Do you often wake up with a dull ache in the lower back? You aren’t alone. It is estimated that 70–90% of people will be in need of some lower back pain relief at some form at some point in their lives (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare).
Lower Back Pain Causes
Lower back pain (both chronic and acute) is commonly a result of a pulled muscle or ligament.
Lower back pain causes include:
- Overexertion (exercising/training too hard without adequate rest)
- A lack of stretching
- Poor posture over time
- Incorrect techniques during exercise / lifting weights
- Sports injuries
- A lack of physical activity
- Lack of sleep
- Sudden movements (such as a fall or lifting a heavy object)
- The first stages of pregnancy
- Lumbar herniated disk
- Spinal stenosis
What Relieves Lower Back Pain?
Myotherapy and Remedial Massage are now the “go to” treatments for lower back pain.
When considering the question ‘what relieves lower back pain?’, recent clinical practice guidelines from the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) encouraged “non-pharmacological treatments over pharmacological treatments”, and recommended “against the use of surgery, injections and denervation procedures”. The MJA guidelines encourage GPs to outline the risks and benefits of medications if they are to be used, and that they should be used at the lowest effective dose for the shortest time possible.
Lower Back Pain Treatment
Myotherapy and Remedial Massage therapists are trained to target the cause of your lower back pain, and develop a strategy for long term relief by: i) assessing and providing recommendations on your movement patterns and muscle strength, ii) targeting the area and opposing muscles and fascia, ii) providing an individualised treatment plan, including daily home exercises.
Muscles typically targeted are the extensor muscles (the large paired muscles in the lower back and gluteal muscles), the flexor muscles (including the psoas muscle), and the oblique muscles (muscles attached to the side of the spine that help us maintain proper posture).
Lower Back Pain Relief: Self Care Tips
Spine-health.com outlines a fantastic list of self care tips for lower back pain relief, including releasing your inner endorphins! As the article clearly explains: “endorphins are hormones made naturally in your body. What many people don’t know is that endorphins may help block pain signals from registering in your brain. Endorphins also help alleviate anxiety, stress, and depression, which are all associated with chronic back pain and often make the pain worse”.
Other great tips include:
- Getting enough restorative sleep to help the body’s tissues heal
- Exercising your core, as your abdominal muscles play a critical role in supporting your spine
- Engaging your brain (ie. mindful pain management, and cognitive behavioural therapy).
- Finding activities that make you happy (again, for feel good endorphins)
- Stretching your hamstrings twice daily, as tight hammies can contribute to lower back pain.
If lower back pain is beginning to bother you, discuss your issues and an ongoing treatment plan (including home exercises between appointments) with your remedial massage therapist. A single appointment will most likely provide immediate relief but there is no magic bullet for chronic aches and pains. Long term improvements will happen only with ongoing therapy and an active treatment plan.
Book an appointment with a therapist today on 03 8598 9804 or online.