Will Lower Back Pain Go Away on it’s Own?
Low-back pain (LBP) is the most common chronic pain issue and one many of us have experienced at some point in our lives.
It is estimated that 80% of adults in North America will have at least one episode of low-back pain severe enough that they lose time from work.
And many people want to know will lower back pain go away on its own naturally? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Depending on what the cause is. And if you can make changes to what is causing it.
Lifestyle factors that contribute to LBP: jobs that require prolonged sitting or standing, exposure to vibration and repetitive bending or rotating.
- Why lower back pain when sleeping?
- Why lower back pain when sitting?
- Why lower back pain after standing?
Postural stresses are the most common cause of lower back pain. Prolonged standing, sitting or sleeping in poor posture positions.
1. While sleeping in a curled up or spinal rotated position = back pain.
On your back place a pillow under your knees.
On your side place a pillow between your thighs/knees and you could even put a towel in your waistline curve to maintain a neutral spine will help.
On your stomach place a pillow under your belly.
2. Fatigue posture while sitting leads to a slouched back and shoulders rolled forward.
Sit tall, chest up and shoulders back, engage the core muscles, feet flat on the ground and get up and move around every 30 minutes.
Sitting with your legs crossed puts your pelvis out of alignment and can lead to LBP over time.
3. Fatigue posture while standing, placing your weight on one leg and letting your hip shift out, over a period of time = back pain.
Be conscious of how you are standing, think tall, chest up, shoulders back and move around so you are not standing in one spot too long. Take a seat when you start feeling fatigued.
Psychosocial factors: such as job stress, depression and dysfunctional family relationships can also be contributing factors.
There are three catagories of Low-Back Pain:
Acute – short term, few days to a few weeks. Usually a result from muscular sketetal strain; sport injury, lifting , bending or sudden jolt.
Chronic – long term, pain that persists for more than three months. It is usually progressive and the exact cause can be challenging to determine.
Low-back Pain and Sciatica – Along with the Low-back pain there is pain radiating down the leg (e.g. numbness, tingling, cramping).
Before starting any exercise program see your doctor. If it is Chronic or Sciatica you will most likely be referred to a Physiothearapist or Orthopedic Surgeon.
Once you have got the “Go ahead” from your physician, developing and increasing core strength is vital to reducing back pain.
A strong core protects the spine, improves balance, stability and posture while reducing low back pain and enhancing movement patterns.
For more in depth information about the core, check out “How to get the Most out of your Core Training: Anatomy & Functional Training for BEST Results.“
These five exercises have been shown to help greatly in reducing lower back pain while increasing core strength.
We are individuals and one size does not fit all, therefore if you feel “bad” pain or pain radiating down your leg, stop, rest, take time off and see your physician.
Purpose: Start with this motion exercise to warm-up… and to reduce spine viscosity (internal resistance and friction).
How to Perform:
1. On all fours, knees under hips and hands under shoulders.
2. Round back up towards ceiling, tuck chin into chest, short pause.
3. Move into an arched back position looking up, short pause.
Slow continuous movement. 5 – 8 cycles of flexion moving into extension
Purpose: To increase core strength and stability while extending the lower extremity. A small rolled up towel under your lumbar helps to maintain a neutral spine while integrating movement in the lower limbs.
How to Perform:
1. Laying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the ground.
2. Engage (tighten) the abdominals and, as you exhale, extend your right leg sliding the heel along the ground.
3. Return to the starting position and, while maintaining tight abdominals, slide the left heel along the ground.
Continue this motion for six to eight reps on each leg
Purpose: This is an excellent exercise to train the body how to stabilize the lumbar spine (low back) during upper and lower extremity movement.
How to Perform:
1. Start on all ours, hands under shoulders and knees under hips.
2. Extend the left leg behind keeping the hips level.
3. Extend the right arm in front with the thumb facing the ceiling.
4. Keep the abdominals engaged and stabilize the left shoulder so the shoulder blade doesn’t collapse into the pose.
Hold for 7-8 seconds and repeat on the opposite side
Modified Side Plank
Purpose: Strengthens the lateral muscles of the torso which are important for optimal stability. This move increases shoulder-blade stability and strength.
How to Perform:
1. Laying on your right side, prop yourself up on your forearm. Do not allow your upper body to sink down. Keep your neck in a neutral position.
2. Bend the bottom knee .
3. Lift the hips off the ground.
4. Lift the left arm overhead. (Optional)
Hold for 10 seconds then bring the hip back down. Repeat three times the perform on the other side.
Purpose: This exercise strengthens the posterior muscles of your body: the back, hips and legs. Your buttocks muscle tends to be one of the laziest muscles in the body and if it’s not doing it’s job then your low back has to take over which can lead to LBP.
How to Perform:
1.Lie on your back with hands next to your sides
2. place your heels near your buttocks.
3. Lift the hips into the air while keeping the feet and the shoulder blades pressed into the ground.
Hold for 10 – 20 seconds. Lower back down and repeat three times.
Along with strengthening exercises it is important to also add cardiovascular endurance conditioning to your workout, such as a Walking program or swimming. As well as adding stretches to your routine.
I encourage you to be patient and stick with the program. Increased function and pain reduction may take time but it will happen.
Works Cited: Merrill S. (2008) ACE Advanced Fitness Specialist Resource Guide. Antonacci D.
Esses S., Kohl H. (2007) ACE Clinical Exercise Specialist. Harter R.
Jo S. (2017) Essentials of Exercise Science.
Roy B. (2014) ACE Personal Trainer Manual Fifth Edition.
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Low Back Pain: When and What to do.
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Low Back Pain.