How to Soothe Lower Back Pain
Read Time: 8 minutes
For some folks, lower back pain is a common occurrence. According to a Harvard Special Health report, back pain affects nearly 4 out of 5 adults—meaning if you haven’t experienced some form of back pain, it’s only a matter of time.¹ Pain and inflammation are the body’s response to factors such as tissue injury and infection. There are multiple causes of lower back discomfort which can result in pain ranging in both duration and degree of severity. Persistent back pain can have a dire impact upon your quality of life, but just because it’s commonplace doesn’t mean it has to be. From deep stretches to the regular use of CBD, there’s a variety of methods and remedies that can be used to assist lower back pain and prevent the risk of future injuries.
What are the different forms of lower back pain?
Lower back discomfort is frequently experienced through cramping, tenderness, sharp or stabbing pain, a dull ache, or a throbbing sensation. Suffering can be non-stop, intermittent, and/or positional. Usually, lower back pain is either acute or chronic in nature. Acute lower back pain can last anywhere from a few hours to a couple of weeks. It may be resolved on its own (or with moderate intervention) without resulting in loss of functioning or range of motion. Chronic pain, on the other hand, is defined as pain that endures for at least three months; usually long after the initial cause of lower back pain has been addressed.
While lower back pain can affect anyone, it’s often associated with a natural part of the aging process. According to the Cleveland Clinic, folks over 30 are more likely to experience back problems because the discs that cushion the vertebrae wear away with time, making us more prone to injury.² That said, anyone can be at risk for lower back problems. For example, children with overloaded backpacks are at high risk of having back aches.³ Here are additional activities/conditions that may cause lower back pain:
- poor posture
- excessive reaching
- lifting heavy objects
- lack of physical activity
- sudden, jerky movements
- congenital conditions (such as scoliosis or spina bifida)
- chronic pain (due to ailments like arthritis, cancer, herniated discs, or sciatica)
- traumatic injury due to falls or accidents
- prolonged standing or sitting
- physically strenuous jobs
- smoking cigarettes
When it comes to relieving lower back pain, there’s a plethora of tools at your disposal. Technique and application of these methods is dependent on the source and severity of your pain. Let’s take a look at some commonly used home remedies that can help alleviate lower back discomfort.
Although physical activity may be the last thing you want to do, it could actually be one of the best ways to manage your lower back pain! Mild forms of exercise provide some relief to sore joints and muscles. When looking for new ways for how to keep joints healthy and muscles active, look no further than the different forms of low-impact exercise. Low-impact activities (like yoga, aquatics, and walking) may help keep muscles limber, as well as improve overall muscle performance. Exercise is also thought to trigger the release of painkilling hormones called endorphins.
Stretching is another form of low-impact exercise that offers promising results for relieving lower back pain.⁴ Gentle deep stretches can help to reduce muscle tension, improve mobility, and prevent further injury. Spine health recommends the following stretches to assuage lower back pain:⁵
- Back Flexion Stretch: While lying on your back, pull your knees to your chest while flexing your head forward until you feel a comfortable stretch across your mid and lower back.
- Knee To Chest Stretch: Lie on your back with your knees bent and both heels on the floor—then place your hands behind one knee and pull it towards your chest, stretching the glutes and piriformis muscles in your bottom.
- Kneeling Lunge Stretch: Starting on your knees, move one leg forward so your foot is flat on the ground, keeping weight distributed evenly through both hips. Then place both hands on the top of your thigh, and gently lean your body forward to feel a stretch in the front of your other leg. This stretch affects the hip flexor muscles, which attach to the pelvis and impact your posture if it’s too tight.
- Piriformis Muscle Stretch: Lie on your back with knees bent and both heels on the floor. Cross one leg over the other, resting your ankle on the bent knee, then gently pull the bottom knee towards your chest until you feel a stretch in your rear. You can also try lying on the floor with one leg crossed over the other and pull it forward over your body at the knee, keeping your other leg flat.
Hot & Cold Therapy
The application of heat and cold appears to be highly useful in relieving aching muscles and joints.⁶ Icing is most efficacious immediately after injury, as it is thought to thwart inflammation. The lower temperature may also help keep intense pain at bay. For best results: use an ice pack, a bag of ice, or frozen veggies wrapped in cloth for no more than 20 minutes at a time.
