.- It is estimated that upwards of 85% of people will experience some sort of back or neck pain. Most people start noticing back pain between the ages of 40 and 60.
Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen (paracetamol), may help relieve pain however it’s by taking small steps to strengthen and protect our back every day, we can ideally prevent and soft pain.
Here are some basic remedies to prevent it or fix it.
Treat it with cold and heat
According to physicians from Harvard Medical School, it’s best to use cold compresses or an ice pack, not heat, immediately following a back injury, since this can alleviate pain by numbing the area and prevent or reduce swelling. About 48 hours after the onset of back pain, though, applying heating pads or a hot-water bottle to your back may be helpful. The warmth soothes and relaxes aching muscles and increases blood flow, which helps the healing process. Keep in mind that heat therapy is only helpful for the first week.
Get a massage
A study published in Pain Medicine by researchers from the University of Kentucky and Indiana University suggests that massage can help individuals with lower back pain. Shiatsu, for instance, could be a solution as it can often relax stiff and knotted muscles in the back. As well as spinal manipulation, in which chiropractors apply pressure directly to the body to correct spinal alignment. If you opt for a self-massage, use essential oils and follow some online tutorials.
Acupuncture works by changing the way your nerves react and can help with inflammation around the joints. Guidelines from the American Pain Society and American College of Physicians say doctors should consider acupuncture as an alternative therapy for patients with chronic low-back pain that’s not helped by conventional treatment.
Sitting at a desk, reclining on a couch, or staying in bed instead of stretching or exercising may ultimately wreak havoc on you. Doctors know it’s better to keep moving so that your muscles don’t become stiff. Start slowly, with a gentle activity like walking, and increase gradually. A good program typically includes the three major forms of exercise: aerobic activity, strength training, stretching. Women who practice yoga may find benefits from the Cobra Pose, one of the best exercises we can do for our low back pain, herniated discs and bulging discs.
Get Better Shoes
The shoes you wear can certainly have an impact on the health of your back and may actually be one of the best and most obvious lower back pain remedies. According to a study in the Journal of Rheumatology, women whose feet roll inwards when they walk may be especially prone to lower back pain. Also, high heels are known to contribute to problems in many women. Look for appropriate arch support and cushioning avoiding shoes that are too tight or too big, as they also may change the way you walk, and that can lead to stress on the back.
Reduce Your Stress
Stress can affect the way that you breathe, and this may result in tension and straining of the back. To reduce stress and decrease the chances of stress-related discomfort, consider making some gentle changes in your habits. According to Ayurveda, adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your bath will help you get rid of backache as well as body pain. Not just that, it makes you feel stress-free. Also, eating healthier foods can help to keep stress at bay while making time to relax is also crucial. Spend quality time with yourself and your loved ones so your spirit remains strong when life is challenging. This may indirectly lead to a healthier back.
Please note, self-care methods are helpful for the first 72 hours after the pain begins. If the pain doesn’t improve after 72 hours of home treatment, you should call your doctor.