Although traditional medicine often prescribes medication and surgery to relieve chronic lower back pain, many lesser-known options are less expensive and safer, especially for those of us suffering from chronic lower back pain that subsides temporarily, only to flare up again later.
Having suffered from chronic lower back pain for over 20 years, I've compiled a list of inexpensive options that have helped me avoid dependence on powerful painkillers or risky surgery.
Following are a few of my favorites:
If you work in an office, you may develop swelling and inflammation in your lower back simply from sitting in the same position for too long. The best way to avoid this (other than quitting your job, of course,) is to get up and move around.
Stretch, take breaks, or walk around the office for a few minutes. Set a timer on your watch or computer to remind you when it's time to get out of your chair for a bit.
Most long-term sufferers will tell you that ice is your lower back's friend! If you have throbbing pain in your lower back, you can get significant relief from an inexpensive ice pack. They're simple to use, too. Just apply the ice pack directly where it hurts. If you have swelling in your lower back, your skin may actually feel warm to the touch in certain spots. That's where the ice goes. You can safely leave ice on for up to 20 minutes at a time, but it's best not to leave it on any longer, or you risk getting stiff.
Reusable gel ice packs are widely available, inexpensive, and mess-free. If you don't have convenient access to a freezer, buy disposable one-time use packs that you activate by shaking and/or breaking an internal capsule to activate the cooling mechanism. These are also very inexpensive - I've seen individual packets sold for as little as 99 cents.
Looking for more inexpensive solutions?