A heating pad, or hot water bottle, can be used to soothe sore muscles while stimulating vital blood flow required to facilitate healing. The use of heat therapy is best applied around 48 hours post-injury and should last for about two hours.⁷ Additional heat treatments can include a hot shower or bath.
Lower back pain may make it hard for you to get the sleep you need—but complete and total relaxation paves the way to physical recovery. In this case, you may be wondering, does your body heal when you sleep? During sleep, several processes occur that are crucial to the restoration of your musculoskeletal system.⁸ There are plenty of steps you can take to ensure regenerative rest—following a healthy sleep schedule, practicing good sleep hygiene, and incorporating CBD into daily routines. CBD isn’t just useful in helping get a better night’s sleep, its properties can be leveraged to help support healthier muscle and joint functioning. Let’s explore how CBD can help to soothe lower back pain.
Cannabidiol: What is it and how does it work?
Slowly but surely, awareness of the beneficial properties of CBD has inevitably entered mainstream consciousness—yet many still aren’t entirely sure what CBD is. Officially known as cannabidiol, CBD is known as the primary therapeutic cannabinoid within hemp. (Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds found in many plants, such as Cannabis sativa—the hemp plant.) Emerging research has indicated that CBD works by interacting with specific cannabinoid receptors found within our bodies.⁹ This network of receptors, called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), maintains systemic equilibrium by regulating the functions of vital organs. Medical News Today suggests that when the ECS receives and translates signals from cannabinoids—like CBD— it generates endocannabinoids, which then bind to cannabinoid receptors throughout your body.¹⁰ These receptors produce a variety of effects depending on their location.¹¹ CBD is thought to have the impact of combating inflammation, reducing back pain, and encouraging full-body relaxation.¹²
How can CBD alleviate lower back pain?
The soothing properties of CBD can be applied several ways. Our comprehensive line of high potency offerings can be administered topically or ingested orally to alleviate lower back discomfort.¹³ The holistic properties of CBD can be used in the following ways to help you manage pain and establish physical resilience.
An invigorating deep tissue massage can be healing and restorative. Multifunctional in nature, massages relieve pain, promote muscle relaxation, and reduce stress—all while improving circulation and mobility. The effects of a massage are enhanced when used with a topical CBD oil. If you are looking for effective topicals designed to deliver sustained relief from lower back pain, products like our CBD Muscle Gel and Relief + Recovery Balm combine full spectrum CBD with functional ingredients—providing targeted support in relieving sore, stiff, or inflamed muscles and joints. Our CBD Body + Massage Oil is USDA Certified Organic—crafted with deeply hydrating, natural oils that help rejuvenate you in body and mind.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, CBD is also known to support restful sleep.¹⁴ An uninterrupted sleep cycle of about 7 to 9 hours a night enables full-body regeneration—which in turn helps to keep your body and mind functioning at optimal levels. Research suggests that consuming a significant amount of CBD prior to bed promotes deeper relaxation, which is a vital part of getting optimal sleep.¹⁵ Our Sleep Collection is specially formulated with a powerful blend of full spectrum cannabinoids (CBD, CBG, and—the sleep specialist—CBN) crafted to help you get consistent, restful sleep each night. Try our Sleep Tincture or functional and familiar CBD Sleep Capsules—infused with time-tested ingredients like lemon balm, passion flower, and melatonin. Each one targets pain, encourages sedation, and creates a sense of ease.
NSAID/Muscle Relaxant Alternative
CBD is rapidly gaining a reputation as a natural alternative to pain relief from NSAIDS and muscle relaxers. As a plant-based remedy, cannabidiol carries minimal side effects as opposed to OTC drugs. Rather than masking lower back pain, CBD is thought to ease discomfort by reducing inflammation and promoting full-body relaxation to enable the muscle fibers to actually heal and regenerate.¹⁶
From high potency tinctures and soothing topicals to convenient capsules and flavor-packed edibles—our CBD products are made to work with effective, sustainable and functional ingredients to support overall well-being from the inside out.