How to Treat Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain

Any pain is uncomfortable, this we know… but a lower back pain that can be chronic could have you wondering if it is something more serious or if your posture is failing. You may also ask how to treat lower back pain? Look for initial ways to help manage this discomfort before having to go to the doctor and spend money, although when it is a health matter, money should not be an excuse.

There is a variety of options to take control of the pain, heat and cold treatments, TENS Therapy, self massages and some first aid alternatives:

Hot Treatment:

  • Apply a heat wrap that can be used all day long. The TherMedic Lower Back provides both hot and cold options and can be worn for long periods of time.
  • Heat from a moist environment can be pretty useful and may be applied for up to 20 minutes at a time. Warm showers or baths and hot packs can provide the recommended temperature.
  • Electric heating pads are handy but be careful not falling asleep while using it. Set an alarm for the time you will use it. Apply it on low or medium heat to avoid any burns.
  • Disposable heat compresses can provide instant relief and may also be used for a short period of time.

Cold Treatment:

  • A cold pack or an ice towel (damp with ice water, folded in a plastic bag to avoid drippings), can relief swellings. Place it on the affected area until it reaches a room temperature.
  • Apply an ice pack. You can use a regular zipper plastic bag, put in about half a kilo of ice in it and a bit of water, seal the bag and place it on the lower back where the main stream of pain is. You can also try the reusable ice packs that can hold the low temperature for a little longer. Frozen vegetable packs are a good option too.
  • Cold gel packs are created to hold the desired temperature longer, even up to 30 minutes.
  • Applying ice directly on the affected area can minimize the soreness and stiffness, but it must be done only for 3 to 5 minutes. Using  a paper cup to freeze the ice is a good idea if it isn’t a chronic condition, but if you are facing a reoccurring discomfort, try using a cryo cup used for this type of ice massage.

** Alternating hot and cold can provide relief faster and for longer periods of time.

TENS Therapy:

  • The transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy uses low voltage of electric current to help relieve the lower back pain.
  • A TENS unit is normally a small device, battery operated and that can be worn throughout the day. It comes with lead wires and electrodes that stick to the affected area. These electrodes are the ones who carry the electric pulses to the skin.
  • If used properly, the TENS therapy is safe. It is also important to know that this type f therapy is not for everyone; not recommended for pregnant women of pacemaker patients.
  • The directions to use the TENS unit are pretty simple, and since this therapy is normally prescribed by a practitioner, he or she will give you a personalized instruction.

Self Massage:

  • There is a variety of massage tools that can help during a massage. Either manual or electric tools are available in the market.
  • Before your massage try taking a hot shower focusing the stream of water directly on the lower back, or take a warm bath.
  • Proper  stretching exercises could do the trick, after a relaxing shower or bath your muscles will be tender and malleable.
  • You can also try using a tennis ball do massage exercises with it, lying you lower back on top of it.

First Aid:

  • Beside the previous alternatives, some first aid options can be heat patches that are applied on the lower back, right where the pain is most acute.
  • And the normally go to options of medicine for pain. Over the counter drugs can be appropriate for most lower back pains. Acetaminophen, Naproxen or Ibuprofen are the common pills.
  • Other products such as Biofreeze can provide fast relief. It comes in different applications such as Roll-on, Spray and a hands-free applicator tip.

It is very important to mention that these recommendations are only commonly used options, but the main advice should come from your doctor. Consult with your practitioner first to see which of these alternatives is best for you and how to treat low back pain.

***For these and many other treatment options visit the Rehab and Pain Management Products section at Discount Medical Supplies.