Alcohol and Lower Back Pain: Tips for Managing Discomfort
Approximately 23% of adults in the global population suffer from lower back pain. The reason behind it can be many, from heavy lifting to intense sports. A herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or arthritis can cause lower back spasms and pain.
Spasms signify tightening and contractions of the back muscles that trigger sharp or minor pains, disrupting mobility. The causes are many, and the one overlooked cause is alcohol. Alcohol consumption affects the lower back muscles and causes discomfort, often necessitating lower back pain relief products.
If you drink frequently, you must understand the relation between them so that your next cocktail party does not become the reason behind your pain.
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How Does Alcohol Affect Your Back?
We won’t ask you to stop drinking. Combining moderate consumption with regular exercise and healthy food habits may help prevent chronic conditions like diabetes, gallstones, and heart diseases. But how do we know what moderate drinking is?
- 5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits
- 5 ounces of wine
- 12 ounces of beer
Following these guidelines keeps you within the parameters of moderate alcohol consumption and may not harm your lower back anymore. But excessive drinking damages the lower back by eroding the moisture the muscles need to remain flexible and smooth.
When the body does not get enough moisture, it extracts water from the muscles. Hence, we get dehydrated muscles and spasms even hemp oil for pain relief cannot treat.
Let us dive deeper into the process. Our body’s pituitary gland creates vasopressin to control water levels. Alcohol reduces vasopressin. In the case of our backs, it reduces the water levels in the intervertebral discs between the vertebrae of the spine.
Intervertebral discs keep the bones from rubbing against each other and the vertebrae from irritating the nerves, preventing back pain. Moisture-less discs cause friction between the bones, leading to spasms. So, people with degenerative discs should avoid drinking alcohol.
You Can Manage Lower Back Pain
Understanding the science of pain management is necessary to determine the best approach.
The first time you experience discomfort in your lower back, your mind goes towards grabbing medicines. Wrong. If you drink alcohol, you better stay away from swallowing a pill.
While alcohol may create an analgesic effect, combining it with an over-the-counter pain reliever can result in adverse effects you did not want, such as liver damage, gastric bleeding, or an overdose.
The best approach is to consult with a medical professional to help diagnose the pain source and prescribe the best options for treatment, including different remedies like heat and ice compression, medical massage, physical therapy, roll-on pain relief, or trigger point injections.
Prevention is the cure. Don’t stay static; frequently change positions to keep your lower back active and prevent pain. Those who sit or stand all day tend to suffer the most. If you work out, stretch and warm up before exercises. Additionally, increase calcium and magnesium in your diet.
It is okay to drink alcohol, but balance it with a glass of water between pegs to dilute the amount of alcohol in your body and hydrate the muscles.
Choose low-alcohol beverages like wine or light beer to keep your back free from pain.
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