Acute low back pain is debilitating pain when it is occurred. People can develop it with a gentle motion such as bending back or reaching out to an object. The pain is sometimes very bad that a sufferer cannot perform daily activities properly, and misses works, schools, or social activities because of the pain. Taking painkiller medications may not relieve the pain in may people with acute lower back pain. In addition, there are medication side effects with taking large amount of painkiller medication.
When to seek medical treatment
Acute low back pain is worrisome when there are alarming symptoms or signs. They are, but not limited to, the followings.
- History of cancer, prolonged use of steroid medication, fever, unexplained weight loss, or intravenous drug use
- Pain at the vertebral bones
- Numbness around the private area
- Bladder or bowel incontinence
- Unable to urinate
- Muscle weakness in lower limbs
- Pain more than a month
Healing the pain naturally is the most appropriate way if there are no warning symptoms or signs. The body will try to heal when the pain is started. It might take a few days to a couple of weeks to feel better with natural healing. The following technique can improve the natural healing process.
Being active is the key in the healing process of acute low back pain. Bed rest or not moving for a long time may make the muscle more tense and the pain worse. Doing activities within tolerable limit is advisable for all people with acute low back pain.
Change position frequently
Sitting, standing or lying for a long time in the same position can aggravate the pain. Frequently changing body position is another factor in promoting the healing process. If you need to stand or sit for a long period of time at work or at home, I would recommend to lie on the back or on the tummy for a couple of minutes every hour or so. You can also use a folded tower 1 to 2 inches in thickness putting directly under the tender area for gentle stretching when you lie down on the back.
Ice compression directly on the pain area for 5 to 10 minutes is also a good method to relieve the pain. It can be repeated every hour. It will make the area numb after application.
Gentle swimming can strengthen the back muscle and reduce stress on joint and spine. However, excessive strokes or strenuous use of back muscle may aggravate the symptom.
Good sleep at night
Generally, having a good sleep at night improves the body healing process, and it applies in acute low back pain too. If the pain is disturbing the sleep at night, it is recommended to consider taking either natural or synthetic painkiller medication to improve the sleep. There are many natural painkillers in health food stores or pharmacies.
Foods that reduce inflammation
- Pine apple contains Bromelain enzyme, which is used for reducing inflammation.
- Turmeric powder contains curcumin that has anti-inflammatory property.
- Oily fish, for instance, Salmon contains EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), which also has anti-inflammatory property.
There are many other foods that can reduce inflammation. The above are my favourite foods for reducing inflammation. However, please be advised that some foods may not be suggested in case you are taking blood thinner or anti-coagulation medication. Please consult a pharmacist or healthcare practitioner in that case.
Other therapies that may improve natural healing process
- Physical therapy
Acupuncture, massage, cupping, or ultrasound therapy can also be considered in order to relieve the pain faster and shorten the duration of disability.
- Homeopathic remedies for acute pain
There are a variety of homeopathic remedies that can be used in acute low back pain including Arnica, Bryonia, Calcarea carbonica, and so on. Because each remedy has its peculiar indications, you may need to consult an experienced healthcare practitioner in homeopathy in order to choose the right remedy for your back pain.