5 Tips for Lower Back Pain
1. Get hot and cold.
- Ice the first 24 to 48 hours: Place ice cubes in a plastic bag or cool pack and wrap what you're using in a cloth to protect your skin. Apply to your back for no longer than 10 minute periods. Repeat throughout the day.
- Heat after 1 to 2 days: Wrap heat pack or heating pad in a cloth before applying, and avoid sleeping with a heating pad all night as it can easily burn skin.
2. Rethink your workspace.
If you work at a desk all day, making your space more ergonomic can help ease lower back pain and prevent it from getting worse.
- Your chair: Your chair should be at a height where your feet rest fully and flat on the floor. Your knees should be level with your hips. Your back rest on your chair should support your back; if it doesn't, try placing a lumbar pillow or rolled up towel in the curve of your lower back.
- Key objects: If objects that are frequently used are too far out of arm's reach, it can result in a strain on your lower back. To avoid this, keep things you use most often within a shorter reach.
- Your computer monitor: By having to look too high or too low at your monitor, your posture can be affected, which can result in lower back pain. The top portion of the screen should be just lower than eye level and about an arm's length away from your chair.
3. Eat for bone health.
- Vitamin D: Foods high in vitamin D include swordfish, salmon, fortified milk, sardines, fortified cereals, eggs and cod liver oil.
- Calcium:Foods high in calcium include dairy products, veggies like kale, collard greens, bok choy, and broccoli.
- Phosphorus: Foods high in phosphorus also include dairy as well as baked beans, kidney beans, black beans, dark colas, oysters, bran cereals and sardines.
4. Try yoga.
There is strong evidence that yoga can have a short-term effect on relieving lower back pain. The Child's Pose is a position that is particularly beneficial. To perform this pose, start on all fours, stretch back resting your bottom on your feet. Your arms should extend with your hands remaining on the floor. This creates a stretch in the lower back. Hold the pose for 30 seconds and release. Repeat 5 times.
5. Sleep smarter.
- Fetal position (sleeping on your side with your knees drawn up close to your chest)
- Try placing a pillow between your legs while sleeping on your side
- Switch to a firmer mattress; sleeping on too soft of a mattress can cause lower back pain