Most people experience back pain at some point in their lives. Luckily, about 90 percent of episodes resolve themselves on their own within six weeks. But in the meantime, or in the worst cases, the discomfort can be very distressing.
Back pain treatments can range from straightforward to complicated, and the right care depends on how long the pain lasts, and the severity and location of the discomfort. But in treating all cases, it’s best to start with simple, natural remedies that can be done at home (before spending the big bucks on a medical professional). The following are a list of methods that are likely to relieve your back pain in no time!
Get a good night’s sleep
Not getting enough quality sleep can actually worsen inflammation and pain in the back. To improve your rest, invest in a good mattress and try out different sleeping positions. If that doesn’t fix the problem, consider adding a pillow under your body to help maintain the curve of your spine. If you sleep on your back, try putting the pillow under both knees; on your stomach, under your pelvis; and on your side, between the knees.
Do gentle exercises
It might seem like a good idea to give yourself a break when you’re in pain, but too much rest can worsen certain types of back pain by decreasing muscle strength. In fact, strengthening and stretching the muscles may actually reduce or eliminate many types of back pain.
There are a few exercises that are particularly effective in treating back pain. Yoga may help improve back pain by loosening tight muscles, building strength and range of motion, and improving breathing. Another good workout for back pain is swimming. The buoyancy of water alleviates strain on the joints and strengthens and stretches the muscles. Even floating in warm water alone can release tension and increase circulation.
Maintain a healthy weight
Carrying excess weight all day can really injure the back. By shedding a few pounds, you might not only look better but feel better too.
Use hot or cold therapy
Depending on the source of the pain, hot and cold therapy can do wonders for the back, Generally speaking, cold therapy (i.e. ice packs) works better for inflammation swelling, while heat (i.e. heating pads) is best for reducing tension, cramping and muscle spasms.
Wear supportive shoes
Women whose feet roll inward when they walk (a problem known as pronation) might be more likely to develop lower back pain. Good shoes or orthotics might help relieve uncomfortable back problems.
Get a massage
Gently massaging a sore or tense muscle is one of the most effective ways to loosen it up and relieve pain quickly. Visit a masseuse or enlist a friend, family member or partner to help you out for free.
Improve your posture
Most people spend the larger part of each day sitting down. Although a sedentary lifestyle might be unavoidable, you can minimize the consequences by maintaining good posture in your chair. When possible, line the bones in your spine up neatly in a stack so that you don’t cause unnecessary strain.