If you’re one of the 8 in every 10 people who experience lower back pain severe enough to think you should probably seek treatment, be assured that it’s probably not due to a serious problem. You may connect your low back problem to:
- A lot of sitting, including sitting to drive.
- Improper stance when bending or lifting.
- Poor overall physical condition.
- Aging. As we age, our muscles weaken and we may experience stiff joints. These both can cause pain in the low back area.
Easy solutions to lower back pain
You may not consider good nutrition an important tool in keeping your back healthy, but eating well benefits your whole body. Specifically, vegetables with anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to ease this pain.
Sleep is another general health aid. It makes sense that if you’re not sleeping well or long enough, your back doesn’t get the rest it needs and a break from holding you up all day!
When to seek help
Back pain tends to be contained. Even severe pain typically does not move past the lower back and buttocks. But sometimes the pain continues and can become chronic. Also, the nerves can get irritated and cause numbness and tingling in the leg or as far as the toes. You’ll do best if you see a physical therapist before it gets to that point.
In general, “the sooner, the better” is the best advice about conditions around your back. Acute-onset pain comes on suddenly and can be alleviated pretty quickly. You can expect a physical therapist to relieve your acute pain in, at most, 5 one-on-one sessions.
Physical therapy for back pain
The longer the pain restricts daily or recreational activities, the further you’ll go into chronic pain mode. Although pain is not referred to as “chronic” until it lasts at least six months, the damage to muscles and nerves can begin as soon as a week after the onset of back pain. Early treatment is key. If you wait too long, not only is your pain likely to worsen, but even surgery might be necessary.
Your physical therapy exercise and treatment plan will be customized according to the length of time you’ve lived with the pain. As much as you can, stay active!
This is not the time to be stoic! There is no reason to suffer on your own with lower back pain. Give us a call, and we’ll set you up with a Heather Lane physical therapist, design a program for you, and get you back to full activity as fast as possible.