When it comes to treating pain in lower back regions, healthcare professionals will tell you over and over again: it comes down to exercise. For the majority of people suffering from mild to moderate cases of lower back pain, exercise is the panacea that can help relieve pain. This month on PainDoctor.com, we took at a look at the best ways to use exercise for lower back pain. We also discussed other complementary therapies that have been scientifically-proven to help, such as chiropractic and diet.
56 ways to use exercise for treating pain in lower back
Before we talk about the exercises that can help you on your journey towards less pain, take a moment to dive into the research on exercise and lower back pain. Our post “Exercise Is Really THAT Important For Lower Back Pain,” dishes on the research studies that are proving time and time again that exercise really does help.
Are you convinced? If so, we invite you to try out our 10/10/10 posts. That is:
- 15 videos and inforgraphics that can help you find back pain relief in ten minutes or less, all of which you can do at home with your own body weight and no equipment
- Ten lower back pain exercises for strengthening, again from home with no equipment
- Ten sciatica stretches you can do anytime, anywhere (did we mention at home, with no equipment?)
Since sciatica is one of the major causes of pain in lower back, we encourage you to try that gentle sequence of stretching exercises to get started. If you need even more inspiration for stretching out the muscles in your lower back, check out our post that looks specifically at lower back stretches or five exercises for spinal stenosis patients.
Mindfulness-based stretching routines can also go a long way towards helping to relieve pain in the back. This month we covered “Does Pilates For Back Pain Work?” and “8 Yoga Poses For Middle Back Pain” as a way for you to get started with two of the more popular stretching-based practices.
15 methods for treating lower back pain holistically
Holistic treatments are those that focus on the whole person–their pain, yes, but also their mental health, daily habits, and diet. On PainDoctor.com, we know that treating pain starts by treating the entire person. That’s why this month, we also looked at some of the lifestyle interventions you can undertake to help with pain in lower back regions.
- Looking for mental health help: Researchers have shown that pain and mental health issues, like depression and anxiety, are interconnected. This month, we looked at five cheap or free therapy options you can find online. These services can offer support, guidance, and advice when suffering from mental health issues.
- Improving posture: As we noted in our post, “the most common types of back pain aren’t a result of some dramatic injury or health condition–many back pain conditions occur due to poor habits that are repeated over time, including poor posture.” This post gives four steps you can start with right now to start improving your posture.
- Finding healthy and easy ways to create a back pain friendly diet: Don’t think of diet as an all or nothing. Think of it in our eat this, not that format. This month we looked at a back pain diet that you can start today with just four healthy swaps.
- Assessing your sleep habits: Some sleeping positions are great for your back. Some, not so much. Find out how you can better support your back while you’re catching your zzzs.
- Dealing with pregnancy-related back pain: Finally, we talked about the fact that up to 75% of pregnant women suffer from back pain. And then we talked about what they can do to help.
2 therapy options for pain in lower back
If you’ve incorporated some lifestyle changes and still haven’t experienced back pain relief, you may want to look towards some minimally-invasive therapies and treatments for your pain.
Chiropractic care is one of the best non-invasive therapies for treating back pain. A study in Spine journal was one of the more recent research studies showing the positive results of this therapy method. As we noted in our post:
“A study analyzing improvements in lower back pain for military veterans found that adding chiropractic care to a traditional course of treatment significantly decreased pain and improved function over just traditional care.”
We also discussed the merits of steroid injections, especially for more moderate to severe cases of back pain. Check out our two posts on this topic, the basics of this method and how it can help sciatica patients, for more information about this treatment method.
11 treatments that probably aren’t helping with your back pain
Finally, it’s important to discuss those treatments that either exacerbate back pain or haven’t been proven to help.
The first and most contentious of these is opioids. Our post “Sorry, Opioids Probably Aren’t Helping Your Lower Back Pain” presents a number of research studies and surveys that show time and time again that opioids simply aren’t helpful for treating low back pain. If this wasn’t enough, they also come with their own host of side effects. While opioids can be a helpful treatment method for a small minority of patients, for many, these medications simply don’t work.
Next, we looked at 11 exercises and stretches that could be exacerbating your back pain. While we will always encourage active management of back pain, there are some moves you want to avoid (we’re looking at you toe touches!).
Do you suffer from pain in lower back? What therapies and treatments have helped you find relief?