Health Blog

Tips For Managing Lower Back Arthritis

woman-holding-ice-pack-on-lower-back-arthritis

Is lower back arthritis getting you down? Do you feel like you’re not doing everything you can to manage your pain? Lower back arthritis can make some days more difficult than others, and taking more medication isn’t always an option. If you’re an active, busy person, these days can really take a toll on your livelihood, and you need a simple fix. Try these tips for managing your back pain, and get back to normal:

Improve your posture. This is vital! Take a moment to sit down and practice good posture to get relief from your symptoms. Even though sitting in a chair doesn’t seem helpful, the act of good posture actually strengthens muscles in your back and core that help support your spine. Sitting up helps your spine stay in line, and keeps you from exacerbating the pain by slouching; however, a stick-straight back won’t help, either, so don’t exaggerate it. You can easily adjust to the correct posture by raising the crown of your head towards the ceiling until your back is straight, then relaxing your shoulders and letting your arms rest comfortably. You’ll notice a huge difference, and your back will thank you!

Hot now, cold later. Those with arthritis know that a hot shower can revolutionize a high-pain day by relieving stiffness and inflammation (as well as lifting your spirits on a cold day). The next time you plan to head out for a morning jog or midday yoga, try applying heat to your lower back at least 20 minutes before your activity to prepare, then apply cold afterwards for any pain or soreness that creeps up. This will help you to both prepare for, and prevent, any arthritic pain caused by exercise, without going to extreme lengths or taking extra medication. You can even make your own hot/cold bag! Take an old (clean) gym sock, fill it with dry rice, then tie it off; simply throw it in the microwave for no more than 10 seconds at a time for heat, or pop it in the freezer for about 30 minutes for icy cold relief.

Get some rest! It’s hard to take some time for yourself, especially if you’re a busy person who likes to get out and about, and the thought of “resting for your health” might make you a little wary. Remember to stop for a rest to let your body recharge to avoid overdoing it, and don’t feel guilty about it! Just as getting regular exercise and staying active can ward off arthritic pain, so can resting periodically. Take an hour out of each day to simply rest; use the time to read, do a puzzle, or talk on the phone with a friend or your family as you kick your feet up and take a load off. Being sedentary for too long will aggravate arthritis, however, so it is important to balance your activity with your off-time to stay healthy and active. Your mind is just as important as your body, so take up an intellectual activity (such as Sudoku or rapid-fire trivia) to keep your wits sharp!

Get your heart pumpin‘. You might feel like your lower back arthritis makes it difficult to get active and exercise, but there are options for you. Stretching and light exercise actually work to improve the symptoms of lower back arthritis by increasing your flexibility, helping you lose weight, and strengthening your muscles. For example, take a daily walk around your neighborhood– practice good posture, walk gently, and don’t overdo it. This is an extremely low-impact and easy way to get exercise that almost anyone can do to relieve back pain and stay limber, while improving other aspects of their health as well. Other activities for those with lower back pain may include gentle water aerobics, light yoga, and even mini-golf!

