Did you know that at any given time there are 31 million Americans experiencing back pain? You’ve likely been one of them; I know I have. In fact, I experienced some pretty bad back pain on Monday night.
During a workout on Monday afternoon, I tweaked a muscle in my lower back and it hurt like heck. When I got home, it took about 20 minutes to remove my shoes, socks, and pants before slowly getting into the shower. To put it lightly, I was in debilitating pain. But by Tuesday afternoon, less than 24 hours later, the pain was almost entirely gone.
How to Relieve Sporadic Back Pain in Less Than a Day
I got rid of the pain so quickly by taking an active approach to treatment.
Stretches to Eliminate Back Pain
Following my shower, I set out a yoga mat and performed a series of stretches targeting the affected area. First, I got down on all fours and pulled my butt right back, so it was just above my heels, with my knees bent enough so my calves touched my hamstrings. Extending my arms forward as far as I could, I touched my fingertips to the mat. After holding it for a few moments, I started to inch my fingers forward, in a piano-playing motion, to get even further extension.
After a couple of repetitions, I turned around to lie on my back. Then I brought my knees up to my chest, hugged them, and pulled them up further and closer to my chest, making sure to give the lower back a good stretch.
Also Read: Ancient Cure for Lower Back Pain
Lastly, I got up and tried to bend down as far as possible to stretch out my back and hamstrings, then stood straight up and reached for the sky. In total, the routine took about 20 minutes and it hurt! But I was targeting the affected area, and I knew this active approach would help.
Use a Foam Roller to Massage Muscles
After a night’s sleep, my back was still sore, so I did about 10 minutes of stretching when I woke up and then pulled out the foam roller to work on it for an additional 10 minutes.
Get Some Light Exercise
After stretching and working on the affected areas with a foam roller, I went for a walk to further loosen up and give my back and muscles some activity. By the time the afternoon rolled around, my back was practically back to normal.
When you experience sporadic pain in your lower back muscles, stretching and light to moderate activity can be the best way to alleviate it. Contrary to popular belief, sitting on the sofa, popping pills, and getting bed rest can actually do more harm than good. Instead, it’s wise to focus on ways to loosen up your muscles, encourage blood flow, and actively restore the affected area for a quick and steady recovery.
But treating back pain by being active isn’t the only way. On Monday, I’ll fill you in on some ways you can improve your posture to say goodbye to back pain!
Sources for Today’s Article:
“Back Pain Facts and Statistics,” American Chiropractic Association web site, 2015; http://www.acatoday.org/level2_css.cfm?T1ID=13&T2ID=68.
Saint Louis University Medical Center, “Rethinking Tylenol and Rest: Movement is key to keep back pain at bay, physical therapist says,” ScienceDaily web site, October 28, 2014; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141028125950.htm, last accessed January 20, 2015.
Malmivaara, A., et al., “The Treatment of Acute Low Back Pain — Bed Rest, Exercises, or Ordinary Activity?” The New England Journal of Medicine February 9, 1995; 332(6): 351–355.