Back pain can strike at any time. Anyone who has suffered this type of pain knows that it can be unbearable and debilitating. This is why it is essential to arm yourself with home remedies for back pain relief. It is important to try to make yourself as comfortable as possible until you can seek appropriate medical treatment to reduce pain in your back.
In this article, we prepared some information on forms of relief for both upper and lower back pain. Below is our list of top ways to ease your acute or chronic back pain and get back on your feet as quickly as possible.
Heating Pads and Cold Packs
For minor back pain, something as simple as applying heat or a cold pack can make a huge difference. Applying an ice pack to your back can reduce nerve activity and create a numbing effect and decrease inflammation and swelling. If you decide to apply ice to the injured area, wrap the ice in a towel or cloth to protect your skin.
Applying heat with a heating pad or a hot shower can also help relieve back pain. Heat can help relax injured muscles and decrease inflammation.
The source of your back pain will determine which method will be the most effective. Always listen to your body. If applying cold or heat produces a feeling of additional discomfort, stop immediately.
The benefits of stretching include improved circulation and the relaxation of tight muscles. Stretching gently and consistently can also give you better flexibility, mobility and decrease your pain.
This easy at-home solution can relieve existing pain and help decrease your chances of future injury as you stretch and strengthen your muscles. To get started, begin with some simple stretches such as child’s pose or cat cow.
The type of exercise program you should follow to reduce pain will vary greatly depending on where your pain is located and how severe it is. However, gentle exercise that focuses on strengthening your body without aggravating existing inflammation or injury can be beneficial.
Some examples of low-impact exercises are walking, yoga, and tai chi. If you are unsure what the best types of exercise are for you, consult your physician or a physical therapist.
Exercising while trying to relieve pain can increase blood flow and build muscles that will help you avoid future injury, such as strengthening your core. It can also help you manage excess weight, which can add stress to your body and strain your back.
A lousy position when sleeping can worsen back problems. In the same manner, sleeping smartly and properly can help prevent and lessen back issues. For a start, avoid sleeping while sitting at your desk or slouching on the couch. Proper spine alignment is critical when sleeping, as this can affect your back health.
The healthy and proper sleeping positions are a relaxed fetal position and sleeping on the side. If you sleep on your back, it helps if you place a small pillow under the neck, promoting healthier spine alignment. You can also put pillows between your legs so that you can maintain that position when sleeping. You’ll be amazed at how small things like this can do to alleviate your situation.
Fine Tune Daily Movements
You can fine-tune your daily movements to protect your back and lessen the discomfort. Start by reducing the weight you carry daily in your bag, suitcase, purse, etc. It also helps if you avoid using single strap bags because these might lead to incorrect posture, which can worsen back pain.
Be sure to wear shoes that provide support, and try to avoid wearing high heels as they can contribute to back pain. Bending with your knees and maintaining correct posture when picking things up also helps a lot. It’s all a matter of lifestyle change and developing healthy habits.
Adjust Your Home and Office Ergonomics
Most back pain is caused by or worsened by poor posture. And bad posture is a side effect of spending hours hunched over computers, video games, or television. A lot of people are stuck to screens, not knowing that they are poorly seated. People with improper ergonomics at work or home often develop pain in the back, shoulders, and neck.
To maintain proper posture and prevent or lessen back pain, make sure that you invest in ergonomically designed chairs and desks. A comfortable chair with an armrest is excellent for back support. Make sure that you are seated in a relaxed position.
Keep your computer monitor or laptop at eye level, especially if you spend long hours at the computer. You must also keep your neck and head in line with your body and sit up straight.
Long-term smoking can contribute to disc degeneration and diminish the effectiveness of pain relievers. Some studies show smokers experience more pain overall than non-smokers. Quitting can not only help your back pain but can also improve your circulation, lung tissue health and extend your lifespan.
Reduce your stress
Frequent episodes of stress can negatively impact your musculoskeletal system. When you experience intense stress levels, your body releases adrenaline. Your blood pressure increases, causing your muscles to tense and tighten. All of these responses to stress can contribute to back pain.
Meditation and taking deep breaths, maintaining proper nutrition, and exercising can contribute to a less stressful day-to-day lifestyle and improve your pain levels.
Over the Counter Pain Relievers
Pain relievers are also common tools in pain management. There are many over-the-counter options available to reduce back pain, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
Although acetaminophen can help decrease pain, it does not have anti-inflammatory properties. Ibuprofen can be much more effective as it works as an anti-inflammatory. However, it may leave your system after a mere four to six hours.
Naproxen fights inflammation and can last several hours longer than ibuprofen. Still, it can be hard on the stomach and should be taken with food.
Back Pain Home Remedies
There are several steps you can take to help alleviate your pain. If you find that your back pain is challenging to manage on your own, contact us at Arizona Pain & Spine Institute. We will work with you to identify the cause of your pain and create a specialized treatment plan to bring you relief as quickly as possible. You deserve to live a pain-free life.
Please note that back pain can be serious, either caused by injuries or an underlying condition. As such, our tips are for educational purposes only, and we highly suggest visiting a doctor for medical advice regarding severe or persistent pain.