Back Pain

Benefits of Lower Back Stretches

  • lower back stretches

Your lower back is the area below your ribs and above your buttocks and tailbone. This part of your body has a lot of muscles and tendons and is often prone to injury or stiffness.

Lower back pain can come from trauma, such as a fall. Poor posture, heavy lifting, or unnatural movements, such as twisting your body when bending over to pick something up, can also cause pain.

Lower back stretches are one of the most useful tools for dealing with pain. To get the most benefits, you need to do these stretches daily for at least 15 minutes.

Here is a closer look at the benefits of lower back stretches. 

Why Stretching Is Good for You

Lower back stretches loosen your muscles and reduce the tension around your spine. When it is more relaxed, the lower back is better able to support your upper body and spine. 

Stretching is a non-invasive option for treating lower back pain. You can get relief without injections, medication, or surgery. Also, the more you stretch, the less pain you will feel from tension and tight muscles. You can enjoy steady improvement. Medication or injections will address the symptoms, but not the underlying tightness causing the pain. Stretching, on the other hand, addresses the root of the issue, leading to lasting improvements. 

Lower Back Stretches to Try

The best lower back stretches for your condition or pain prevention goals will depend on your current level of fitness and movement abilities. You will want to start slowly and avoid stretches that could cause other injuries. You can consult a physician or physical therapist to decide which stretches are best for your needs.

Here are some of the most common and effective lower back stretches.

  1. Knee to chest stretch: To perform this stretch, you lie down on your back and slowly bring one knee to your chest. If you can, hold your knee in against your chest for as long as possible. Then, you lower the first leg and raise the other one to your chest, holding it there for the same amount of time as the first leg. This exercise reduces tension and increases motion in the lower back, and it targets the buttocks as well.
  2. Twist your back: To perform this stretch, lie down on your back and bring your knees up at a right angle from your waist. Put your arms out until they form a T-shape with your body. You then turn your knees to the right as far as they can go before repeating with the left side.
  3. Cat and camel: To perform this stretch, get down on all fours and push your back into a hump (like a cat arching its back), then push it back down as far in as it can go. Hold each position for a few seconds before repeating the cycle.
  4. Other exercises like cycling, swimming, walking, calisthenics, and lifting light weights can help strengthen your back muscles to increase support and improve posture.

Tips for Lower Back Stretching

Whenever doing lower back stretches, it is important to observe the following tips in order to achieve the best result.

  • Wear loose-fitting clothes to achieve full flexibility when stretching. Sweatsuits or other exercise-specific clothing is preferable, but you can wear any clothing that allows for a full range of motion.
  • Stretch on a clean flat surface. It should be hard enough to support your body. If you have access to a yoga or exercise mat, you can use it for stretches that require you to lay on the floor.
  • Hold your stretches for as long as possible. Harvard Medical School recommends holding each stretch for 60 seconds total. It’s okay to break this minute up into several sets. For example, you could hold your knee to your chest for 20 seconds at a time and repeat the stretch three times.
  • Try to stretch daily for the best results.

You do not have to hurry when stretching. You should move into each position slowly to avoid straining your muscles or causing further pain.

Benefits of Lower Back Stretches

Lower back stretches can bring both direct and indirect benefits. 

  • Stretching helps relieve pain. If you go to a physiotherapist for back pain (or any other type of musculoskeletal issue), they will teach stretches to reduce acute pain and help you avoid chronic issues.
  • Lower back stretches bring results without reliance on medication or invasive treatments. 
  • Some people with back pain change their posture to avoid worse pain. This change could lead to misalignment that could actually cause worse issues in the future. Stretching can deal with the pain that causes this unwanted posture change. If you continue lower back stretches, they can keep help keep your spine and lower back aligned.
  • Stretching can also indirectly impact your overall health. Less tension and better posture can help keep your internal organs properly aligned and ensure proper blood flow from your upper to lower body.
  • Also, extra tension and soreness in the lower back can affect your mental health and overall sense of well-being. If you have chronic pain, you will focus on it instead of enjoying your work, social life, or free time. This can lead to a lower quality of life overall. However, consistent lower back stretches can alleviate the pain and improve your overall mental outlook.

How to Deal with Chronic Back Pain

Carolinas Pain Center can offer treatment for acute pain and support to help you deal with chronic pain and improve the quality of your life. 

Contact Carolina Pain Centers today to find out if they are able to treat your lower back condition. 

Tips for Dealing With Chronic Back Pain

  • chronic back pain

Back pain is so widespread that 8 in 10 adults will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. People who suffer from this condition will face disruptions in their personal and work life.

More than 40 million Americans suffer from back pain. Some let the condition go away on its own, others use homemade remedies, and the rest opt to seek medical attention.

If you are experiencing chronic back pain symptoms, you may want to know the best chronic pain management techniques. This article will provide important details about chronic back pain.

 

What Is Chronic Back Pain?

Chronic back pain refers to a feeling of discomfort in the five vertebrae that lasts for more than 12 weeks. The pain usually persists even after the underlying cause has been treated.

