If you suffer from chronic back-pain, then you are not alone. Over 65 million people in America suffer from lower back pain. That makes it an epidemic, and the trend does not appear to be changing anytime soon.
Lower back pain is not only a “pain”, but it can significantly alter your lifestyle, productivity, and quality of life. It is a thousand times harder to do anything when your back is out of whack, and all you want is for it to be fixed.
The good news is that there are many things that you can do when your back goes out un-expectantly. The key is having a strategy ready to go when it does happen. When my back goes out, I go to the protocol outlined in this article, and it works every time.
Please note – The first time you experience back-pain, it is a good idea to go to a doctor for an x-ray and MRI. This will tell you exactly what is going on inside your body. It is a good first step towards recovery, especially if you have a disc herniation or rupture.
If you know that your back pain is caused by a muscle spasm, then here are some quick-fix strategies to get you out-of-pain FAST and back on your feet:
- Myofascial Release:
According to Wikipedia, myofascial release is “a soft tissue therapy for the treatment of skeletal muscle immobility and pain. This alternative medicine therapy aims to relax contracted muscles, improve blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulate the stretch reflex in muscles.”
A very common and well-known form of MFR is massage. Another is foam rolling. Since massage is not always an easy or affordable option, the best way to affect MFR, in my opinion, is with a good foam roller. The one I recommend is made by Trigger Point.
When it comes to rolling for back pain, you need to keep in mind that the body is a single muscle, and that in order to “fix” your back, you have to treat the entire body. So don’t just roll your back. Roll your entire body, both lower and upper. Done properly, foam rolling can get you out of pain and back on your feet quickly.
One of the reasons you have lower back pain is due to tight muscles. This would include muscles in the lower and upper body. Remember, the muscles in your body are really just one big muscle.
What’s happening in your back when it flares-up could be caused by tight muscle in your neck, shoulders, or even your feet. These muscles need to be stretched and lengthened in order to provide relief and prevent future flare-ups. The best stretches for your back, in my opinion, come from yoga. If you have never done Yoga to help your back, you should give it a try.
- Strength Training:
When muscles are not used, they become weak. When they become weak, they have no durability. So when called upon to work overtime, they quickly fatigue and fail. That’s never a good thing.
The body’s response to this failure is to have the muscles, “spasm” in order to immobilize the area of the body that those muscles are designed to support and prevent injury. Kind of like the body’s circuit breaker.
For example, if the muscles in your core can no longer support your lumbar spine, they signal the brain to “spasm” the muscles in your lower back and immobilize the area. This is the pain and stiffness you feel when your back goes out, thus protecting it from damage.
The best fix for this condition is strength training – exercises designed to activate and strengthen the muscles that support your vertebrae. Daily strengthening of the core and pelvic floor muscles will not only relieve pain, but will also help to prevent future flare-ups and injury such as disc herniation’s and ruptures.