Treat your own back pain!

Did you know its estimated that 80% of US adults will experience low back pain at some point in their lives? The good news? The majority of those episodes fully recover without the need for any invasive interventions! 

For many of you during this time of quarantine may find yourselves working from home in a work station that is different than you are used to.  Many of you may find yourselves much LESS active than normal, and some of you much MORE active than you are used to.  

If your lower back is aching you aren’t alone.  Read on for some ways that you can help relieve your pain.  

Symptom check: If you are experiencing any of the following, please call your doctor for further evaluation:

-loss of bladder/bowel control

-severe unrelenting pain that wakes you at night

**If you are experiencing numbness and tingling down your leg, pain that radiates beyond your knee, or weakness in your leg, please contact your Physical Therapist for treatment.

For pain that is localized to your low back, MOVEMENT will be your best source of medicine! Oftentimes prolonged, static postures (sitting for an extended time for example) create stiffness and aching.  Try and change positions every 30-60minutes.  If you need to be on a computer for the day, change up your work station each hour. Try sitting in a chair, standing, or just take a 3 minute break each hour to get up and walk or stretch.  Set yourself an alarm to help keep you on track! When you have a 5 minute break, try this stretching circuit!

Treat your pain based on your symptoms!

If your pain is worse primarily with sitting, or upon standing after sitting, try repeated extension exercises every hour.  You can try standing back extensions, or press up on the ground.  Perform 10 repetitions every hour, until symptoms subside. 

Press Ups. Keep legs relaxed, use arms to press up in a painfree range.
Use hands to support your lower back as you extend back into a painfree range.

If your pain is worse primarily with walking and prolonged periods of time standing, try this seated piriformis stretch a couple times a day. 

Maintain upright posture as you lean forward to feel stretch.

It may also help to get off your feet and try this prayer stretch to relieve some symptoms.  You can reach arms left or right to bias a particular side that might be aggravated.

At the end of the day, or when symptoms are bad, this self distraction/relaxation position can help too. Add a pillow under the legs to help put a little stretch on pelvis.

If you are experiencing any symptoms into the buttox or leg find a friend or partner to provide some gentle traction by pulling on your leg.  Turning the foot slightly inwards can help direct traction to the back vs the hip.   

Keep in mind any stretch or position that increases pain peripherally (further into butt or leg) is not recommended.  Any stretch or position that centralizes your pain (localizes it to your low back vs leg) is a good thing! 

Remember, back pain that is treated close to the onset of symptoms is typically resolved quick! Don’t let your pain go on for weeks before seeking help!  Try these exercises, but please reach out to a Physical Therapist for individualized treatment!

**While our office is temporarily closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, our therapists are still treating patients everyday via telehealth!   Call or message us today to schedule a consult! Use link here to schedule online!

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