Pain in the lower back is a very common complaint. It may be sudden or may have been built up over time. It may either subside on its own or may persist. As long as it is there, it makes life very difficult for the patient.
Types of lower backache
- Acute: This pain settles within 3 months.
- Chronic: This pain persists even after 3 months, sometimes lifelong.
- Recurrent: The symptoms keep coming back.
Causes of lower back pain
- Injury to the intervertebral disc, leading to tear or herniation of the disc
- Age-related degeneration of the vertebral bones or the intervertebral discs
- Spinal canal stenosis, wherein the space around the spinal cord is narrowed, thereby putting pressure on the spinal cord and nerves
- Overuse, leading to injury to the ligaments and muscles of the back
- An abnormal curvature of the spine called scoliosis
- Osteoporosis, leading to fractures of the vertebral bones
- CT scan
- Bone densitometry
- Immediate treatment includes bed rest and pain killers, with muscle relaxants, if necessary.
- Hot/cold packs
- Treatment of the cause of back pain
- Physiotherapy for the pain, followed by exercises to strengthen the muscles of the back
Exercises for low back pain
- Begin with a warm up, such as a short walk.
- Perform the stretches both before and after the strengthening exercises.
1. Cat stretch
- Begin on your hands and knees.
- The hands have to be under the shoulders.
- Try looking at the floor to keep neck in line with the spine.
- Rock forward and round the shoulders while dipping the lower back toward the ground. Hold for about 5 seconds.
- Now, rock backward and extend the arms, keeping the buttock close to the heels.
- Hold again for 5 seconds.
- Repeat this 10 times daily.
2. Seated rotation
- Start by sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you.
- Cross your right leg over the left with the foot on the ground.
- Put your right hand behind you for support.
- Try to sit tall with your back straight.
- Now, twist your right hip and leg toward the left with your left hand behind the right knee.
- Look over your right shoulder.
- Breathe in and out slowly and hold for 5 seconds.
- Release, and repeat with the other side.
- Do this in two sets of 4 times each every day on both sides.
3. Seated hamstring stretch
- Sit on the ground with left leg bent inwards and the right one extended to the side.
- Inhale and bend forward, trying to touch the right foot by slowly exhaling. Then, round your shoulders while bending forward.
- While doing this, keep, your extended leg straight.
- Hold this position for 5 seconds.
- Inhale and slowly straighten up again.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Do this 10 times on each side every day.
4. Single knee-chest stretch
- Lie on your back and align your spine to the floor.
- Engage the core, lift the right leg, and bring the right knee to the chest.
- Hold the knee and pull it closer gently.
- Hold like this for 5 seconds.
- Release, and repeat with the other side.
- Do this 10 times in three sets every day on each side.
1. Engage the core
- Lie on your back with the knees bent and arms at the sides.
- Keep your lower back flat on the floor.
- Now, inhale and stretch the abdominal muscles. As you slowly exhale, pull the abdominal muscles in toward the spine.
- Hold for 15 seconds.
- Repeat 5 times daily.
- Lie on your back with arms at the sides and bend your knees.
- Engage the core, squeeze the gluteal muscles, and slowly lift the hips off the floor.
- Hold your body weight on your shoulder blades and not on the neck.
- Keep your body in a straight line from the shoulder to the knees.
- Hold this position for 15 seconds.
- Lower your hips and repeat this 5 times daily.
- Lie on your abdomen, keeping the forearms and knees on the floor, and the elbows in line with the shoulders.
- Engage the core and raise your hips off the floor by keeping your stomach muscles tight.
- Now, tighten the gluteal muscles and raise the knees off the floor.
- You are now resting only on your toes and forearms, with your body in a straight line from the shoulders to the heels.
- Repeat it 5 times daily.
- Prevent falling of pelvis region toward the floor.
- Hold this position for 10 seconds initially and then try to increase it to 30 seconds slowly.
It is important to do these exercises with the consent of your doctor. Although these exercises are not painful, if you feel any pain at any time, stop doing the exercises and consult your doctor. Doing this workout daily will relieve back pain and strengthen your back.