Home Care Tips for Acute Lower Back Pain

Suffering from acute lower back pain can be a very frightening experience, especially during the current crisis, but the chances are that you will make a good recovery. Just as when you’ve overdone it at the gym or broken a bone, your body has the tools to heal itself.

It’s important to keep moving so I would recommend that you alternate between gently moving around and resting. You may find that you fatigue quite quickly as the pain will hinder natural movement and you’ll use up more muscle energy guarding against further discomfort. Taking regular micro rests will allow the lower back muscles to relax in-between.

You should also avoid things that you are finding particularly difficult, as increasing your pain will only lead to a further tightening up of your lower back. For example, sitting on sofas or soft chairs can be an issue as you will most probably struggle to get up out of these.

To help to ease the pain, why not give these simple home care tips a go:

Pillow Support

At night, try lying on your side with a pillow or cushion between your knees. This will keep your hips stacked on top of each other and helps to stop the uppermost knee rolling forward and creating a twist in your lower back. Alternatively, lie on your back but have a couple of pillows under your knees to flex them and reduce the pull on your lower back.

Pain Relief Medication

The current guidelines for Covid-19 are to use paracetamol rather than ibuprofen. However, if you are suffering with lower back pain and have no reason to believe that you have coronavirus, you may want to alternate between using ibuprofen and paracetamol. NOTE: Always take ibuprofen tablets and capsules with food or a drink of milk to reduce the chance of an upset stomach. Do not take it on an empty stomach.

Getting Out of Bed

On getting up in the morning, it is very common for your lower back pain to feel worse. Don’t panic as the normal muscular stiffness that you experience on waking up has just become exaggerated.

To get up from a lying position:

1. Turn onto your side with your knees bent up
2. Bring your heels close to the edge of the bed
3. Turn your chest slightly towards the mattress
4. At the same time as letting your ankles drop down to the side, push into the mattress with your elbow and uppermost hand
5. Continue with your chest slightly facing the mattress to push yourself upright

VIDEO: Getting out of bed →

Getting Up From Sitting

Very often, getting up from a sitting position and straightening up is difficult with lower back pain.

Before you stand up from a sitting position, try gently turning one way and then the other and make a note of which way is easier.

Usually, if you are experiencing more pain on one side of your back, it will be slightly easier to turn that way. For example, if it is easier to turn right, put your left hand on your right knee and your right hand on the seat by your right hip.

As you stand up, DON’T attempt to stand straight up but turn slightly to the right. Walk around to the back of the chair or hold onto a piece of furniture and gently move your hips from side to side. Gently work your way up into a more upright position.

VIDEO: Rising from a chair →

Hot Pack or Cold Compress

It doesn’t matter which you use. Go with whatever you find more comfortable. Both are helping to stimulate blood flow through the muscles and you can follow your own instinct as to which feels better or indeed switch back and forth.

For more information on lower back pain or to book a FREE video consultation, please call Hugh Ruxton on 01746 761050.​​​​

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