Self-care Tips and Therapies for Lower Back Pain



According to the American Chiropractic Association, lower back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work and the second most common reason for doctor's office visits (upper-respiratory infections takes the number one spot). Whether it's a pulled muscle from picking up something too heavy, waking up regularly with a stiff back, or being diagnosed with a bulging or herniated lumbar disc, experiencing some degree of lower back pain is not uncommon.

Besides chiropractic and acupuncture treatments, there are manual therapies that can be applied by a licensed therapist to help ease the symptoms and correct the dysfunctions of the back. CranioSacral Therapy helps the body unravel tension patterns in the muscles and soft tissue (fascia), applies light traction on the lower back and sacrum to free up compressed nerves, and increases cerebrospinal fluid flow to help heal any damaged nerves, and balances nerve transmission. Reiki Energy allows the therapist's hand to emit a frequency (up to 30 hertz) of energy which can facilitate tissue repair, reduce swelling and inflammation, and decrease numbness and pain. Trigger Point Therapy is a specialized type of massage that helps re-educate muscles that are chronically contracted into a relaxed or neutral state.

In addition to therapy, here are self-care tips for lower back pain prevention and treatment that you can do every day.

Drink plenty of water. The tissue that surrounds the vertebral disc is like a tendon. The body takes water from tendons and ligaments first when it is dehydrated.

Move. Breathe deeply, stretch and move the back in different directions throughout the day at regular intervals.

Use heat and cold. The general rule is: use heat if the muscles are stiff, tired, overworked, or sore; and use cold if there is a recent injury, swelling, inflammation or a shooting nerve pain. Apply heat/cold pack for no longer than 10-minutes each interval.

Take a bath with Epsom salts. The magnesium will help soothe muscles, alleviate cramping and calm nerves.

For more information about lower back pain or any of the therapies mentioned, call Trisha Schmalhofer, Licensed Massage Therapist, at 772-559-1993 or visit MedHealers.com. Trish is certified in Upledger CranioSacral Therapy, Reiki Energy Medicine, Trigger Point Therapy, SomatoEmotional Release (for trauma) and Soul Realignment. 

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