Conditions > Lower Back Pain
Natural Lower Back Pain Relief
How to relieve lower back pain?
Muscle and ligament pain is the most likely cause of your lower back pain. These natural remedies for lower back pain can help you avoid cortisone or steroid shots, or back surgery:
- Prolotherapy and PRP treatments to heal and regrow weakened ligaments
- Hands-on osteopathic manipulation of muscles and tissues in the back
- Anti-inflammatory diet to allow any structural weaknesses to heal completely
- Acupuncture treatments to help bring blood – it has healing properties – to damaged areas
- Stretches to relieve lower back pain, applies to both lower left back pain and lower right back pain
Quick Jump Menu
What causes lower back pain?
The lower back pain you are experiencing is most likely caused by one or a combination of the following:
- Muscle pain caused by weakened ligaments (most likely culprit)
- Trigger points in the muscles (muscle tissue is very, very sensitive)
- Herniated disc or bulging disc problems (not as common as you think)
- Psychological factors & fear of injury (surprisingly common!)
- Arthritis and joint degeneration (causes tight muscles)
- Injuries from sports or exercise (causes weakened or damaged ligaments)
- Lumbar whiplash from a car accident (can stretch ligaments)
- Lack of mobility combined with poor posture (causes stretched ligaments)
Not everything that hurts in the back is due to a disc problem. Even if you are suffering from a disc problem or degenerative arthritis in the back, a good portion of your pain will still come from your back muscles doing extra work to compensate for weakened ligaments.
What causes ligaments in the back to weaken?
Your back is a very complex structure made up of large muscles, tendons, and ligaments. All of these work together to keep you upright and your spinal column moving.
As you go through life, the ligaments in your back – ligaments hold your bones together – often times weaken and stretch. There are several common reasons why:
- Degeneration of ligaments over time (unfortunate but inevitable)
- Extra weight which causes extra stretching of ligaments (very common problem)
- Lack of proper rehabilitation after injuries (failure to properly heal ligaments)
When the ligaments in your back get weak, they cannot stabilize joints as well as before. This creates more motion between your bones for which your muscles must then compensate to keep everything together. The result? Your muscles get tight. Muscle tissue is very sensitive, so any tightness and continuous strain hurts.
The good news is muscle and ligament pain are typically not cause for concern and can be treated naturally. You typically won’t need surgery or steroid shots. So breathe a sigh of relief, you may not need to go under the knife after all.
What if my lower back pain is really severe?
Severe pain is often the result of muscle tightness or ligament injury. Remember that muscle tissue is very, very sensitive. You should seek immediate medical attention as quickly as possible if you experience:
- Severe pain lasting more than 6 weeks, with pain getting worse over time
- Numbness around your groin area, to the point of incontinence – loss of bladder or bowel control, muscle weakness, numbness, tingling in your legs or feet
These can be signs of spinal cord injury or in some cases cancer and should not be ignored. Constant pressure on the spine from a tumor can result in a constant pain that gets worse with time, especially when you lie down, and won’t go away. Don’t ignore these symptoms!
What does sciatica feel like?
A common misconception lower back pain sufferers have is that their pain is caused by sciatic nerve problems, or sciatica. In most cases, this is not the reason for your lower back pain.
Sciatica symptoms involve a shooting pain that starts in your lower back and continues past the knee. If you can feel pain in your toes or foot, it’s likely your sciatic nerve is being pinched or disturbed. Otherwise, you are likely experience muscle and ligament pain.
Lower left back pain
Pain in the lower left part of your back can occur for a number of reasons. The good news is that one-sided pain is typically not a cause for added concern. Muscle strain can occur on either the left or right side, so it’s unlikely your pain is coming from organs located to the left of the spine.
If you are experiencing stomach pain along with lower back pain, pain throughout the whole left side of your back, or pain in the upper part of the lower back, you may be dealing with pain coming from specific organs and structures. See your primary care physician as quickly as possible to determine the cause of your pain.
Lower right back pain
Pain in the lower right part of your back is also not an immediate cause for concern. Like pain in the lower left back, pain in the lower right back is most often caused by asymmetrical muscle strain, which rarely occurs symmetrically.
