Back pain is a common cause of discomfort for many people, and most of us will experience back pain at some point in our lives. When back pain persists over a period of time, it can really start to interfere with your quality of life.
How to relieve back pain naturally
Multiple therapy options may be required for effective back pain relief, but there are also lots of things you can do yourself to manage the discomfort. Let’s take a look at some simple ways to relieve back pain naturally without resorting to pills and ointments.
Common causes of back pain
There can be many reasons for back pain, ranging from a minor injury to herniated or displaced discs. If you have been suffering from back pain for a long time, be sure to consult a doctor for advice.
Here are some of the most common causes of back pain:
- Injuries. Muscular sprains, strains, falls and fractures can all cause short-term back pain.
- Spasms. These cause lower back pain when muscles and tendons are torn or damaged.
- Incorrect body mechanics or posture. Many back problems are caused by the incorrect position of the spine during sleep, walking, or sitting at the workplace. Such habits can put a strain on the spine and the soft tissues that surround it, and damage the structural components of the spine over time.
- Ageing. As we age, our muscles weaken and we experience more back pain.
- Various diseases. Your doctor is the best source of advice and treatment for back pain which has no obvious cause.
At-home back pain relief tips
If your back problems don’t require special medical attention, here are some easy back pain relief methods.
Try using a knee pillow
The orthopedic knee pillow is an anatomically shaped triangular cushion that adapts to the position of your body. It aligns the spine, hips and knees; this keeps your spine in the correct position during sleep, which has a good effect on your posture. A knee pillow can also significantly reduce pressure throughout the body by distributing it more evenly.
If you tend to sleep on your side, you may find that your back and neck hurt the next day. It’s hard to solve this problem just by switching your sleep position, as you may simply change position once you’re asleep, or be unable to fall asleep while lying on your back. A knee pillow is ideal for side sleepers.
Stretch and strengthen
Stretching helps not only to reduce back pain, but also to prevent its occurrence in the future. Back pain relief exercises help strengthen your back muscles and make your back stronger. These exercises don’t have to involve special skills or lots of time. For example, you can simply lie on your back, wrap your arms around your knees, and hold your position for a couple of minutes.
Another simple exercise which is great for back pain relief is the ‘cat cow’ stretch (if you practice yoga you’ll be familiar with this one). Get onto your hands and knees, then slowly arch your back up and down.
Use heat and cold
Applying something warm to an area of the body can improve blood flow. This increased blood flow can help to reduce pain. A hot water bottle or wheat pack applied to the area of your back that’s hurting is a quick way to provide relief.
Cold therapy works by causing blood to flow out of a certain region of the body. It can considerably reduce pain-causing inflammation and swelling, particularly around a joint or tendon. Gel packs, cold patches and ice packs are all good options for back pain.
Experiment with heat and cold therapy to see which one works best for your back pain.
Change your shoes
The shoes you wear significantly affect the distribution of weight on your body. If the distribution is uneven, the spine will be too loaded, and this can cause back pain.
If you’re a fan of tight or high-heeled shoes, changing to something more comfortable will probably deliver immediate back pain relief.
Hopefully these tips for relieving back pain help you to find a way to reduce discomfort and develop good habits. Remember to always consult a doctor before embarking on a new exercise regime, and don’t overdo it.
What’s your number one tip for back pain relief?