Back pain is a very common problem that can interfere with a person’s work and personal life. Lower back pain is a widespread problem that causes more disability than any other disease worldwide. Studies show that upto 80% of adults will experience lower back pain at least once in their lifetime. Besides, many people also feel pain in other parts of the back, including the middle and upper back.
The back muscles and spine support most of the body’s weight. A person uses muscles for daily exercise, including sitting, standing, and walking. Here are 10 effective ways that can help you relieve your back pain gradually.
1. Sleep better
Sleeping may be difficult when you have back pain. This can be a vicious circle, because when you don’t get enough sleep, your back pain may get worse. Poor sleeping posture can also aggravate your back pain. Try to lie on your side. Put a pillow between your knees to keep your spine in a neutral position and reduce the pressure on your back. If you need to sleep on your back, put a pillow under your knees. Make sure to sleep on a comfortable and firm mattress.
2. Maintain a good posture
Grandma is always right! Laziness is not good for you. Poor posture can aggravate your back pain, especially while sitting for a long time. Don’t bend over the keyboard if you are working on a computer for long hours. Sit up straight, relax your shoulders, and lean against the back of your chair. Try putting a pillow or rolled towel between your lower back and the seat. Keep your feet flat on the floor.
3. Go for physical therapy
A physical therapist can teach you how to sit, stand, and move to keep your spine aligned properly and reduce pressure on your back. Besides, they can also teach you specific exercises to strengthen the core muscles that support your back. A strong core is one of the best ways to prevent more back pain in the future. Studies have shown that when you increase strength, flexibility and endurance, back pain will be lessened, but it takes time.
4. Don’t rest on an aching 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 if you are having severe and long term back pain. It can worsen back pain and can also cause other complications. Do not rest for more than a day or two. The important thing is to get up and resume activities slowly. Exercise has been found to be one of the most effective ways to quickly relieve back pain. Try swimming, walking or yoga.
5. Ice and heat therapy
Frequent ice compresses on the back pain may help reduce the pain and inflammation caused by injury. Try this several times a day, up to 20 minutes each time. Wrap an ice pack with a thin towel to protect your skin. After a few days, switch to heating. Use a heating pad or compress to help relax the muscles and increase blood flow to the affected area. You can also try a warm bath to help relax. To avoid burns and tissue damage, do not sleep on heating pads.
6. Soothing massage
Once you leave the table, does massage really relieve your back pain? Well, a recent study found that massage once a week for 10 weeks can improve the pain and function of patients with chronic back pain. The benefits lasted for about six months, but decreased after a year. Another practice method is spinal manipulation. This treatment is performed by a licensed specialist and can help relieve structural problems of the spine and restore lost mobility.
7. Nerve stimulation
Some treatments to stimulate nerves to relieve chronic back pain are being studied. If you do not get relief with more conservative treatment, your doctor may consider adding acupuncture to your treatment plan. Another method your doctor may recommend is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, in which mild electrical impulses are given to the nerves to block the incoming pain signals.
Biofeedback uses a special machine to help you train your brain to control your response to the pain. You will learn to regulate breathing, heart rate, blood flow and muscle tone. Some studies have found that it is better than drugs in relieving back pain, reducing pain intensity by about 30%. The best part is it has zero side effects!
9. Enjoy anti-inflammatory drinks every day
When you eat anti-inflammatory foods on a regular basis, a variety of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents and even anti-cancer agents will accumulate in your blood. Over a period of time, these powerful drugs can play an important role in reducing and/or eliminating inflammation in the body. Some effective ones are turmeric milk, sour cherry juice, ginger green tea. Regular consumption of these healthy drinks may help relieve your back pain.
10. Avoid prolonged static postures
Try to avoid sedentary sitting at work or consider using a standing desk. When you sit for a long time, the pressure on the spinal disc increases. Make sure to get up every half an hour and walk a short distance to reduce the burden on the spinal disc.
Finding the perfect technique to relieve your prolongued back pain is usually a trial and error process, so you need to explore different methods. Try these effective ways to relieve back pain and see which method works the best for you. However, severe pain that cannot be relieved by self-care must be assessed by a health professional to obtain an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.