Lower Back Pain Relief
People who have back pain should limit their bed rest to one to two days. A 1996 Finnish study found that people who continued their activities without bed rest following the start of lower back pain appeared to have better back flexibility than those who rested in bed for a week. Other studies suggested that bed rest alone may make back pain worse and can lead to secondary complications, such as:
- Decreased muscle tone
- Blood clots in the legs.
People should resume activities as soon as possible. Some healthcare providers recommend that at night or during rest, people should lie on one side with a pillow between their knees or lie on their back and put a pillow beneath their knees.
Exercise may be the most effective way to provide relief from lower back pain, speed recovery, and help strengthen back and abdominal muscles. Maintaining and building muscle strength is particularly important for people with skeletal irregularities. Doctors and physical therapists can provide a list of gentle exercises that help keep muscles moving and speed the recovery process. A routine of back-healthy activities may include:
- Stretching exercises
- Yoga, which gently stretches muscles and eases pain
- Movement therapy to improve coordination and develop proper posture and muscle balance.
Any mild discomfort felt at the start of these exercises should disappear as muscles become stronger. However, if pain is more than mild and lasts more than 15 minutes during exercise, you should stop exercising and contact your doctor.