The lower back starts just below the rib cage and extends down to the sacral spine (coccyx), but the pain in this area can affect almost the whole body. No matter what position you sit, stand, or lay down in, most of the time, the lower back takes the bulk of the pressure.
Your lumbar region works hard to keep you supported throughout the day, but after a while, tension and compression in the lower back can create uncomfortable and consistent pain.
Back pain is considered one of the most common reasons why people visit doctors in the United States, but a study from 2020 reports that lower back pain is statistically the most common reason to see a medical professional around the globe, too.
When you work with a lower back pain specialist at Optimum, you gain a skilled team of professional advocates whose main objective is to help you minimize symptoms or feel fully pain-free again.
Take control of your health with the resources available from our local team of chiropractors. To speak with a trusted member of our team, contact us online or call (404)793-1600.
When to Seek Lower Back Pain Treatment
You can treat pain in the lumbar region in a creative variety of ways. While you may be used to seeing generic over-the-counter treatments from the local drugstore, a more comprehensive approach is just around the corner.
Can a doctor help with lower back pain? Oftentimes, a doctor may recommend topical or temporary treatments if not invasive methods like surgery.
Before taking the extreme route, another approach may be easier on your body.
After a while, focusing on the symptoms of your pain instead of the root cause can feel defeating, as if the pain is inescapable. Fortunately, at Optimum Health, our wellness specialists offer a plethora of pain-relieving services.
A member of our chiropractic care team can use many treatment plans like mobilization techniques, low-velocity manipulations, or adjustments to help resolve the pain. You may also be introduced to therapeutic massage techniques and regenerative therapy.
To begin, one of our dedicated wellness specialists will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your lower back and may even run some diagnostic tests, such as X-rays, to gather further information.
Can I Relieve Back Pain Fast?
Lower back pain is an umbrella term that covers a wide variety of painful sensations, from deep aches to sharp, shooting pokes. Because the human body relies on the lumbar region for many basic activities, including both sitting and walking, managing this type of pain in the long term can be physically and mentally exhausting.
There are a few at-home treatment methods that have been proven to be temporarily relieving and can be perfect for intense spurts of pain that come on suddenly. DIY pain relief is always a matter of trial and error, and not every method will work for everybody.
Finding the right combination of at-home relief methods means being mindful of your pain and requires patience.
While pain in the lumbar region cannot be permanently solved by using over-the-counter treatments and home remedies, the following tips can help temporarily relieve intense pain, and some can even help your lower back gradually improve on its own:
- Get your muscles moving: Taking the first step and challenging your body to move while in pain is the hardest part, but the physical rewards of stretching and light exercise can be worth it in the long run. Maintaining a consistent exercise routine can stretch tense muscles and provide pain-relieving and mood-enhancing hormones like endorphins.
- Hot and cold treatments: Both warm and cool compresses can be a rapid way to promote healing in the body. A hot compress or a warm shower will loosen the surrounding muscles and can be most beneficial to shooting pain and tight muscles. A cold compress like an ice pack can help prevent swelling in cases of injury or overexertion.
- Pain-relief products: You can find a large array of over-the-counter products at your local drugstore, from creams and ointments to pills and patches. Topical lidocaine and NSAIDS (Non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs) are some of the most common over-the-counter pain relieving products, but more unorthodox options are also becoming more popular. Treatments like CBD creams can have similar effects to lidocaine patches, but those with bad reactions or no reaction to said patches may find relief in CBD. While THC remains illegal in the state of Georgia, hemp-derived CBD products are legal.
- Anti-inflammatory foods: Working with your body to support the inner muscles and joints can start with providing a great base of the right nutrients. Anti-inflammatory foods are perfect for lower back pain because they target tension in muscles and can help your body naturally fight those painful symptoms of tense or overworked muscles. Foods like whole grains, leafy greens, fiber-rich ingredients, olive oil, spices like turmeric and ginger, walnuts, salmon, green tea, and yogurt for their anti-inflammatory effects.
- Keep the lumbar region supported: Sometimes, all your body really needs is rest. When your lower back starts to feel uncomfortable, try sitting with a soft pillow supporting the area. This can take some of the pressure off your lower back while you try to rest and recover.
Common Contributing Factors of Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain, the most common type of long-term pain across the globe, will affect more than 80% of people at one point in their life. Pain in the lumbar region can be unavoidable, stemming from lifelong habits, genetics, or other simple risk factors.
Unfortunately, circumstances for developing lower back pain can be so broad that they apply to everyone or almost everyone. Taking these factors into account, a person can look at their current situation to gauge how common their pain is.
The spine consists of many vertebrae that are separated and supported by cushions called discs. This support system breaks down over time and can cause degenerative conditions with symptomatic back pain like osteoarthritis.
Daily life, injuries, or physical activities can all contribute to spinal disc degeneration. Anyone over 30 is more likely to have age-related back pain.
Back pain caused by degeneration and age doesn’t have to be considered unavoidable, as preventative care has the biggest effect on how your body feels as you age.
If your job requires physically demanding activity, you may be at higher risk for developing lower back pain. Repetitive and strenuous tasks can put a heavy workload on your lumbar region, leaving you with aching pain at the end of the day.
These activities can promote degeneration at a quicker rate which inevitably leads to previously mentioned conditions like osteoarthritis. While working in a physically intensive field, it may be a productive step to start forming the habit of stretching before and after your shifts.
Habits like smoking, drinking, or living a sedentary lifestyle are strong contributors to rapidly developing back pain because they quicken the degeneration process and add additional strain to your discs.
Smoking is linked to degenerative disc disease because it stops proper blood flow from supporting your cushiony spinal discs, whereas drinking can increase inflammation and even cause muscle spasms.
Meanwhile, living a sedentary lifestyle can put unnecessary strain on your lower back because of a lack of movement. Stretching and staying active are important in preventing your muscles from stiffening up, which can lead to rapidly increasing pain over time.
Being overweight can cause quicker developing disc degeneration and tense up muscles due to request overexertion. The spine is not prepared to take on extra weight and will rely more on those cushiony discs.
To prevent stiffness and keep the lower back at ease, having a pillow or cushion for proper support can alleviate extra pressure and give your joints time to rest and recover.
Sadly, many painful conditions that result in lower back pain are the result of genetics, and we’re possibly passed down by one of your family lines. It may be beneficial to speak with older members of your family and interview them on their experiences with pain in the lumbar region.
By taking this proactive step, you can learn more about which conditions your family tree sees the most and consult with your doctor about preventative care.
Oftentimes, mental struggles can portray themselves through physical symptoms. Conditions like depression and anxiety are linked to lower back pain and can be overwhelming symptoms to add to said condition.
A person with depression is less motivated and may not have the energy to participate in many activities, creating the development of sedentary lifestyle habits. Anxiety can cause tension, stiffness, and eventually extreme pain in the lumbar region, too.
Treat Lower Back Pain at Tucker Optimum Health
Our rehabilitation facility in Tucker utilizes chiropractic care and innovative wellness techniques to target pain at the source and prevent it from coming back. One of our experienced pain specialists can work with you to develop a strong course of action for your lumbar pain that includes a variety of non-invasive therapies and techniques.
Our staff is committed to helping each patient find their own relief in chiropractic therapy. To get in touch with a trusted member of our team, contact us online or call (404)793-1600.