The International Association for the Study of Pain, IASP, has defined pain as: ‘An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage’. I couldn’t agree more with the definition as my lower back pain is surely a painful experience. I receive constant advises from my family, friends and doctor, which claim to get rid of constant pain. I have tried to jot down the home remedies, which I feel are really effective. But before you try out any of the remedies, please consult your doctor to find out if it’s right for you.
In most cases, the pain occurs due to the nerve, muscle or spinal injury. At times, any problems, abnormalities or disorders affecting the lung, chest, kidney, abdomen or pelvic region may lead to pain in the lower back. People who sit for long hours in one position may suffer from back pain. Lifting heavy loads, obesity, poor posture, wearing high heels frequently, smoking and other similar reasons may lead to pain in the back.
Lower Back Pain Treatment
The first remedy is rest. You should lie down on the floor, with one pillow under your head and one under your knees. This helps reliving the pressure and weight of your back. I have tried this and believe me, I have found it really effective. If you stress yourself to the limit, your pain may worsen. Therefore, lie down for 15 minutes or more on your back. Place two pillows underneath your knees. After sometime, get up and move around. Do not take more than 3 days of bed rest.
Secondly, you can also try another posture in the same position. Lie on your back on the floor, with one pillow under your head. Place your feet on the chair, bending your knees and hips. This posture also helps to release the pressure.
‘Heat therapy’ that is what I call it, is a remedy I learned from my mother. The heat applied to the troubled region helps ease out the pain. You can use hot water bottles or heating pads. Apply the heat for at least 20 to 30 minutes.
My best friend’s cousin is a masseur, who advised me to get a massage. He said he’ll use herbal oils on the affected area and massage the back using knuckles and increase the pressure slowly. He guaranteed that the massage will lessen the pain within a few minutes and help get rid of all the tension and relax the aching muscles. It sounds tempting and I am planning to get one soon!
You can try yoga exercises for your back pain. Try out the Cobra pose, Locust posture, Plow pose, Raised feet Pose or Corpse Pose. They are really beneficial in easing the pain. Swimming is also a good idea when suffering from back pain. It helps strengthen your abdominal and back muscles, making them less prone to strain. Also, as you swim the buoyancy in water helps take off the pressure of the body from the aching back for sometime. Thus, providing it with relief and reduce the discomfort.
I have also tried some stretching exercises. There is one where you lie straight on the floor. Then slowly raise your legs upwards. Raise them to the point you are comfortable. Hold your breath for a some time and then breath. Slowly, come back to the initial position. If you experience any kind of pain during this exercise, stop immediately.
Lie on your back and position your hands slightly away from your body. Bring your feet together. Take a deep breath and concentrate on your lower back. Slowly turn your feet on the right side and simultaneously turn your head to the left. Hold the position for some time and take deep breaths. Slowly come back to the initial position. Reverse the process. If you don’t experience any pain, carry out the exercise 10 times on each side. If you experience any pain, stop the exercise immediately.
If you experience swelling on the lower back, you can try the ice pack. Massage the affected area with an ice pack for 7- 10 minutes. This will help decrease the muscle tension. For back pain relief, have a glass of warm water mixed with one tablespoon of honey. The juice of one lemon with some salt should be consumed twice a day to help ease the pain.
My grandmother staunchly advises use of ‘Tulsi Kada’ (decoction). The Queen of Herbs, ‘Tulsi’ that is, holy basil leaves are known as a healing balm for the mind, body and soul since thousands of years in India. Boil 10 leaves of basil in a cup of water. Continue boiling till it turns to syrup. Add salt while cooking. Have this kada (decoction) once or twice a day for the effective relief from severe back pain.
Another common home remedy is application of mashed potato. The potato is peeled, cut into cubes and boiled. Mash the boiled pieces and apply it on the back when cool. Use a bandage to hold the potato in place for an hour.
Whole oats can be cooked to mash with vinegar. Apply the mash hot on the back to relieve the pain. You can also use the cabbage leaves. Boil the leaves in milk till it forms a jelly like mixture. Spread the mixture on a cloth, apply hot. Leave it overnight to soothe the pain.
You can add 5 pepper corns, 5 cloves and 1 gram dry ginger powder to your daily cup of tea. I drink my special cup of tea twice a day.
Increase the intake of Vitamin C in your diet. Eat plenty of citrus fruits, tomatoes and strawberries. Also, increase your intake of calcium-rich foods, especially in cases of women. Calcium helps strengthen the bones as women are more prone to osteoporosis.
These remedies may help you get relief from the pain either permanently or temporarily. Back pain should never be taken lightly and with some proper care one can stay free from the persistent pain.
Tips to Prevent Lower Back Pain
When bending to lift an object, avoid bending your hips or knees. Instead squat down and lift the object close to your body. Keep a straight back and lift your body up. Try not to twist your body too much.
When moving a heavy object, push, and do not pull it towards you.
Avoid heels that are over 1 inches high. Use flat shoes as much as possible.
If your work requires you to sit or drive for long hours, take a break for few minutes and stretch your back.
When standing for long hours, rest one foot on a low stool. Keep switching the foot every 15 minutes.
Maintain the correct posture at all times – ears, shoulders and hips in a straight line, head up and stomach in. The correct posture always helps you stay away from frequent back aches and it will also help you look smart.
If the pain persists or becomes unbearable, please consult a doctor. I have tried many of these remedies myself – some were very effective. You can try these out under a proper medical guidance, who knows it might just be the right one for you.