Back pain can be infuriating and frustrating; sometimes it can be a task to get rid of the ailment. People from all over the world usually have a bout with this illness, and virtually everyone, from young adults to the elderly have experienced the ailment at some point.
The ailment can be threatening. If the pain was caused by a recent injury or if you experience prickly sensations, faintness, fever or numbness around your buttocks or leg area, then it’s recommended that you see a doctor as soon as possible. However, for minor back pains, there are also simple methods that you can apply in the comfort of your own home.
To get more support for your back, avoid slumping while walking or sitting at home or work. Watch your posture as well when you are lifting heavy items. Bend and set your body straight from the knees and avoid bending your body from the waist.
If you already suffer from (lower) back pain, you can opt for a posture brace to help you relieve the pain and correct your posture.
Put some ice on the injury
In the initial 24-48 hours following an injury, ice should be applied to it to decrease inflammation. You can also switch from ice to heat after 48 hours. The ice should not be put directly on the skin but should be covered in a towel or you can use a special ice pack. Take the ice off after 20 minutes of application to provide rest for your skin, but if the pain goes on, you should head to the doctor ASAP.
The spine is used for movement, so individuals should actually make proper use of that particular body part. Do not avoid physical activities but do not overexert yourself as well. If you have recovered, participate in exercise regimens like cycling, swimming, running or brisk walking.
Maintain your strength
As soon as the aching in your back has subsided, you can prevent a relapse by exerting the lower back muscles, and this includes the back extensor muscles. Working these muscles will uphold your spine’s integrity and alignment, and it will also give you good posture. Acquiring strength in the hip, pelvic and abdominal regions will provide your back with much-needed support.
However, steer clear of abdominal crunches because this kind of exercise can trigger strain and unnecessary tension on your back.
Wear lower heels at work (for women)
Those killer heels are actually killing your back. Opt for heels that are less than an inch, and it will provide you with comfort that will last the whole day. High heels, as great-looking as they seem, might in fact produce a more unbalanced posture, which leads to amplified pressure on the lower spine.
Smoking causes osteoporosis and low calcium levels. Osteoporosis often leads to compression fractures along the spine and just recently, research has shown that smokers are more inclined to acquire low back pain as compared with people who do not smoke.
Observe your weight
Consume a healthier diet this time around and include a fitness routine in your schedule to maintain heft that’s within the correct range for your height. Being overweight will put more unnecessary stress and tension on your spine.
Get OTC medicines for pain
Over-the-counter (OTC) meds or pain reliever will relieve minor aches. Ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen sodium are anti-inflammatory medicines that you can get at the drugstore without a prescription. Check in with your doctor first before taking OTC meds to guarantee that it will not conflict with any treatments you are prescribed with (if any).
Individuals taking medications to relieve certain conditions like kidney and liver diseases should steer clear of specific meds.
Do stretches after waking up in the morning
Before getting out of bed and preparing for the day, you must first recline on your back and gradually elongate your arms above your head. Slightly draw your knees to your chest one by one. To get up, you have to move to the border of the bed and shift your body on your side.
Next, place your knees over the border of the bed. With the help of your arm, move yourself forward as you allow your feet to hang to the floor. The minute you’re up on your feet, place your hands on your behind and then bend gradually to stretch your spine. Doing some yoga exercises will also help you.
Get a simple back massage
This method will employ the aid of another person. Ask somebody to give the affected area a gentle rub down.
Stretch at work or home
If you work 8 to 10-hour shifts, do not be tempted to sit in your cubicle all day long. Getting up every 20 minutes and doing some minor stretches will actually do your back good. Stretch your legs, arms and back while on break and or even on your way for coffee refills.
Make sure that you are working in an ergonomic space
Construct your workstation in a way that you will not have to stoop forward to view the monitor of your computer or reach for your mouse. Sit on a desk chair that will provide support for your lower back. Also, you should use a chair that will let you keep your feet rooted on the floor at all times.
Try out remedies containing peppers
Drugstores often stock treatments, which include capsaicin, which is a substance that produces heat. This substance is found on hot peppers, and once the treatment is applied on the skin, the capsaicin drains the nerve endings of a neurochemical only known as “P.” This “P” is responsible for transferring sensations of pain to the brain so if this neurochemical is depleted, the aching and inflammation will be decreased.
Creams and ointments with capsaicin should be applied for a few weeks until you feel its maximum results. However, if irritation occurs, you should stop using the product.
Consume 500 mg’s of bromelain
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples, and this substance is known to encourage proper circulation, minimize inflammation and acts as an aide to your body to soak up the swelling’s consequences. Take bromelain 3-4 times a day and let an hour pass after every meal before taking it to guarantee that the bromelain will go to your muscles instead of your stomach. Do see your family doctor before using this tip.
Take 250 mg’s of valerian
Valerian’s active ingredient can work together with brain receptors to provide a calming, sedative effect. Take the capsule four times a day. Even though sedatives for back pain are not suggested in general, valerian is actually a lot gentler as compared with any pharmacological product. Do see your family doctor before using this tip.
Let go of your endorphins
Hormones like endorphins can actually be on par with any kind of pain treatment. They are found in your body and once released, they can assist in preventing pain signals from getting to your brain. Endorphins can also ease issues like tension, depression, anxiety and stress, all of which are related to chronic back pain and on serious cases, can even worsen the ache and inflammation.
Get sufficient sleep
Pain triggers insomnia, and there are a good number of individuals suffering from back pain who are also afflicted with a certain kind of sleeping disorder. Ironically, insufficient sleep can also worsen back pain. Thus to get rid of the aches, you have to address your sleeping disorders as well.
Work out your core muscles
The muscles located on your back and your abdominals all play an important role to support a well-conditioned spine. On an average day, these parts of your body are not worked out sufficiently, so you have to target these areas using exercise. Invest at least 20-30 minutes doing exercises targeting these muscles as a part of your everyday schedule.
Stretch your hamstrings
This is one simple method to ease the ailment. A constricted hamstring can put tension on your sacroiliac joints and lower back, and this can worsen your condition. Stretching your hamstrings must be practiced at least two times a day.
Let your brain participate
Experts have believed that discomfort is not conclusive; it is more than just a sensation. The methods your brain deduces and handles signals of discomfort performs a crucial part in the way you distinguish it. You can build up and work on the skills required for your brain to decrease or even disregard these signals, which can cause the aching.
By working on and eventually improving these skills, it will help you have some control over your discomfort in the long run.
Get into happier activities
This may sound New Age-y, but persistent pain can take a toll on your life. This can affect on your family, friends, relationships and your overall view of work and other important aspects of your life. It will also put a damper on your mood and affect your sleeping patterns.
Listening to relaxing music, walking the dog, playing with your cat or other pets or simply a good chat with a close friend or sipping a nice warm cup of hot chocolate can do wonders on your mood. Make it a point to do things that will make you feel good each day, and it will make your discomfort a lot more bearable.