A vast majority of the patients that walk through our doors come in with complaints of low back pain. For most patients, this is not the first time dealing with low back pain; for many, they have been struggling with it for years. Chronic and recurrent pain is a leading cause of disability and missed work. Through our 10+ years of treatment here at the Mukwonago clinic, we have come across a few general tips to help avoid long term pain.
You can create a vicious cycle when you are in pain and then cannot sleep. Your pain can feel intensified when you don’t get the proper rest. Your body uses the time during sleep to restore itself. Using pillows in between your legs if you are a side sleeper, or pillows under your knees if you lay on your back can help take the strain off of your low back. Finding a moderately firm mattress can also make getting a better night sleep easier.
Posture Plays a Role
A lot of Americans sit for the majority of their lifetime, whether it be at their work desks, at home, or in their cars. Poor posture can lead to increased neck and back pain. You can improve posture and decrease pain by doing simple exercises at your desk. Try this: pull your shoulders down and back as if you are pinching a bug between your shoulder blades. This exercise helps to correct poor posture that can cause pain.
Core strength plays a vital role in preventing recurring low back pain. Therapists can assess which core muscles are weak. They can then make a plan to functionally strengthen your core can help take the strain off of your low back and prevent chronic pain.
It might not make sense to perform exercise when your back is bothering you, but, research has found that light exercise and movement are better at improving pain and function than being sedentary. Exercising in the pool, yoga, and walking are great examples of ways to be active without aggravating symptoms.
One of the pillars here at Freedom Physical Therapy Services that we are proud to provide is hands of treatment, especially for low back pain. Manual work on muscles and painful areas, weekly for ten consecutive weeks is effective in reducing pain for greater than six months. Our 45 minute, one to one sessions with patients, allow us time to work on painful areas that may be causing the pain.