The Top 5 Back Pain Relief Tips You Can Do Yourself
Do you have back pain now? Have you ever suffered of back pain in the past? If you answered yes, then you know that back pain is not fun, it’s debilitating, it’s frustrating, and it totally affects your quality of life.
Research says 80% of people will be affected by back pain at some time in their life.
Back pain can slow you down at work or even prevent you from doing what you love to do with ease and comfort.
In this article, I want to give you 5 key tips that can help give you relief from back pain. These are self-care tips that you can do yourself at home.
The Top 5 DIY Back Pain Relief Tips
1. If your back pain is acute (less then 3 days), you should start with applying ice in the affected area. Ice will feel relieving because it will help numb the pain. Also, ice will directly counteract against the inflammation in the affected tissues that are causing your back pain. Ice constricts blood vessels, decreases swelling, and relieves the pain. The best way to apply ice is to grab an ice pack and a small baggie with ice, wrap it around with a lightly moistened towel to protect your skin, and place the affected area of your back for 10 to 15 minutes. You can repeat this 2 to 3 times a day but wait at least one hour before reapplying the ice on your back. For acute back pain, ice can offer some immediate and well-needed relief.
2. When back pain has persisted for some time and has become chronic (more then 6 months), applying heat can offer soothing relief. The effects of heat is completely opposite to the effects of ice. When back pain has persisted for months, the acute inflammatory stage of the injury is over and chronic inflammation kicks in. This type of inflammation is geared more for tissue repair. During this time, heat will be more soothing and give a relaxing effect to tight, sore muscles. Also, heat will dilate blood vessels bringing fresh, oxygen-rich blood and essential nutrients to the inured area. Heat can be applied similarly to ice. Grab a hot water bottle or heating pad, wrap it with a lightly-moistened towel, and place it on the affected area of your back for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat this 2 to 3 times per day but wait at least one hour before reapplying the heat on your back. For chronic back pain, heat can offer some soothing and relaxing relief.
Related Video: When Do I Apply Ice & When Do I Apply Heat For An Injury?
3. Take an epsom salt bath. This can be especially helpful right after the acute phase of back pain (after the first 3 days) and also when the back pain has persisted for weeks or months. An epsom salt bath feels great, especially when you have a sore back. It can also help relieve muscle soreness that is commonly associated with back pain.
4. Stretching can be a very effective way to relieve back pain, especially lower back pain. Be careful not to start stretching when you have an acute back injury as it will not feel very comfortable and might cause more irritation to the affected area. I usually recommend stretching to my patients about one week after their back injury occurred. Stretching for the low back will ease and loosen tight muscles. Muscles tighten up as a protective mechanism during injury. This can be a full out muscle spasm or a less severe muscle tightness. Either way, tight muscles can be painful and contribute to more back pain. One simple stretch you can do to relieve back pain is to lay down on the floor and pull your knee back to your chest. This is called a knee-to-chest stretch. You start with one knee, pull to your chest, and hold this stretch for 10 seconds. Then let go for 1o seconds and repeat that 3 times. Do the same for the opposite knee. Then do both knees together. If you feel more back pain when you pull your knee back, then lighten up on the pulling. This stretch can be done 1 to 2 times per day or when needed. The more you do it, the more you feel you back tightness and pain ease up.
Get More Back Stretches Here: 3 Step Stretching Plan eBook
5. Rest. Sounds simple but its often necessary. Whether you are a weekend warrior or a super busy mom, recommendation for rest in some cases is exactly what is needed. I have many patients that lead busy lives at home and at work and find very little time for rest or downtime. Sometimes the body just says, “I had enough. It’s time for a break.” When you feel run-ed down take 1 to 2 hours for yourself and relax. You can read a book, take a nap, write in a journal, or do something creative. Whatever you enjoy doing in your downtown just do it but make sure its totally opposite to what you do in your busy time. Your body and your aching back will thank you for it.
You may find one or more of these 5 DIY back pain relief tips useful. Keep these in mind when you have an achy back. Whether your back pain is acute or chronic, it is extremely wise for you see what is the cause of your back pain, especially when you don’t know what could be causing your back pain.
A check up with a chiropractor can help you determine what’s causing your back pain. And if more than DIY remedies are required, then chiropractic care may be the answer for you to solve and correct your back problem.