Back pain can be a serious problem – in some cases debilitating. It can keep you up in the night and tire you out in the day. Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer in silence. There are now all kinds of remedies and preventative measures to keep back pain at bay. Here are some of the major methods of striking back against back pain.
See a professional
If you haven’t seen anyone about your back pain yet, it might be worth making this a priority just as a precaution. A local GP may be able to book you scans that can better identify the cause of the pain. They then may be able to prescribe you with appropriate medicine to relieve the pain.
If it’s a sports injury, a physical therapist maybe worth seeing (many GPs will recommend you see one). A trained physical therapist can train you through the exercises, stretches and actions that you should and shouldn’t perform in order to ease the pain, or even cure it in some cases. Read this guide for choosing a PT.
Switch how you sleep
Your sleeping position can aid or increase your back pain. Many find it easier to sleep on their side, whilst others prefer to lay on their back with a pillow beneath their knees. Find the right position for you and use pillow to help keep you in that position if you’re likely to roll over.
Your mattress can also greatly affect your comfort. There are many specialist orthopaedic mattresses out their designed for different types of back pain. There are some great tips here on what to look for. Look out for coupons and sales in which you may be able to get a discount.
Protect your posture
Many of us slouch when sitting, especially if we’re slaving over a desk. This bad posture can make back pain worse in many cases. Try using a comfortable which allows you to lean back or sit upright comfortably. Pillows or towels can help by placing them between your seat and lower back. Try regularly stretching out your back if sitting like this is too hard. You can even experiment with new driving positions, if you regularly drive leant over the wheel.
Make use of meds
You’re best off talking with your doctor about which meds are best for you. There are some over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen and anti-inflammatories that could help to ease the pain, although there may be some side effects worth consulting with a medical professional beforehand. Some doctors may prescribe anti-depressants. Even if you aren’t depressed, these drugs have been known to numb back pain due to the chemicals within them.
In more extreme cases, you may be able to get a spinal injection to ease the pain. Corticosteroid may be prescribed by needle to get rid of inflammation. A doctor will be able to tell you whether you are applicable, as well as how many injections you are allowed per year.
Massage the pain away
Massaging is a technique used by most physical therapists. Trapped nerves or tight muscles may be able to be loosened up, relieving the pain. You may also want to try out a regular massage to see if this helps.
There are methods of massaging oneself that could also be useful for when battling those painful periods of back ache at home. A foam roller has been found to help many people – by lying on the floor with the roller beneath your back you may be able to work out some of the tension. Putting a ball such as a tennis ball beneath your back can also work in the same way.
Apply cold and heat
Some people find that the heat and the cold is good for their back. Icepacks can help relieve inflammation and are recommended in the first few following weeks after a back injury. If you don’t have an icepack, a bag of frozen vegetables is sure to do the trick. When it comes to using heat, there are many methods such as a hot wet flannel or alternatively taking a long warm bath. This treatment seems to work better with long-term back pain or as a recovery method a couple months after a back injury. Heat relaxes muscles, increasing blood flow and releasing pressure on trapped nerves and knots.
Holistic medicine involves non-chemical and non-surgical remedies. It could include a herbal medicine. Specific herbs have been known to help relieve the pain of certain conditions such as Ginseng for fibromyalgia and St. John’s Wort for sciatica. There are many herbal medicines available online that could be worth trying out.
There are other holistic treatments that could relieve pain. Acupuncture is an Ancient Chinese medicine that has been known to work for many people. For those that don’t like needles, acupressure is a similar treatment involving the massaging of pressure points with the finger. Find your local holistic treatment centre and see what treatment methods they can offer.
A bad back can cause some people to become housebound. This can cause your back pain to actually get worse. Doctors once used to recommend staying in bed to rest one’s back but this can make muscles and spinal joints lazy causing to further deterioration. Except in extreme cases, getting out being active is often encouraged – even if it does hurt.
Some sports can be better for back pain than others. Yoga is known for being particularly good for joint problems, especially concerning the spine. Swimming is also good as the water takes off some of the pressure, whilst still allowing you to exercise all your muscles. Alternatively, you could take up walking. A brisk walk doesn’t require too much spine movement but keeps your muscles active and your blood flowing. Experiment with all these exercises to get you off the couch.