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Our Reviews
Timothy Knopf
Timothy Knopf
20:18 30 Oct 19
Best therapy place around. I would recommend this place to everyone. They have the best group of therapists around.
Mitchell Udowitz
Mitchell Udowitz
20:43 27 Oct 19
I have been to two Physical Therapy places prior to finding Orthopedic & Balance Therapy in Valparaiso. While they were ok they don’t hold a candle to Orthopedic & Balance Therapy. OBT team works as one in harmony and they stay on top of the latest technology for their patients. Their team is so very knowledgeable and very friendly plus they generally care about what they are doing and it shows. They are concerned about the whole person not just the injury they need to be treated for.
Barbara Serynek
Barbara Serynek
18:52 03 Oct 19
The entire staff has been very pleasant, professional and accommodating. Both Kristen and Joe have given me the best massages. Kate and Kollin made sure that I was doing my excercises and helped to move things along. Feeling better every visit. I'm so glad that I chose Orthopedic & Balance.
Heidi Richardson
Heidi Richardson
17:00 19 Sep 19
I went to physical therapy not expecting it to do very much to help because that’s the way I approach everything with low expectations. Noel and his team have made my neck feel so much better that it puts me in a more positive mood each day and I actually feel more positive and more productive on a day-to-day basis..
Christine O'Donnell
Christine O'Donnell
16:26 14 Aug 19
I could barely walk into OBTS six weeks ago. I had very bad lower back and hip pain. The progress has been life changing for me. I always walk out of there with little or no pain. The staff, Laura, Dr Diane, Angie and, of course, Peggy, have taught me so much to keep my pain at bay. I highly recommend this team.
Nancy Guenther
Nancy Guenther
15:28 12 Jul 19
Absolutely awesome! My walking has improved 110%. And my pain level is zero. I highly recommend them. Go....you will be amazed how much better you feel.
Tracie Baxter
Tracie Baxter
20:24 03 Jul 19
This was the only place that could help with my TMJ. If you’re suffering from TMJ go see Noel! He really understands the condition. I no long have to deal with constant pain! The whole staff at this office is amazing and very welcoming.
Cindy Standiford
Cindy Standiford
21:33 28 Jun 19
The whole team is great!! I’m getting great care! I recommend Orthopedic & Balance for any issues you might have.
Joseph Mulholland
Joseph Mulholland
19:53 09 May 19
Amazing staff and amazing care. I came in barely able to stand up straight due to a back injury. After 6 weeks, I feel like brand new. Everyone was extremely helpful and easy to work with. Highly recommended!
Trool u
Trool u
19:44 24 Apr 19
I am a PTA student that was required 16 hours of observation time. I had the pleasure of completing my hours at this Valpo location. The staff is incredibly friendly. They were quick to make me feel at home. In a way I was sad to leave, but happy to continue on. I hope to eventually work in this field with a work family this caring and knowledgeable about their profession.
sharon Kramer
sharon Kramer
16:23 18 Apr 19
My experience has been a very enjoyable and rewarding experience in getting me to feeling better. The staff does a remarkable job and are fully qualified in their respective areas. The staff made it fun coming here and they were very caring and helpful with their clients!!
Tim Nash
Tim Nash
15:32 27 Aug 18
My first experience with OBTS was very positive. During the course of my 13 therapy sessions I worked with many different therapists and all of them were professional and competent. They were able to help me effectively control my pain without medication using their therapy program. Unfortunately, they could not get my physical condition back to the same ability as before. However, this is due to the fact that it was later determined by my doctors that I required surgery. I plan on returning to OBTS for my post-op physical therapy and have already scheduled my evaluation appointment. Scheduling seems to be a challenge sometimes but that's probably an indication of their patient's satisfaction and good reviews. Thank you OBTS!
Arlene Gross
Arlene Gross
15:58 22 Jun 18
Everyone that worked with me was helpful. I enjoyed watching the staff interact as they worked as they laughed and smiled making me feel that it was fun to exercise. My knee pain is less and I look forward to having the same results with my back.
Jose Ico
Jose Ico
12:43 27 Apr 18
My wife and I have been coming here for a year. They have wonderful customer service and the treatments were great. I could say that since coming here for treatments, I am now able to walk properly and sleep well at nights. They help you in the best way possible. The people here are great and we definitely recommend it to everyone!
Paul Grant
Paul Grant
21:51 03 Apr 18
I have read lots of reviews that say "the entire staff of ..." is great, and you know that it is BS.. .. Butt at OBTS that statement is true. The person answering the phone, appointment setting they work around my schedule. It is truly a team concept. Everyone that has work with/on me keeps me focus on getting healthy to play golf.... Even those employees that haven't work with/on me are upbeat, positive and encouraging both their patients and me..... follow up phone calls, positive, hand written notes of encouragement, reminding me to do my homework so I can play golf this year. Great Employees, Great Business!.
Diane Burns
Diane Burns
02:30 16 Mar 18
I’ve had an incredible experience here at OBTS. In just two and half weeks I’ve seen and felt remarkable results. My hip mobility has improved by 30%. I credit the excellent physical therapists and the deep tissue laser therapy for my gains. I’ve gone from walking with a limp and pain everyday to walking normally and know that I’ll be back to running in the future. Every single person is warm and friendly here. Great place!
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