This is a common condition that affects many people. It is characterised by pain or ache in the lower region of the back, which usually varies in intensity. The pain can range from a muscle aching to a shooting, burning, or stabbing sensation that may radiate to the legs. Bending, twisting, lifting, standing, or walking can make it worse.
Low back pain may not always be related to an underlying condition. It may be caused by lifting heavy objects, sudden jerks in a motor vehicle, excessive strain on the muscle due to prolonged sitting or wrong positioning while sleeping, prolonged use of high heel shoes which is a common feature of today’s corporate woman and is also common during pregnancy and before or during menstruation.
The diagnosis of low back pain involves examining the skin cells to rule out conditions such as psoriasis that have a similar appearance. Physical examination of the skin and allergy tests to check for allergies that cause symptoms can also be performed. Treatment options for low back pain include reducing redness and itching of the skin with medications and the application of creams. Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine help to control itching.
Corticosteroid oral drugs such as prednisolone, and creams such as diclofenac or ointment are used to reduce swelling and itching. Self-care steps that may be helpful in some less serious cases include applying muscle relaxant ointments or sprays, trying to rest the back for a while, avoiding heavy physical activities for a couple of days, applying heat or cold compress – depending on what soothes the body, trying over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen, and paracetamol or tylenol, avoiding jerky or painful movements, observing the pain location and intensity, whether the pain is constant or appears during certain activities like bending, stretching and such. If any person is experiencing new or persistent symptoms of low back pain or any other health condition, it is safer to go to a hospital and undergo a proper examination by a doctor. There, a history about the possible origins of the pain will be obtained and this is followed by a comprehensive physical examination to look for sore spots and bunched or sore muscles. It is also geared towards the determination of possible radiation of such pain and whether it interferes with daily activities such as walking and climbing a flight of stairs.
Several exercises can help alleviate low back pain. We will describe some of them here:
- Low back pain
- Lower back pain may be signs of prostate cancer, urologist tells men
- NOHIL doctor abandoned me on examination table because I screamed in pain —Patient
- Knee-to-chest stretch: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Using both hands, pull up one knee and press it toward your chest. Tighten the muscles in your belly and press your spine to the floor. Hold for five seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg. Go back to the starting position. Then repeat with both legs at the same time.
- Lower back rotational stretch: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep your shoulders firmly on the floor, and slowly roll your bent knees to one side. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Slowly go back to the starting position. Repeat this movement on the other side.
- Lower back flexibility exercise: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Tighten the muscles in your belly so that your lower back pulls up, away from the floor. Hold for five seconds and then relax. Flatten your back, pulling your belly button toward the floor. Hold for five seconds and then relax. Repeat this movement as often as you can in a given amount of time.
- Bridge exercise: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep your shoulders and head relaxed on the floor and tighten the muscles in your belly and buttocks. Then raise your hips to form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Try to stay that way long enough to take three deep breaths. Go back to where you started and repeat the motions as often as you can.
- Cat stretch: Kneel on your knees and hands. Slowly arch your back, as if you are pulling your belly up toward the ceiling as you bring your head down. Then slowly let your back and belly sag toward the floor as you bring your head up. Go back to where you started once you have been able to master the cycle of movements.
- Seated lower back rotational stretch: Sit on an armless chair or stool, cross one leg over the other, brace one elbow against the outside of the opposite knee, then twist and stretch to the side. You have to remember that it is important to undergo examination and treatment advice from the hands of a doctor before you set out to conduct these exercises on your own. In our hospitals, this kind of thing is usually supervised by the physiotherapists so that proper guidance is adhered to and results are optimum in the end.
It is recommended to do these exercises daily to help alleviate low back pain. However, it is important to consult a healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have a history of low back pain or any other medical condition.
- Physical therapy: This form of therapy can help relieve low back pain by strengthening the muscles in your back and improving your flexibility. The most useful aspects of this are divided broadly into various forms of massage treatments as we will observe below.
-Massage therapy: Massage therapy can help relieve low back pain by reducing muscle tension and improving blood flow to the affected area.
-Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body. These days, this kind of practice is not limited to the Chinese alone as Koreans, Japanese and even Nigerians are learning and practicing some of these treatment techniques. It can help relieve low back pain by stimulating the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers.
- Chiropractic care: Chiropractic care involves manipulating the spine to improve alignment and reduce pain. It can help relieve low back pain by reducing pressure on the nerves and improving blood flow to the affected area. This is a crucial piece of therapy and it is not to be undertaken by people who are not trained. Therefore, putting your back in the hands of traditional bone setters or Ijaw women has no bearing on the proper treatment of the condition and could make you much, much worse.
- Heat therapy: Applying heat to the affected area can help relieve low back pain by increasing blood flow and reducing muscle tension. Even at home, this is easily generated by using an infrared lamp. In the absence of that, the use of hot towels to massage the affected area is often practised. Our ancestors understood the value of such massage treatment and have practised that from time immemorial.
- Cold therapy: Applying cold to the affected area, in the form of ice packs or cold compresses can help relieve low back pain by reducing inflammation and numbing the area.
- Over-the-counter medications: Over-the-counter medications (OTC), such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen can help relieve low back pain by reducing inflammation and pain.
Remember that it is important to obtain a specific prescription from a healthcare provider before trying any new treatment or therapy for low back pain, especially if you already have a history of low back pain or any other medical condition. In some serious cases, the problem is sorted out by career changes made to change jobs from the heavy menial type of labour to something more of an executive type of work. ,
Teammates, coaches tried to sleep with me – Female footballer
100 days: The untold stories of Tinubu’s leadership acts
Abuja hospital ignored my injured brother for days before he died – Pastor
How I met Wike –As E Dey Sweet Us musician, Bamidele
Youngest ministers in Tinubu’s cabinet
S3xual harassment: Varsities, polys clamp down on 35 profs, others
How sliding gate crushed my three-year-old daughter to death – Mother
Pastors free to become traditional rulers – Ighodalo