How to Deal with Lower Back Pain
When to Seek Professional Help for Back Pain
Everyone suffers from mild back pain from time to time, but when does it become a problem bigger than sleeping crooked and having mild tension? A professional can help.
Every once in a while, everyone will wake up in the morning with a stiff back or a crick in their neck – but typically the pain goes away in a few hours or by the next day. Last year I went on a safari package tour and when I came back I started experiencing awful back pain, and after a week of this, I knew it was time to see my doctor or another type of therapist. Basically, if it is keeping awake at night you should see a professional.
Hopefully, most people will never have to worry about the prolonged pain that requires real medical attention for relief from lower back pain, but sometimes the pain just does not go away on its own, and it’s important to understand the steps to take.
Identifying Severe Back Pain
When pain is severe, it is not difficult to tell. Shooting pains, pain when moving a certain way or twisting, pain referred into the legs from the lower back – these are all examples of pain that may not right itself within a day or two.
Tension might be from sleeping in an awkward position, or from exercising excessively. If the body has performed strenuous activity it isn’t used to – such as moving furniture or other heavy objects, an injury may occur. This happened to me when I was clearing our attic.
When pain shoots from the lower back down through one of the legs, a pinched nerve might be responsible – most likely the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down through the buttocks and through the back of each leg all the way to the toes, is responsible.
When the sciatic nerve is pinched, shooting pain might not reach the toes, and may only reach as far as the buttocks, but it can still be demobilizing and incredibly painful.
When pain is so severe it hinders your daily life, or when no pain relief is felt after three to four days, it might not be a bad idea to seek professional help.
Treating Severe Back Pain
Chiropractors are feared by many people, but when the back is in questions and severe pain is felt, they might be the best – and safest option.
X-rays can show if there is any permanent damage to the spine, and chiropractic adjustments can help align the spine and ease muscle tension.
If a chiropractor is not an option, stretching can help low back pain, and getting a foam roller to push tension out of the IT band on the outside of each thigh may also alleviate some pressure.
Exercise that does not aggravate the pain can help loosen tension and expedite the healing process.
Alternative treatments are also available – such as magnetic acupuncture. The Korean style of acupuncture is performed by using magnets on only the hands to help pain and tension in other parts of the body. There are different types of acupuncture that are used to treat different things.