Have Lower-Back Pain? Our Guide to Treating Your Pain the Right Way

| 2 min read

how to treat lower back pain
Do you suffer from back pain? You’re not alone, as 80 percent of all adults will have lower back pain at some point in their lifetime. Though a lot of people opt to stay in bed to stop the pain, studies show that lying down for longer than 48 hours won’t do you any good (and may in fact increase your pain!). If you’re looking for alternatives, we have a few ways to speed up your recovery.
Research shows that the sooner you return to low-impact activities like walking, the faster you’ll be on your path to recovery. Physical therapy is one remedy that can help, but it’s important that you check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. Here are some tips for a physical therapy regimen:
  • Work with a professional. A physical therapist, yoga instructor or other fitness expert are all great people who can guide you through your activities to get back in the saddle.
  • Choose enjoyable exercises. Do you like yoga? Walking? Water aerobics? Try to include activities in your routine that you enjoy and that make your abdominal muscles strong.
  • Avoid certain exercises. Some movements can stress your lower back, so avoid them. These include sit-ups with straight legs, leg lifts while on your back and shoulder presses or bicep curls (while standing).
  • Join an exercise program for people like you. It may make things easier if you have people to go through the journey with you – and many other people have chronic back pain, too.
One thing you can do yourself to help the pain is apply heat or ice. You can also get relief with anti-inflammatory medicines such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve). Here are a few cases when you should see a doctor right away:
  • You have severe pain in your back lasting longer than 24 to 48 hours
  • You have back pain plus a fever
  • You have numbness, pain or weakness in a leg or foot along with your back pain
For more information on treating your lower back pain, please visit: http://www.choosingwisely.org/. For more blogs on back pain, check out these blogs:
Photo credit: Jasmine Kaloudis

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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