Click HERE to watch my video where I cover the Insider Tips for the 3 types of Lower back pain and sciatica.
Over my 22+ years of experience I have treated literally thousands of patients with back pain. While I typically break them down into 3 large buckets of the primary source of their problem, remember we are all individuals and the symptoms one feels while experiencing back pain can vary greatly.
In another post I discussed the Top 3 Causes of Back Pain and Sciatica. Now I will provide some tips to help you deal with the various types of back pain you might encounter.
The first is some type of disc irritation or herniation. This is what I had. I talked about it in my prior post and no it doesn’t mean surgery. It does come with some very intense pain to begin with but overtime it will improve.
How do you deal with this type of problem? At MOSS Rehabilitation Center we actually developed The MAGICAL 5 Step Healing Process to help navigate moving from intense pain to performance enhancement.
Step one is to get your pain under control and to avoid any motions that make the pain worse. Yes this can be very difficult especially if you have young children or have to go to work.
Simple home measures could include using ice initially for the pain then switch to heat to relax the muscles. I prescribe ice within the first 72 hours of an injury and then move to a mild heat. Most people with back pain prefer heat as it helps to loosen up the muscles.
Rubs or creams are often helpful. Similar to ice or heat they will help to reduce the painful sensations and allow you to move with greater ease. They won’t cure the problem as the injured tissue is too deep for these creams to reach, but they will help with the perception of pain.
Avoiding the painful movements or activities. This one can be hard based on your work and home environment. In today’s world with so many working from home this could actually be the same.
In general when the disc is irritated, leaning or bending forward is very painful. One may even experience a “catching” type of pain or have the sensation of weakness in the lower back.
To help combat this try pulling your belly button into your spine–think “Tummy Tuck” This will activate your abdominal and lower back muscles essentially giving you a natural “back brace”. Do this every time you are about to move or bend over. Examples include rolling out of bed, moving from a sitting to standing position or leaning over to dress.
Avoid or minimize bending for the first 2 hours of the day and change positions frequently, at least every 20-30 minutes.
While these tips will help you reduce your pain and discomfort they don’t fully address the disc issue that caused your pain in the first place or help prevent this problem from returning.
If you are experiencing this type of pain then your next step should be to contact us. We offer a FREE, NO OBLIGATION Discover Visits to help. In a very short period of time we can help you determine what is wrong with your lower back and what you should do about it.
The second cause of back pain and sciatica is called Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) or stenosis. This condition is typically seen in individuals over 50, and we see a lot of this in the clinic.
The onset of pain is usually more gradual compared to a disc irritation or herniation. Many times patients don’t report an injury and note that the symptoms have been building for months if not years.
How to deal with this type of problem.
See above if you are experiencing intense pain or discomfort.
Other helpful tips include practicing the “tummy tuck” exercise mentioned above along with stretching of the hips. Over time people with Degenerative Disc Disease or stenosis have developed stiffness in their hips. Often from prolonged sitting at a desk or driving for a living.
When the hips (mainly the front of the hip muscles) get tight they affect the way the spine has to move when you stand and walk. Since the disc in the lower back gets thinner with time it allows for more spine motion to occur which can irritate the nerves.
This is why we see many people with this condition walk with a bent forward posture or find that leaning on the grocery cart reduces their symptoms and allows them to walk farther.
The third main type of lower back pain and sciatica symptoms we see is a SacroIliac Joint (SIJ) or pelvic problem. This occurs frequently in women. It can be caused by either one of two problems. Either the SIJ moves too much (instability) or is stuck and doesn’t move.
If the joint moves too much then using a SIJ stabilization belt and exercises to strengthen the core are most effective. You can practice the “tummy tuck” mentioned above along with some exercises to strengthen the “glutes” and lower back muscles.
If the joint is stuck and doesn’t move then this usually requires the help of an expert. The reason is that the SIJ is a very stable joint with rough surfaces and ridges. It sometimes needs to be “popped” back into place.
As far as trying to do this at the house you can try pulling one knee up to your chest while straightening the other leg while laying on the floor or hard surface. If it doesn’t provide relief switch legs to see if it makes a difference.
Hopefully you found these tips useful to helping reduce your lower back pain and getting you on the road to recovery. Remember back pain is like your thumbprint, unique, which requires an individualized plan to help you recover.
At MOSS Rehabilitation Center we make it easy for you to get started. We even have a simple 3 step process.
1. Schedule a FREE NO Obligation, Discovery Visit with one of our experts. During this visit, you will talk with one of our friendly experts about your issues. This is a safe and confidential visit, you can trust that your safety and privacy is important to us. We are taking extra measures to ensure that you remain safe during this pandemic.
2. Receive a Customized (Individualized) Treatment Plan. Based on your free discovery visit, we will put together a custom, unique to you plan that will address all of your nagging pains and issues. The goal is to get you back to your healthy self as soon as possible while also addressing your issues for the long term.
3. Get Your Life Back and Do What You Love. The best result for us is a patient who tells us they can finally do what they love without the constant pain, stress, or issue they were facing. Together we can get you back to living life without worry.
Not only will we create a physical therapy program designed around you and your needs, but we also ensure to provide you with quality education for your long-term health.
The first step is always the hardest and I can’t take it for you but I promise we will do everything we can to help you.
NEXT ACTION: Start by calling 817-220-6677 today to schedule your FREE NO OBLIGATION Discovery Visit.
PS. We are hosting a low back pain educational session on Saturday March 6th at 10AM where I will answer your questions about back pain. Click HERE to learn more and register.
PPS. Join us on March 1st for our first ever “Let’s Move It 5 Day Challenge” I will be sharing useful tips daily to encourage you to get up and move. Sign up HERE:
PPPS. Remember the 3 D’s of handling any problem-Don’t Ignore it, Don’t Mask It, Do Something About It.