1. Stretch When You Just Get Up
This may sound silly, we know, but it really works. Lean in your morning stretches and spend a few minutes raising your arms over your head, bending forward and flexing and extending your arms and legs. This takes only a few minutes, but has several benefits for your aching back:
- Increases flexibility in the muscles and joints, making them ready to face the challenges of daily life.
- Decompresses the joins and removes tension from your spine.
- Improves blood circulation.
- It has a stress-reducing effect.
All four of these aspects are essential for your back's health and will ensure you recover and prevent future episodes of lower back pain.
2. Try Arnica
These yellow flowers are called arnica, and they have been used as a homeopathic remedy to treat muscle pain, swelling, minor injuries, and bruising for millennia. Creams and gels containing arnica are widely available, and these can be applied directly onto the skin.
Arnica has been proven to reduce pain and stiffness in osteoarthritis patients, but it has also been suggested to be as effective as ibuprofen in reducing joint and muscle pain, especially when combined with massage.
3. Don't Rest For More Than a Few Days
Many people make the mistake of lying in bed for a week or even more when they experience lower back pain, but that's not the best strategy for the vast majority of cases, as you need to exercise and stretch your muscles and tendons to get them working as normal.
If you experience a lot of pain, you can absolutely stay in bed for the first 3 days, but after that, try to gradually return to a more active lifestyle: take short walks, go swimming or try to do some stretching, for example. Physical activity will help you recover faster and if you do it regularly, it can even prevent future pain. Core-strengthening exercises are especially beneficial for lower back pain, as a strong core can relieve the pressure in the lower back.
4. Use Pain Relieving Patches
Sometimes, what you need is a quick fix, a method that will alleviate the pain quickly and effectively. For those cases, we recommend to literally patch yourself up using pain-relieving patches like the Luminas patches. The benefit of patches like these is that you can apply them directly over the painful area, which ensures that they start working where you need them fast. Unlike pills, you can put it exactly where it hurts the most, achieving the best pain relief for a specific area instead of trying to chemically change the body.
Another advantage of these patches is that they're derived from trusty naturally sourced pain killers like turmeric, ginger, and magnesium, as well as over 200 other natural ingredients, all of which work together in synergy to alleviate pain and fight inflammation on any area of your body for 24 hours.
5. Do the Cat-Cow Stretch
By far not everyone is fond of yoga or pilates, which is a shame because they're very beneficial for the spine. Some people hate the very feeling of doing a stretch, which makes passive stretches, such as forward folds and hamstring stretches unbearable, even when they're not experiencing any lower back pain. If you're one of these people, we recommend trying out some mobile stretches, the most effective and easiest one of which is the cat-cow stretch.
This specific exercise will help decompress your lower back, strengthen your core, as well as relax the muscles that feel stiff or tense. If you do this stretch daily, it will also help strengthen your spine, shoulders, and hips, which will prevent future episodes of back pain.
1. Start from all fours, preferably on a yoga mat or a blanket. If staying in this position is painful for your knees, use an extra blanket to cushion the knees.
2. On an inhale, arch your back and raise your head like the model does in Step 1 above.
3. On an exhale, round your back and lower your head as in Step 2.
Repeat the steps several times for a duration of about 3-5 minutes.
6. Try a Pressure Point Massage
Acupressure is an ancient method rooted in traditional Chinese medicine that uses your body's own self-healing mechanisms to alleviate pain and heal the body. The idea is that by applying pressure to certain key areas in the body, you will be able to heal and relieve pain in specific organs or body parts.
When it comes to lower back pain, there are 2 main areas that can help reduce the pain: there's one in your waist and another one in the middle of either calf muscle. You can massage both or one of these points to alleviate lower back pain as follows.
Step 1. Stand up and grab your waist with your hands so that your hands wrap around your back, thumbs resting on the lower back like in the picture above.
Step 2. Use your thumbs to apply firm pressure in circular motions for 5 seconds, then release. Repeat 3 times.
Step 1. Sitting down, find a point midway on your calf muscle.
Step 2. Press on that point with your thumbs using circular motions for 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
7. De-Stress Using Fragrant Oils
It's clear that straining your lower back and lifting heavy things can cause lower back pain, but the primary cause of lower back pain is actually stress, so it's key to address your mind, and not only your body during your recovery from lower back pain. And while mindfulness meditation, yoga, and similar techniques are all beneficial, they typically take a lot of time and just aren't for everyone.
One effortless method of de-stressing and flooding your brain with beneficial endorphins, which also have pain-relieving properties, by the way, is through the use of relaxing fragrant oils. Burning a candle or using an essential oil diffuser with such smells as rose, lavender or ylang-ylang (or any combination of these) has been proven to have relaxing, anti-anxiety and antidepressant capabilities.