Chronic back pain occurs when the vertebrae move in an unnatural way. For instance, the intervertebral discs, muscles, or spines can collide or overstretch. Chronic pain can also occur if the vertebrae develop abnormal sensations or malformation.

When you get injured, your back may get sprained or strained. This can tear the muscles and ligaments in your lower back. In some instances, a traumatic injury can compress the vertebral discs or even the spine. Your vertebrae can also become inflamed if you have arthritis or other inflammatory diseases.

Symptoms

So, how do you know back pain is serious? You will know your back pain has become chronic if you have the following symptoms:

  • There is an achy or dull pain in the lower back.
  • Your feet, lower legs, thighs, and lower back become numb or have stinging pain.
  • There may be spasms in the hips, pelvis, and lower back.
  • You have difficulty completing simple activities, such as sitting, standing, and walking.

When these symptoms persist for a couple of weeks or days, then you are experiencing acute pain. You will only have chronic pain if your back keeps hurting for more than three months. By this time, the pain will be severe and you will have trouble sleeping.

 

back painCauses of Chronic Back Pain

Injuries are the primary cause of chronic back pain. The injury can sprain the back, pull a muscle, or damage the nerves. This pain will remain even after you have received back pain treatment. Other medical conditions that lead to chronic back pain are:

  • Endometriosis: This is a disorder where the uterine wall grows abnormally.
  • Fibromyalgia: This type of pain starts in the muscles and bones before spreading to the rest of the body.
  • Fatigue syndrome: This condition causes extreme pain and weariness.

Chronic pain may also not be related to a physical illness or injury. Instead, the pain may be a result of stress, anxiety, or depression.

 

How Common Is Chronic Back Pain?

Chronic back pain is one of the most common ailments among adults. As stated earlier, approximately 80% of adults will have back pain at some point in their lives. About 10% of these back pain cases will develop into chronic back pain.

This means that 8% of all Americans are suffering from chronic back pain. 

 

Treatments for Chronic Back Pain

So, can chronic back pain be healed? It is possible to treat most cases of chronic back pain, especially when the cause is known. While you can choose to undergo a surgical procedure, you can also try one of the following treatments.

Physical Therapy

When you first see a physician, they may recommend physical therapy. This is usually an exercise routine that is tailored to your specific condition. Some of these exercises will test your pain tolerance levels. Your therapist will also prescribe exercises that will improve your posture and physical form. If you follow your exercise routine, you will gradually increase your core strength.

Medications

Several types of medications can treat chronic pain, although some have side effects. The recommended medication will depend on your overall health and pain level. Since drug interactions can lead to severe side effects, your doctor should know all the supplements that you are taking.

The most common medications are COX-2 inhibitors, such as Meloxicam. In some instances, the doctor may recommend temporary opioid therapy.

Injections

If the physician can pinpoint the cause of the chronic pain, they may prescribe an injection. Steroid injections, such as nerve blocks and nerve ablations, may also help to rule out suspected causes of pain. Your physician will inject the medication into the area surrounding the spinal cord. Since the medication must end up in the right area, the physician will guide the needle with the help of an X-ray machine.

Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA)

Nerve tissues can stop sending pain signals to the brain if their temperature increases. One of the ways to increase the temperature of the back tissue is to use an electric current from radiofrequency ablation.

The process starts with injecting intravenous medication and numbing a small section of your skin. The physician will then use a microelectrode to send an electric current to the affected tissue. Once the process is complete, you can expect the treatment to be effective for at least six months.

Other Back Pain Management Techniques

There are also back pain management techniques, such as:

  • Acupuncture: This is the insertion of thin needles at specific parts of the body.
  • Chiropractic care: This is the improvement of joint motion by the use of controlled force.
  • Yoga: Upper back pain can go away after doing yoga for an extended period.
  • Massage therapy: This can increase endorphin levels and reduce chronic pain.

Final Words

If your back has been hurting for more than three months, you may be suffering from chronic back pain. Several factors, such as injuries, can cause this condition. Fortunately, there are several treatments for chronic back pain, including physical therapy and injections.

You can also visit our medical center to try a new treatment for back pain. Contact us for more information.

Warning Signs of Neuropathy

  • neuropathy symptoms

Are you living with chronic pain? If you’re regularly experiencing things like pain, muscle weakness, and numbness, you could be suffering from an undiagnosed chronic pain disorder. Neuropathy is a very common chronic pain condition, particularly among adults with diabetes, people receiving chemotherapy, and people living with HIV. 

If you’re not familiar with neuropathy, it’s important to know the warning signs. In this post, you’ll learn the beginning symptoms of neuropathy, how to manage neuropathy, and more about the condition itself. This information will empower you to seek help from a medical professional if you suspect that you have the condition or are currently struggling to manage the symptoms. 

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy, or peripheral neuropathy, is damage or dysfunction of one or more nerves. Rather than a single condition, neuropathy refers to a variety of health problems and the resulting symptoms that involve peripheral nerve damage. Neuropathy can be caused by diabetes, chemotherapy, HIV, physical trauma, autoimmune disorders, vascular disorders, vitamin deficiencies, and more.

