Handling a heavy object, a too strenuous workout, or even a violent sneeze or a cough can lead to a pinched nerve in the lower back. When this happens, most people will call on their doctor and get a prescription for painkillers, muscle relaxers and/or anti-inflammatory tablets and be told to rest. To speed up the healing process or to prevent rather than cure lower back pain it's a good idea to get regular massages.
To relieve the pain of a pinched nerve a regular massage as performed in a beauty salon can help but is not the ideal treatment. It's better to go for a deep tissue massage performed by a qualified professional. The first session will usually last about an hour, during which time the doctor will ask you the cause of your lower back pain and how long you have experienced this pain.
Even though the pain is located in your lower back, the doctor will concentrate on the length of your spine, starting at the neck and gradually work downward. You will be asked to first lay on your side (left and right side), on your stomach and finally on your back. While the massage might feel soothing and relaxing, a deep tissue massage can also be painful in places. Some patients may experience pain after a massage session. This is normal and will only last 24 or 48 hours after which lower back pain will improve.
To promote muscle health, you will be encouraged to perform exercises at home. One such exercise is to lay on your back and lift one leg as high as you can. It's helpful to ask someone to gently push first one leg and then the other higher and higher to stretch the hamstring. Don't overdo it though as expecting too much too soon can cause damage. Raise each leg five times.
For a follow-up exercise, lay on the floor on your back, bend both knees and while keeping your knees together, let your legs slowly fall first to the left and then to the right while keeping your lower back level with the floor. Repeat five times.
Remain on the floor with bent knees and pull each knee toward your chest. First the right knee, then the left knee. Repeat five times.
Another exercise that strengthens the lower back is to lay on a hard surface and press your buttocks against the surface, holding it for three to five seconds. Repeat five times.
Turn over and lay on your stomach. Bend one leg at the knee, grab your foot and bring it as close to your shoulders as you can. Alternate legs and repeat five times.
To strengthen not only your lower back but also the muscles in your upper back and arms, stand up straight, place your hands on either side of a door frame and lean into the open space. Repeat five times.
To help with lower back pain, you can also wear a back brace. Wear this brace for no longer than half an hour at a time though as prolonged use of a back brace will weaken the muscles. The brace is ideal for walking, lifting heavy objects, doing chores around the house or anything else short term.
No matter how you hurt your back, rest first while treating the area with heat or ice. Massages combined with exercises and a brace will help you on the road to a full recovery.