Back pain is a prevalent issue that affects more than 80% of people at one point in their life. Adults are especially prone to experiencing severe discomfort in the middle or lower back. In most cases, the pain may be a result of bending the wrong way while carrying something of substantial weight or it may have just started from nowhere. Whatever the cause, back pain can interfere with your daily activities yet it’s not something that you can ignore or wait on to get better on its own. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can manage back pain at home.
Although it may be challenging to move when back pain strikes, try any low impact physical activity to jumpstart muscles. These exercises can include anything from short walks to water exercises or yoga. Generally, physical activities loosen up tense muscles and promote the release of endorphins, which are the brain’s natural painkiller.
Moreover, you may consider developing a routine exercise program that includes strength training and stretching to promote muscle flexibility and health. Doing this may prevent future strikes of back pain as well as help you manage the problem.
2. Use hot or cold compresses
According to research, heat and cold are effective ways to resolve back pain. Naturally, ice packs are handy when used immediately after an injury, such as a strain. However, to protect your skin from frostbite, wrap the cold compress in a towel before placing it on your back to reduce inflammation or provide a numbing effect for sudden, intense back pain. It’s best to use ice packs for a maximum of 20 minutes each time. Alternatively, a hot compress or heating pad can also relieve stiff or achy muscles resulting from back pain.
Stretching is especially excellent if you have low back pain or spend most of your day slumped in your office chair. You could try to stand for about 20 minutes to stretch your back or you could incorporate a stretching routine in your physical exercises to help relieve back pain. You can try stretching poses such as cobra, child’s pose or touching your toes, and seek to hold the position for 30 or more seconds.
4. Explore complementary therapies
• Massages promote blood circulation and relax your muscles, as well as boost the production of endorphins.
• Acupuncture therapy involves placing hair-thin sterilized needs into precise locations of the body to release blocked energy.
• Spinal manipulation involves the application of pressure directly to the body to fix spinal alignment.
• Movement therapies such as tai chi and yoga can help strengthen and stretch your back muscles to relieve back pain and prevent future occurrences.
5. Use over the counter pain relief creams
Many over the counter pain relief creams can provide relief for back pain. Directly applying those that contain capsaicin or menthol to the affected area can desensitize the pain receptors in the body and temporarily dull the pain. However, it’s imperative to follow the application instructions as well as consult a doctor before using these creams. Doing this is vital, as some creams may have adverse effects when used over a long period.
6. Wear comfortable shoes
Shoes play a significant role in providing comfort and maintaining the body’s alignment. For instance, wearing high heels for long periods can cause muscle strains in the legs, back, and even the neck. Wearing extremely flat shoes can also put pressure on your feet and back. Thus, if you experience recurrent back pain, it’s recommended to wear shoes that fit, offer support, and promote proper alignment of the body. Additionally, a podiatrist (foot specialist) can help you find the right shoes if necessary.
7. Adjust your workstation
It’s common to maintain an improper posture because of slouching or straining while at work, which leads to muscle aches and back pain. Nonetheless, proper ergonomics can adjust your workstation to help you reduce pain caused by improper posture. This can include anything from ensuring your computer screen is at eye level to adjusting your chair to the correct height.
For those whose jobs involve heavy lifting, it’s crucial to squat and use your legs for support instead of your back. Whenever possible, use trolleys or ask for assistance when moving or lifting heavy objects.
8. Get enough rest
According to research, lack of enough sleep causes pain to worsen and affects people’s pain threshold.
Proper alignment of the back, as well as comfort, are critical for quality sleep and prevention of back pain. When sleeping ensure you use a supportive pillow that promotes proper, straight alignment of your neck and back. Moreover, if you sleep on your side, you should consider placing an extra pillow between your knees for additional support.
These home remedies should help you manage back pain at home. You can also visit the Dubai Neurology Center for the treatment of severe or chronic back pain.
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