Sleeping could be an issue, I used to sleep on my front and it really wrecked my lower back. It's much better to sleep on your side or back, or so I'm told.
Another suggestion someone threw at me was that putting a pillow between your knees (if you sleep on your side) and under your knees (if you sleep on your back) helps to align your spine at night.
Not 100% sure of these though, I just started doing core exercises everyday (back, abs etc) and everything cleared right up for me but I never had neck problems. A quick google search will produce a lot of information about core strengthening exercises (planks, hip bridges to name a few).
(Original post by Anonymous)
For about a year i keep getting one or more of these. Sometimes my neck is really stiff and hurts, but at the moment i've got a 'sharp' feeling pain in my lower back.
I don't do sport which strains / could injure these and i've been making sure my posture is upright.
I saw my doctor and he's recommended me to a physiotherapist, but i have to wait a while to see them.
I have pectus excavatum, maybe that causes it?
I haven't heard of 'pectus excavatum' but it sounds like your doc is doing the right thing sending you to a physio. All too often a patient will go to the GPS for backpain, and they'll just get given painkillers. Where as depending on your nhs trust your physio will probabaly give you exercises which will strengthen your back and if you're lucky massage therapy. Back, necks shoulders are all interlinked, if the alignment is wrong in your back, things will start to go all the way wrong, up to your shoulder and neck, and sometimes down your arms and into your head (some people's migraines can be causes by restricted blood causes by neck tension...)
haven't examined your back, nor am I qualifed to, so I can't tell you the cause. However common things which will put stress on your back are as diverse, scoliosis, big boobs, hypermobility syndrome, poor posture( this can be anything from sleep position, to how you walk, to carrying a heavy shoulder bag instead of having the weight equally on both sides of your body.
Things that you can do to currently ease the pain:
- Massage: if you can find a willing person or have the cash to get proffesional ones then great, if not then you can do it yourself with a tennis ball up against a wall.
- Hot baths, or any kind of heat - I have something called an 'oatmeal pillow'
- Lumbar support, you can buy rolls which are cylinder shape, they'll help support your back, if you can't afford one, you can just use a pillow or a cushion.
- Avoid sitting on benches/ seats that don't provide back support.
- Exercise! Endorphines are the best form of pain relief but be careful with the type you do, you obviously don't want to do anything that will strain your back and potentially cause an injury.
- Wear tops that cover your shoulders, if the problem is muscular, letting the muscles get cold will worsen the pain.
- If you feel you need painkillers, ibuprofen is an NSAID so will reduce any underlying inflammation, if inflammation is the real underlying problem, you will be able to put ice on the hurt area and it won't feel cold.
- Check out your matress! If it's an old lumpy thing, then it certainly won't be doing you any favours. Memory foam is one of the best types you can get for back pain but obviously again, this is is money you may not have.
- (But if you do have money I'd recommend seeing a chiropractor, they are a lot more specialised with helping with this kind of thing!)