Lower back pain can affect every aspect of your life, from your job productivity to your mood to your ability to enjoy your favorite activities. When lower back pain hits, it can feel like nothing else matters, making it difficult to concentrate or relax. Luckily, there are techniques you can use to start feeling better fast. These three quick fixes will help you soothe a flare-up of lower back pain so that you can forget about the pain and get back to the important things in life.
1. Take A Load Off, The Smart Way
Most people’s first instinct when they feel searing lower back pain is to lay down. This is right on the money, and is a great way to ease a flare-up, especially if you follow these easy tips. A primary cause of lower back pain is muscle strain, and lying down makes you feel better because it takes the weight off the damaged muscles. To maximize the benefits, lie flat on your back with your knees raised up and the soles of your feet flat on the floor, couch, or bed. By using your feet to support some of your weight, you are giving your back a serious treat. Just don’t stay in bed for too long. To repair the muscle damage causing your lower back pain, your body needs to send blood to the affected area, and to do that in enough quantity you’re going to need to move around so that your heart can pump harder, so get up and about as soon as you can. If you have a major lower back pain flare-up, you may wish to stay in bed for two to three days in order to soothe the strain, but resting horizontally for any longer will actually prolong your lower back pain.
2. Heat It Up
A warm compress does triple-duty, busting your lower back pain in three separate ways. Heat relaxes your body, which means that tension contributing to your lower back pain melts away in a matter of minutes, easing the strain on your tight muscles. Heat increases blood flow, which means that the muscle damage at the root of your suffering will heal more quickly. Last but not least, heat makes it more difficult for you to feel pain; scientific research suggests that the body can only process one tactile sensation in an area at once. This means that if your brain is busy noticing the feeling of warmth, it may be distracted from the task of processing the feelings of pain. To get these three forms of relief from one simple source, wrap a hot water bottle in a towel, and rest it on your back. Or, for a treat that combines the benefits of warmth with the benefits of lying down, slip into a hot bath.
3. Think Different
If you can manage to feel happy about the fact that your lower back pain is only temporary, your brain will flood with feel-good chemicals. Smiling, laughing, or feeling positive instantly helps minimize your discomfort by making your system’s natural painkillers, like dopamine, kick in. There may even be a substantial, long-term link between attitude and lower back pain. Recent scientific evidence suggests that it is actually possible to lessen your lower back pain by changing the way you think about its effect on you and your life. If you let your lower back pain stop you from getting on with the things you like to do, you are less likely to stay active. Taking on gentle tasks like stretching or walking slowly help your back to heal, and reduce the chance of future lower back pain flare-ups, but chronic lower back pain sufferers are not likely to stay active because of the psychological effects of pain. Pain can make you feel helpless, but the truth is that if you take good care of yourself, you can drastically reduce the frequency and intensity of lower back pain episodes. In the long term, pursue an exercise regimen that will keep your back strong. In the short term, when your lower back pain strikes, trigger a rush of natural painkillers with a smile or a chuckle