Low back pain is one of the most common complaints that an orthopedic office can see. Most of the time the pain is a result of a muscle strain. However, there are a few other causes of low back pain including, disc herniation, pinched nerve, arthritis, and spondylolisthesis just to name a few.
Because of the wide range of conditions that can cause low back pain, it is one of the most common causes of missed work time, athletic activity, or family events.
Below are some of the tips and tricks that can be done at home to help to alleviate low back pain and spasm. Everything can be done with simple household items or be purchased at a drugstore.
1. Hip Traction
First, you will want to lie on your back and flex your legs up so that you are making a 90-degree angle with the floor. Put your hand on one knee and pull it toward your chest, and then put your hand on the other knee and push the knee away from you. Each leg should resist the direction that the force is being applied. Hold this for five seconds on each leg. Make sure to breathe deeply with each repetition. You should repeat this 5 times on each leg.
2. Hip Adduction Squeeze
After the hip traction, while staying on your back, take a pillow or ball and place it in between your knees with the feet on the ground. Make sure to squeeze the pillow or ball as hard as you can. This helps to realign the pelvis which may be causing pain to the low back. Repeat this 3 to 7 times per day.
3. Anterior Contract/Relax
Often, low back spasms can be caused by a neuromuscular overload on the anterior of front of the body. Take a ball and place it on your stomach lying facedown to the floor. Next breath into the ball and let the ball sink into the abdominal muscular. Additionally, contract the abdominal muscles into the ball as hard as possible and then relax letting the ball sink into the abdominal muscles. This relaxes the front abdominal muscles telling the body that it doesn’t have to contract the low back muscles to protect itself, thus releasing the spasm in the low back. Hold this for about 5-10 minutes.
4. Lumbar Muscle Smash
Find a lacrosse ball or a baseball. While lying on your back with you legs again in a 90-degree position and your feet on the couch or a box take the ball and place it on the outer lower portion of the low back muscles (away from the middle spine region). Contract the muscles and release and let the ball sink into the muscles. Additionally, roll the ball towards the inside of the muscles toward the middle of the spine. This helps to relieve spasms.
Those are four easy techniques that can be performed at home to help to relieve low back muscle pain and spasms. If this doesn’t take care of the issue, be sure to give us a call at 7 Springs Orthopedics to help figure out the cause of your pain and get it resolved.
Written By Kevin Groh, PA-C, MSPAS