Lower Back Pain: Causes, Types and Back Pain Relief Exercises
The spine is made up of 33 bones called vertebrae, which are stacked on top of each other. The vertebrae are designed to allow the body to bend, twist, and stretch.
The lower back is made up of a column of bones called the lumbar spine that runs from the base of the skull down to the buttocks. The lower back has the most mobility in the body.
If you have chronic lower back pain, you can do a lot to help relieve your pain. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the ways you can relieve lower back pain.
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Causes of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain can be caused by a lot of things, including:
- Poor posture
- Poor sleeping habits
- Chronic pain
- Muscle strains
- Degenerative disc disease
People who spend most of their time standing, sitting, and bending over are at risk for developing back pain. When you sit or stand for long periods of time, your vertebrae start to compress. Your bones become misaligned, and it can be painful. When you’re in a seated position, you’ll have a lower back that’s extended to the side. This puts more stress on the spine. When you’re standing, your pelvis should be in a neutral position. If it’s rotated, it puts pressure on the spine.
Types of Lower Back Pain
The three main types of lower back pain are:
- Spinal Stenosis – Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the space between the vertebrae or spinal bones that can cause a lot of discomfort. It can also cause pain in your lower back, shoulders, neck, and/or legs.
- Spondylolisthesis – When one or more vertebrae slips out of place. This can cause the vertebrae to rub together, creating pressure and pain.
- Spondylolisthesis + Dislocation – Spondylolisthesis + Dislocation (SLD) is when a vertebra slips out of place and slips out of place. Dislocated vertebrae can cause neck pain, back pain, and/or leg pain.
Exercises for Back Pain
Back pain can be managed, but often exercise is needed to help you increase your mobility, strength and flexibility. The following exercises are recommended for helping to improve your back pain.
- Forward bend
- Side bend
- Bending forward with arms at side
- Bending sideways
- Lying on your back with knees bent
- Seated forward bend
- Seated side bend
- Standing forward bend
- Standing side bend
You can also take part in physical activities such as:
- Tai chi
In many cases, you can also use a heating pad, hot water bottle or a cold pack to help reduce pain and swelling.
How Can One Treat Back Pain at Home?
You can treat back pain at home by:
- Resting and reducing your activity level.
- Taking over-the-counter pain relief, such as paracetamol or aspirin, if needed.
- Staying off the affected area if you are wearing a back brace.
- Using ice packs to reduce any inflammation and pain.
- Using heat packs to increase blood flow to the area.
- Wearing a lightweight, soft, supportive clothing.
- Not bending or lifting in the back.