This condition is chronic, incurable, and can affect people of all ages. However, there are ways of managing its symptoms and slowing its progression. Unfortunately, many people that are living with neuropathy have no idea that they’re suffering from nerve damage. That’s why it’s so important to know the various neuropathy symptoms.

Diagnosing Neuropathy

neuropathyThe beginning of neuropathy typically presents several symptoms, including tingling in the feet, burning sensations, hypersensitivity to touch or temperature, weakness, and balance issues. You may also have cuts or injuries that you don’t notice or aren’t healing properly, as neuropathy can affect your ability to feel pain. 

Neuropathy is a slow-moving disease with symptoms that progressively worsen over months and years if left untreated. The worst symptoms of neuropathy, which tend to occur when the condition is untreated for too long, include foot ulcers and bacterial infections that can lead to gangrene. 

If you suspect that you may be suffering from neuropathy, it’s essential to seek help from a medical professional today. Your doctor may then refer you to a neurologist to run tests for neuropathy, which include blood and imaging tests, nerve biopsies, and more. Once diagnosed, you can seek out a treatment plan for your condition from a chronic pain specialist. 

Neuropathy Management

If you manage neuropathy properly, you can lessen your symptoms and greatly slow the progression of the condition. Your doctor may prescribe certain medications to manage the pain, but there are things you can do at home to ease the symptoms. This includes eating a healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein while being wary of foods that may trigger neuropathic pain, such as caffeine, nuts, and citrus fruits.

Taking care of your feet and engaging in regular exercise also make a difference. Though some fear that walking worsens neuropathy, it can actually help reduce your symptoms. Also, try to avoid excessive alcohol consumption, quit smoking, and monitor your blood glucose levels carefully if you have diabetes.  

You can also seek out personalized treatment for neuropathy in legs and feet, as well as hands, with your nearest pain specialist. 

Our Pain Specialists Can Help

Receiving proper treatment and managing neuropathy properly will make your symptoms much more tolerable, improving your quality of life. Now that you know the warning signs of neuropathy, you can determine if it’s necessary to reach out to a medical professional for help. 

If you live in the Charlotte or Huntersville area, we encourage you to reach out to the Carolinas Pain Center. Our pain specialists serve patients dealing with all types of pain, including neuropathy. We’ll provide you with a personalized care and treatment plan to help you manage your symptoms and slow the progression of the condition. 

To make an appointment with us, please call 704-500-2332 or fill out our online form. We will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Causes of Severe Low Back Pain

  • Severe low back pain

Causes of Severe Low Back Pain

Back pain is an uncomfortable and debilitating condition. It is one of the common causes of people’s absence from duties. Severe low back pain can be caused by physical injuries, strenuous physical activities, and some serious medical conditions. 

Dull Pain? Less Serious Causes of Back Pain

  • Dull back pain

Dull Pain? Less Serious Causes of Back Pain

Back pain is a common condition that leads to a reduction in your capacity to do work. The severity of the back pain varies according to the seriousness of its underlying cause. Learn more about dull pain in your back. 

Use Heat and Ice for Back Pain

  • Back pain releif

Heat & Cold

Help Temporarily Relieve Back Pain

There is some evidence that heat will help decrease back pain. There is little proof that cold will help. But some people do find that heat or cold help them. Follow these suggestions if you would like to try heat or cold for back pain.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Pain

  • Lumbar Spinal Senosis

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Pain

Your spinal cord is a combination of nerves passing down through a tunnel formed by your vertebrae. The tunnel is called the spinal canal. The narrowing of this spinal canal in the lower part of your back is called lumbar spinal stenosis. It can cause pressure on your spinal cord or can compress the nerves that go from your spinal cord to other parts of the body, such as muscles. These are the ways lumbar spinal stenosis pain develops.    

Treatments for Back Pain

  • Back Pain Treatment Options

Back Pain Treatment Options

Back pain usually goes away with rest and home remedies. However, medications may be needed if it persists for a long time.  

Read more about available treatments and if you are looking for non-surgical options or options that don’t include opioids Carolinas Pain Center is the best place to receive the wide array of treatments available. Our back pain specialists will ensure you receive the most effective options for your current diagnosis after reviewing your MRI findings and any other imaging you can provide.

Your Back Pain is Our Specialty

  • Pain Management for Spine

Causes of Back Pain

What do stress, aging, and poor sleep have in common?

Well, they all try to bring on back pain and decreased quality of life. Back pain is debilitating in most cases, and it can limit your mobility and prevent you from maintaining a productive and active lifestyle. There are many causes of back pain. Nowadays, back pain has reached epidemic proportions. This is attributed to a busy schedule and decreased time for exercise and relaxation. Things get worse when you consult for treatment. Upon consultation, what do you get for it’s treatment? Opioids! Right? This is how chronic back pain has been both misunderstood and managed.  Carolinas Pain Center has a group of providers who are back pain specialists in Charlotte, NC and may offer other options.   

MILD Procedure for Low Back Pain

  • Low Back Pain

MILD Procedure for Low Back Pain

It is estimated that around 80% of Americans will experience low back pain in their lives.  There are many different causes of low back pain, many different associated symptoms, and just as many treatments available.