For everyday suffering of lower back pain, home pain management is a reasonable approach. Most of the cases of lower back pain are caused by strain in muscle and will get better relatively very quickly and do not need treatment from a medical professional.
Initial pain management practices may include a combination of:
- A short period of rest, at least for one or two days, in which strenuous activity is reduced and excess pressure is kept off away from the spine. Sitting in a reclined posture, with the legs supported and raised (such as in a recliner, or bed supported by cushions) is generally a comfortable position that reduces strain on the lower back.
- Over-the-counter pain ayurvedic medication, including raasna saptak kwath, dashmool kwath, nirgundi tail, or mahanarayan tail for local application.
- Application of ice or an ice pack to the lower back to reduce inflammation locally, which often results in back pain in response to injury. Ice is typically prescribed within the first 48 hours of the beginning of pain. It is important to restrain direct local application of ice to the skin (to avoid ice burn).
- Application of heat to decrease muscle tension, relieve muscle strain, and increase oxygenated blood flow to the area to facilitate healing of tissues. Most of the time works excellent when used just after the first 48 hours of back pain.
- Small adjustments to correct posture or daily activities that take off pressure from the spine. For an instance, move carefully and/or with support from a sitting to a standing position, and take frequent short walks, as tolerated, to maintain oxygenated blood supply and decrease stiffness.
- After a short rest period, it is recommended that patients stay physically active, as too much rest can add more stiffness and discomfort to body parts
- Stretching of parts increases the mobility of the spine’s joints and gently stretch back muscles can help the patient return to normal daily activity. The sooner a patient can return to everyday activity, the sooner low back pain is likely to reduce.
Physical Activity and Low Back Care
- Regular physical activity is required even during an active episode of back pain, as exercise helps maintain muscle power and joint function.
- Regular physical exercise also promotes the healing action by increasing oxygen and nutrient-rich blood supply to the spine.
- People with back pain may find that light aerobic exercises, which elevate the heart rate without punching the spine, allows for decent exercise despite the pain.
- Examples of simple, light aerobic exercises include: Exercise brisk walking or simple walking enough to raise the heart rate for between 30 and 40 minutes.
- Walking can serve as a good beginning point for someone looking to enhance their physical health, and it is versatile enough and can be done anywhere the person is comfortable like on the foot track or treadmill or at a local gym, around the neighborhood street, or at a shopping mall.
- For many people with lower back pain, it is a great idea to start with smaller walks and gradually, over days, increase the walking time up to thirty minutes or more at a time.
- If you feel pain during walking or it makes the pain worse, water therapy might be a good alternative. The buoyancy force of the water aids to support the patient’s weight in such a controlled manner, that it allows for adequate exercise without putting as much pressure on the spine.
- Other light aerobics (low impact) include the use of elliptical machines or stationary bicycles.
- Practice that effective exercise that does not elevate pain may be a process of trial and error, and is generally up to the choice of the patient.
- Practice sitting in chairs with straight backs or with low-back support.
- Keep your knees below your hips, with your feet flat straight on the floor.
- When you are driving, sit up straight. Adjust the seat forward comfortably so you are not leaning forward toward the steering wheel.
- A small cushioned pillow or rolled towel behind your lower back may support if you are driving long distances.
- When you are standing for long periods, try to shift most of your weight to one leg at a time. Switch legs after every few minutes.
- An excellent way to sleep is on your side with your knees bent. Put a small cushioned pillow under your head to give support to the neck in a neutral spine posture.
- Don’t use thick or hard pillows that bend your neck particularly to one side. Use a soft pillow between your legs to provide further relaxation to your lower back.
- If you are sleeping on your back, put pillows under your knees to support your legs in a slightly flexed posture. Use a firm mattress.
- If your mattress slumps, replace it or use a one to two-inch plywood board under the mattress.
Vaidya Karanvir Singh is the younger Vaidya in Chandigarh Ayurved & Panchakarma Centre. He is the fourth generation in his family who is practicing as a general consultant in Ayurved & Panchakarma treatment at Chandigarh. In his practice, he had treated more than 1000 plus patients worldwide.