Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are there any stretches or exercises that can help relieve minor back pain?"
Sometimes I wake up with some minor back pain. Nothing too serious, just some aching in my lower back. But it has been going on for years. Are there any stretches or exercises I can do to loosen my back so I don't wake up with pain in the morning?
Low back pain is one of the most common chronic problems we see. Chronic low back pain can be caused by spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease (DDD), and other musculoskeletal conditions. Surgery and the use of opioid pain medications are rarely needed or helpful. Most cases of chronic low back pain are best treated with exercises and stretches, along with the occasional use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Examples of this type of medication include ibuprofen, naproxen, and indomethacin. Acetaminophen is also a very useful medication for low back pain. It is not possible to recommend specific stretches and exercises without knowing your past medical history and performing an exam of your back. Your next best move is to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Most primary care doctors have a list of exercises and stretches you can do. Your doctor may even have a handout which can provide you with instructions on how to do these exercises. The other option that your doctor may consider is referring you to physical therapy. Physical therapists have the experience and training to help you work out your low back pain and teach you types of home exercises that can help as well. Good luck.
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