Low back pain is common and affects a large number of the adult population. There are various causes of low back pain, and sometimes, pain can become chronic. Fortunately, most cases of low back pain are not serious and easily managed with over-the-counter pain medication. But rather than pop pills every time you experience back pain, consider a few techniques to minimize pain and inflammation.
1. Give your back a rest. Standing or sitting for long periods, as well as physical activity can trigger low back pain. Stopping the activity that causes discomfort and resting your back can reduce pain. Sit down if you're standing and move around if you're sitting. If possible, lie down for 30 minutes to an hour. Lying down relaxes your back muscles and eases pain.
2. Apply a heat or cold compress. Both heat and cold can reduce inflammation and calm low back pain. Whatever therapy you decide, apply the compress in 15-minute intervals throughout the day -- 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off.
3. Shop for a new mattress. If low back pain is a common nuisance in the mornings, perhaps your mattress is the culprit. Sleeping on a mattress that's either too firm or too soft can trigger back pain. Shop for a new mattress or purchase a mattress topper.
Dr. Justin Snyder