Last week, the Doc went live to outline some common causes of lower back pain and discuss strategies you can use to minimize pain in your lower back. Watch the video below to hear from the Doc himself or read on for a quick summary of his talking points.
How to Locate Lower Back Pain
Before determining the best way to treat lower back pain, you must determine its source. Notably, there are three primary pain points in the lumbar region of the back, which goes from just below the ribs to the pelvis. These areas include SI joints, facet joints, and the piriformis muscle.
Sacroiliac (SI) Joint
SI joints connect the spine to the hips, thereby supporting all weight in the upper half of the body. Though there is generally very little movement in this joint, the area can still stiffen as we age and cartilage wears down. Symptoms of SI joint problems include pain in the lower back and buttocks or numbness and tingling in the leg. Notably, SI joint pain is often one-sided, though both sides of the lower back may suffer.
Facet joints are tiny joints located on each side of the vertebrae. These joints act as hinges to stabilize the spine and minimize vertebrae movement to keep it aligned. Unfortunately, the cartilage that encases these joints can erode over time, which may cause arthritis-like pain and bone spurs in some cases.
The piriformis muscle, which is located in the buttocks at the hip, stabilizes the hips and controls lower body movement. However, sometimes this muscle can compress the sciatic nerve, which is a long, thick nerve that goes from the lower back down through the leg. Sciatic nerve compression can cause pain in the lower back and down through one or both legs, beginning with numbness in the buttocks.
Lower Back Pain Dos and Don’ts
If you find yourself suffering from lower back pain, here are a few things you should (and should not) do right now to minimize your discomfort.
DO use ice to minimize swelling and reduce pain
DON’T exercise or overextend yourself for the first few days
DO compress the area using a compression belt of kinesiology tape
DON’T stretch yourself beyond your comfort level
DO add pressure to the area using a golf ball, tennis ball, or other massaging tool
DON’T ignore the problem, especially if it persists longer than a few days
DO use topical products like CBD pain sticks to help dull the discomfort
How to Reduce Lower Back Pain
Now that you understand what you should and should not do to reduce lower back pain, let’s discuss some exercises you can do starting on day two or three to improve lumbar pain and help prevent its reoccurrence. Please watch the video for demonstrations.
Begin by laying on your back with your knees bent, head on a pillow if you prefer. Stretch your arms out to your side then rotate your knees to one side while twisting your torso in the opposite direction. Hold this position for a few seconds then rotate sides, leaning only as far over as is comfortable and mildly stretching. Repeat this motion about eight to ten times.
Lay on your back with your knees bent, then tighten your abdomen and raise your shoulders while pushing your back into the ground. Hold this position for about five seconds then release and begin again. Continue this exercise about eight to ten more times. This action helps stabilize and balance the pelvis.
Variation of Modified Crunch
This move begins just like the last two: on your back with your knees bent. However, in this variation, you will lift your buttocks off of the ground while tightening your abdomen and pressing your shoulders into the ground. Hold this position for about five seconds then release and begin for a total of eight to ten reps.
Stretches to Improve Lower Back Pain
Stretches can help keep the back limber and maintain flexibility in the muscles surrounding the area. For example, you might stretch your hamstrings by lifting the legs to the chest in a mild stretch. Range of motion exercises can also help, such as front bends and side bends. Remember to only push yourself to the point of mild discomfort. Your range of motion will expand the more you do, so there is no need to push yourself beyond comfort.
Additional Ways to Reduce Lower Back Pain
Some additional things you can try to reduce lower back pain include icing the area and using CBD ingestible and topical products to minimize swelling. You might also take steps to correct your posture using a simple posture band, or massage knots and other problem areas using massage tools like percussion massagers.
Lower Back Pain Live; Closing Thoughts
Doc’s objective is to help you feel better. Unfortunately, many people suffer from lower back pain which can make it hard to move, sleep, or even sit still. If you’re struggling with lower back pain, contact me to learn how I can help or buy some of our hand-picked CBD products to help minimize your discomfort.
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