If you suffer from back pain it’s often hard to concentrate on anything else or enjoy the things you used to. Exercise, socializing, and even relaxing are affected by the pain, which can take an emotional toll on the sufferer.
There are plenty of over-the-counter drugs that can help to relieve a sore back, as well as surgeries and other medical treatments. However, there are also small actions that you can take at home.
If you are at all worried or if your back pain is severe, or has been causing you pain for more than a few weeks you should go and see your doctor. However, if the pain is mild then there are several tips and tricks to help relieve the pain and encourage good back health.
From gentle exercises to better sleep to a change in your office equipment, read on to find out our top tips to relieve your back pain.
One of the top tips to relieving a sore back is to make sure you get a good night’s sleep. To do this, it’s essential that you have a supportive mattress, and there are even mattresses out there that can help to reduce back pain and ease pressure points.
There are also various home remedies that you can try if your back is acting up. Ice packs and heat pads are good for minor back injuries and gentle stretches and exercise can help alleviate back pain. Even changing the way you sit and stand can do wonders for back pain. Let’s take a look at these hints and tips in more detail.
A restful night’s sleep will do wonders for your mental and physical health. A broken night of sleep can make an already bad back feel even worse. To get the best night’s rest you can, it’s important to invest in a good-quality mattress that will support your back and allow your muscles to recover. There are even mattresses out there that can specifically help people with back pain.
You can also try experimenting with different sleep positions to help relieve back pain. For example, if you suffer from a herniated disc, you could try sleeping on your side in the fetal position.
If you’ve injured your back then you could apply a soothing heat pad or an ice pack. Both heat and ice have been shown to provide relief for back pain. If you’ve recently injured your back, then something ice-cold wrapped in a towel can help reduce inflammation in the area and relieve the pain. If your back muscles are aching, then a heat pad is a common go-to remedy, and can even help with painful muscle spasms.
As a child, you were probably told to stand up straight, and that lesson is just as important now you’re an adult. Poor posture is a common reason behind back pain as it means that the loads are distributed over your spine incorrectly, causing changes in your spine and pressure in the muscles.
To fix poor posture, stand up tall when you walk and look straight ahead. Pull your shoulders back and allow your arms to hang loosely at your sides. When sitting, keep your back straight and your shoulders back. Don’t hunch over your computer and try not to cross your legs.
A quick yoga or pilates session can include some easy back stretches to suit even the least agile person. Some top stretches for back health include cat to cow which can help improve the circulation in the discs in your back. Another easy one is the child’s pose or the downward dog.
If you don’t have time for a full yoga workout, then a few stretches as soon as you wake up can be beneficial. Try lying flat on the floor, then bring your knees to your chest and give them a hug. Or the classic, gently lean over and try to touch your toes.
We’ve all heard the expression “lift with your knees” and with good reason. If you lift something heavy the wrong way, you could damage your back. If your back is already painful, then you’ll need to take extra care when lifting. Stretch before doing any lifting exercise. When you do pick up something heavy, bend your knees, keep the object close to your body, and steadily stand up straight.
If you’re in pain you will likely gravitate towards to couch to rest. However, staying still could actually make the pain worse. Gentle exercise can help reduce back pain, so try and move around as much as you can. If jogging is too painful, try walking. Or swimming which can help relieve lower back pain.
A healthy back needs supportive footwear. Unfortunately, there are many studies that show that high heels can contribute to back pain. Wearing heels changes your posture and puts extra stress on your back which can cause pain. You don’t have to throw your heels away, but it is sensible to wear them as little as possible and invest in a pair of comfy sneakers.
If you carry around extra weight it will put extra strain on your back. Maintain a healthy weight with regular exercise that you enjoy doing. You should also stick to a realistic diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoid foods that are processed or high in fat or sugar.
If you find yourself sitting hunched over a computer at work, then investing in a standing desk might help. It can help stretch out tight muscles and encourage you to move around more. However, if standing makes you feel worse, then you should look at other methods to alleviate back pain.
If you can’t get a standing desk, then make sure your office has a chair that allows you to sit with your feet firmly planted on the floor as this will help your back and posture.
Massage therapy can be very helpful for sore, achy backs. Some people also find that acupuncture helps.
If your back pain doesn’t clear up in a couple of weeks, then it’s important to consult your doctor. You may have just pulled a muscle, but it could be symptomatic of something more serious. Either way, if you suffer from chronic back pain it’s sensible to consult a professional.