When pain in the lower right back is accompanied by pain in the stomach area or in the upper portion of the low back, you may again be experiencing pain coming from specific organs and structures. Again, see you primary care physician.
When you experience numbness in your groin area, or incontinence, you may be experiencing a spinal cord injury, which is a very serious problem and needs to be examined as quickly as possible.
Natural treatments for lower back pain
- Osteopathic manipulation treatment (OMT)
- Prolotherapy and PRP
- Diet changes
Stretches for lower back pain
Even though lower back pain can feel overwhelming, it’s important to maintain normal movement so your blood and its healing properties can reach the muscles and ligaments in your lower back.
To create movement in your lower back, there are two things you can do: deep breathing exercises and gentle stretching. Deep breathing has the amazing ability to move every cell in your body. In addition, these three gentle stretches can offer quick relief to your lower back pain:
- Sit on the ground with both legs straight out and gently lean forward to touch your toes until you feel a stretch in your lower back. Hold for 30 seconds.
- Lay flat on the ground and bring both knees to your chest as you bring your head and neck off the ground. You should feel a stretch across your whole back. Hold stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.
- Lay on the ground with both legs stretched out in front of you. Cross your right foot over your left leg as you bring your right foot towards your head, placing it on the ground next to the left knee. Raise both the left knee and right foot and hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
Osteopathic manipulation treatment (OMT) for lower back pain
An osteopathic physician will use his hands to identify problem areas in your muscles, joints, and tendons, and apply pressure against the muscle or joint to create movement, improve drainage of any unhealthy inflammation, and relieve pain in your muscles.
Prolotherapy and PRP for lower back pain
Prolotherapy and PRP injections for lower back pain regrow and strengthen weakened ligaments. When your ligaments are able to properly stabilize the joints in your back, the tightness of your muscles is greatly reduced.
Because most ligament injuries are not properly rehabilitated, the ligaments often get weaker over time. Prolotherapy and PRP are regenerative medicine treatments that naturally regenerate the connective tissue your ligaments are made of.
Acupuncture for lower back pain
Acupuncture for lower back pain is an effective way to temporarily relieve lower back pain. It has been proven to modulate pain receptors in the brain and promote a sense of well-being.
Acupuncture needles stimulate blood flow to the muscles and ligaments in the lower back. Although it is not the end-all and be-all treatment for lower back pain, it can be a great supplementary treatment to prolotherapy and PRP injections.
Diet changes for lower back pain
An anti-inflammatory diet, among other benefits, can improve the healing of weakened ligaments. Diet changes can includes eating more leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, and broccoli, eating more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as nuts and certain types of fish, and ensuring you have sufficient calcium and Vitamin D from foods like yogurts and dairy products.
How to sleep with lower back pain?
If your sleep is disrupted because of lower back pain, consider the following routine before going to sleep on days when the pain is extremely painful:
- Purchase a heating pad and use it in bed before you fall asleep
- Perform deep breathing exercises as you apply the heating pad to your back
- Do some gentle stretching in your bed to relieve muscle tightness
- Drink a tall glass of water to ensure your body is properly hydrated
Final thoughts & Summary
- Not everything that hurts in the back is due to a disc problem. Muscle strain and ligament strain is the most likely cause of your lower back pain.
- Too much motion in your joints from weakened ligaments forces your muscles to tighten to stabilize your back. Tight muscles cause pain.
- A spinal cord injury can lead to numbness around groin area or severe pain in lower back lasting more than 6 weeks. Seek immediate medical attention!
- Even though lower back pain can feel overwhelming, it’s important to maintain normal movement so your blood and its healing properties can reach the muscles and ligaments in your lower back.
- Osteopathic manipulation treatments (OMT) create joint movement, improve drainage of any tissue inflammation, and relieve pain in your muscles.
- Prolotherapy and PRP injections for lower back pain regrow and strengthen weakened ligaments. When your ligaments properly stabilize the joints in your back, the extra strain on your muscles is reduced.
- An anti-inflammatory diet, among other benefits, can improve your healing of weakened ligaments.