I recently received a question from someone on Klout.com asking the question, “How do I “cure a sore back”. Here is my response:
“How do I cure a sore back?”
It’s a difficult question to answer since there are multiple reasons for someone to have a sore back. Factors that may influence your lower back soreness may be:
Staying in a stationary position for extended periods of time. For example, sitting for long periods of time. This is called postural strain. To help with this, taking mini breaks from that position may help. http://drnotley.com/protect-your-spine-mini-breaks/
Inappropriate movement habits
If you are an athlete or are active then looking at your technique may be needed. Simply having someone help with your technique may be all that you need to take the strain off your back and allow your soreness to improve. A wonderful exercise that may be great for conditioning, like the burpee, may be detrimental to your back if done improperly http://drnotley.com/burpees-and-back-pain-my-thoughts/
If you are not very active then developing general conditioning may be what you need. I often see those who have back pain and they are very deconditioned but once they start getting active their pains diminish.
Unaddressed old injuries
If you have other injuries or an old injury these should be addressed. For lower backs we often need to look at spine posture during the actively, as well, as how the looking at the mobility or stability of the hips, knees, ankles and feet. If there are problems in these areas they can put added stress on the spine and cause pain. What you may need if these is the case is exercises that will aid in increasing mobility of joints or stability.
Suboptimal health habits
Smoking (http://drnotley.com/chronic-pain-and-cigarette-smoking/), stress, and nutrition (http://drnotley.com/understanding-essential-fatty-acids/) can also cause back pain among other health issues.
Help from a professional
Above, I have discussed approaches that require an active approach on your part. These are very important because you are taking control of your health/pain which is very effective but there are passive methods that can be beneficial in the process. Here are some examples
- use moist heat or ice http://drnotley.com/heat-vs-ice/
- Spinal manipulation http://drnotley.com/conditions-chiropractic-may-help-lower-back-pain/
- Active release techniques – http://drnotley.com/active-release-techniques-and-the-treatment-of-running-injuries/
Pain referring to the back
Back pain/soreness may be as a result of other internal problems. For example, women have sore backs as a result of their menstrual cycle. A number of internal organ problems can result in back soreness. A rule of thumb is that if you can’t find a position or treatment that gives you relief or that there are no movements that cause added soreness then seeking out a medical doctor is warranted.
This is a round about way of saying that there are numerous ways to help a sore back.
P.S. This list may not be all inclusive. If this pain persists seek out a Chiropractor, Athletic therapist, Physiotherapist, acupuncturist, or medical doctor.