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Lower back pain is one of the most frequent medical complaints. It's almost impossible not to experience low back pain: you may have been in a situation where you had to request a few days off from work to allow the back to get better. There are multiple causes of lower back pain, ranging from surgery to bad posture. The lower back starts below the ribcage, and it can cause pain to be felt in a number of different regions. In most cases, pain improves over time, but there are also steps you can take to help alleviate symptoms.

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Pain Medication

One of the simplest treatments for any pain, including pesky lower back pain, is over-the-counter pain medication. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as they are known in medical terms help to reduce pain and help you get back to normal. These kinds of drugs are the typical painkillers you probably already use. These can help you achieve short-term relief for back pain. You shouldn't consume pain medication for an extended period unless you consult your doctor. Always follow the recommendations of your pharmacist.

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Invest in a Better Mattress

Many underlying factors can cause lower back pain to appear. In many cases, the cause may not be so apparent. Your mattress may be a reliable indicator of your back health. If you have an old mattress, hard coils may cause discomfort to appear in the lower back muscles. Another variable that should be analyzed is the firmness of the mattress: medium-firm mattresses perform better than hard beds, and the position you sleep in may also influence your lower back health. To make sure which mattress suits you best, visit your local mattress store for bed-related expertise.

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Improve Your Walking

Many factors can support good back health or on the contrary, reduce mobility and increase discomfort. One of the most related factors is how we walk and the way we position our feet. Women, for example, are extremely susceptible to lower back pain due to the way their feet roll inwards when they walk. This is also known as pronation, and it can considerably influence pain in the lower back region. To improve lower back pain, invest in shoes that support ideal walking and feet positioning. Consult your doctor if you experience extended the back pain.

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Correct Your Posture

Improvements in posture are one of the biggest changes you can make to help improve lower back pain. Over time, good posture goes hand in hand with a straight and healthy back, which can handle anything. If you are prone to slumping, it might make it harder for your back to support your weight. Posture is also important for daily lifting: whether it be grocery bags, dumbbells, or any other feat of strength, a good posture is a key to avoiding back injury. You can maintain good posture by reinforcing the habit of keeping your back straight.

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Apply Heat

Try using the power of heat to help cure your lower back pain. Heat therapy is known for the relaxing and therapeutic effects it has on the body and its muscles. It can increase circulation, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the affected muscles, as well as reduce inflammation and discomfort. It also has a calming effect on the mind. After you have become injured, heat a heating pack (homemade or store bought) and gently place it over the muscles of the lower back. Let it rest for 20 minutes, and then remove the heat pack. If you suffer from tight muscles, heat can be especially beneficial in relaxing muscles and joints, helping alleviate symptoms.

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Stretch

Being immobile for long periods of time can be devastating for the big muscles found in the lower back. If you are employed in a job that involves long periods of sitting, or if you're a student that spends extended periods of time studying, you should aim to stretch once every 20 minutes. This ensures that the muscles stay activated and flexible, and stretching can also reduce the risk of injury. Remember to also correct your posture after stretching. Good posture and stretching go hand in hand and are essential for good lower back health.

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Rest Your Back

Being overly active can have damaging consequences for lower back health. That's why it's important sometimes to take it easy and let the muscles naturally recover. If you take part in extreme physical activities that involve using the back muscles for lifting or moving things around, also remember to allow the back to recover. Sudden movements can also trigger back pain and cause injury, so take necessary precautions to reduce the risk of damage. To protect that back, stretch the muscles after any strenuous physical activity, and consult your doctor if symptoms persist.

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Resistance Training

To reduce lower back pain and to help improve lower back strength, you should consider practicing resistance training. This contributes to strengthen and reinforce the important muscles of the lower back, reducing the risk of injury and making the muscles strong. The back-extensor muscles, for example, are key in having good posture as well as ideal spine alignment. Working on the muscles of the core is also recommended, as this supports overall lower back health. You should come up with an effective weight training program that combines a variety of exercises designed to support the lower back muscles.

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Apply a Cold Pack

One of the best rapid solutions for lower back pain is cold packs. Ice can be an effective treatment for lower back pain because it targets things like inflammation as well as discomfort. Ice works best when used 24 hours after an injury. For some people, heat can worsen inflammation, so it may be a good idea to alternate between cold and hot packs for the affected area. When applying ice on the lower back, make sure first to place the ice in a cloth towel. Then, let the ice sit on the muscle for at most 20 minutes.

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Stay Active

If you want to improve lower back pain and have a healthy, strong back, you should improve your daytime habits. Avoid long periods of inactivity, and try to perform light physical activities as much as you can throughout the day. Walking, standing up, and performing jumping jacks are just a few of the many activities that you can do to help improve lower back pain. Being too motionless can make the muscles still, inflexible, and poor in oxygen. Moreover, it can lead to bad posture and other complications of the back. When at work, take short walks around the office once in a while to get things moving.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.