10 useful ways to alleviate your backpain
|If the persistent back pain is troubling you, try these following tips to get rid of it. Photo: SpineUniverse|
There are a wide variety of natural remedies to soothe your back, which can help reduce the intake of medications or provide an added benefit to your existing medical treatment.
Take a look at these natural pain-relieving strategies and find out what works best for you:
1. Good Posture
|Good Posture. Photo: webmd|
Grandma was right! Slouching is bad for you. And poor posture can make back pain worse, especially if you sit for long periods. Don't slump over your keyboard. Sit upright, with your shoulders relaxed and your body supported against the back of your chair. Try putting a pillow or a rolled towel between your lower back and your seat. Keep your feet flat on the floor.
2. Medication From the Store
There are two kinds of over-the-counter pain relievers that frequently help with back pain: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen. Both have some side effects, and some people may not be able to take them. Talk to your doctor before taking pain relievers. And don't expect medication alone to solve your pain problem. Studies show you'll probably need more than one type of treatment.
3. Keep Exercising
|Physical Therapy. Photo: webmd|
Activity is often the best medicine for back pain. “Simple exercises like walking can be very helpful,” Wilmarth says. “It gets people out of a sitting posture and puts the body in a neutral, upright position.”
But remember to move in moderation, Flippin says. “Stay away from strenuous activities like gardening and avoid whatever motion caused the pain in the first place.”
4. Prescription Pain Relievers
Some people may need prescription-strength NSAIDs or opioid medications to help with pain. It is important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medications -- including over-the-counter medicines -- to avoid overdosing on certain active ingredients. Your doctor may also prescribe muscle relaxants to help ease painful muscle spasms.
5. Don't Rest an Achy Back
Doctors used to prescribe bed rest for back pain. But now we know that lying still is one of the worst things you can do. It can make back pain worse and lead to other complications. Don't rest for more than a day or two. It's important to get up and slowly start moving again. Exercise has been found to be one of the most effective ways to relieve back pain quickly. Try swimming, walking, or yoga.
6. Hot and cold packs
Some people find that heat (such as a hot bath or a hot water bottle placed on the affected area) helps to ease the pain when back pain first starts.
Cold (such as an ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables) on the painful area can also help in the short erm. However, do not put ice directly on your skin, as it might cause a cold burn. Wrap an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables in a cloth or towel first.
Another option is to alternate between hot and cold using ice packs and a hot water bottle. Hot and cold compression packs can be bought at most pharmacies, according to the spine health.
7. Improve Flexibility
Too much tension and tightness can cause back pain. "Our goal in increasing flexibility is to put an equal load throughout the body from the feet all the way up to the head,” Davis says. “One good exercise is to sit on the edge of the bed with one leg extended and the other one on the floor. Give your hamstrings a stretch by leaning forward while keeping your back in a neutral position.”
8. Sleep the Right Way
|Sleep the Right Way. Photo: Edisonspinecenter|
The amount of rest you get is important, and so is the position you get it in. “Sleeping in a bad position or on a mattress without support can cause back pain,” Wilmarth says.
|Some pointers: |
Back sleepers should put pillows under their knees.
Side sleepers should place pillows between their knees to keep their spine in a neutral position.
Stomach sleeping causes the neck and head to twist and can put undue stress on the back.
9. Quit Smoking
Lighting up doesn’t just damage your lungs; it can also hurt your back.
A study recently published in the American Journal of Medicine found that current and former smokers are more likely to have back pain when compared with people who have never smoked.
“Nicotine causes the small blood vessels to constrict and decreases the delivery of blood to the soft tissue,” Flippin says. “I tell all my patients that quitting smoking could help alleviate their back pain.”
10. Nerve Stimulation
Research is being conducted on certain treatments that stimulate nerves to reduce chronic back pain. Your doctor may consider adding acupuncture to your treatment plan if you aren't finding relief with more conservative care. Another method your doctor might suggest is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), during which mild electric pulses are delivered to the nerves to block incoming pain signals, as webmd.
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