As we get older, back pain seems to be a constant part of our lives, even for those of us in perfect health. Back pain can be caused by bad posture, strenuous exercise, or even just having to sit at a computer for work all day long. Whatever the cause, back pain can make it difficult to enjoy your day or even perform normal daily activities, so you need to know how to handle it when it occurs. This article will give you some tips for back pain treatment options you can do at home.
Stretching and Yoga
One way to treat back pain at home is to stretch your back and loosen up the muscles. One way to do this is the forward fold stretch where you straighten your back while standing and reach down as far as you can trying to touch your toes. You can also lay flat on your back and flex your abs in order to press your lower back flush against the floor. Try to do this for 20 or 30-second intervals at a time. Sometimes your back can also benefit from gentle twisting stretches as well, including simply sitting up straight in a chair and alternately twisting to try and look behind you.
You can find instructions for many other beneficial back stretching exercises online to try at home. Many yoga moves can also help loosen up your back muscles and alleviate some of the pain. For any at-home stretches, however, make sure that they are not causing you more pain and always perform exercises as gently as possible. You need to make sure that you don’t pull any muscles and exacerbate the existing pain.
Heating Pads or Ice Packs
Another great at-home treatment for back pain is using a heating pad or ice pack. Depending on the kind of back pain you are experiencing, one may feel better than the other, so listen to your body and do what feels good and lessens the pain you’re experiencing. If you don’t have a heating pad, you may also find relief from creams that give your skin a warm or cold sensation, such as IcyHot or Tiger Balm. Make sure that whenever you apply heat or cold packs that you cover the skin with a cloth or paper towel to keep from burning your skin and causing more discomfort and be patient as it may take some time for you to feel the pain relief.
Over the Counter Painkillers
If these solutions don’t work or you don’t have time to do them every day, you may also be able to find relief from over the counter painkillers that allow you to go about your day more normally. Just be aware that if you are using pain killers frequently, your body will become desensitized to them and gradually require an increasingly higher dosage to feel the same relief. If you have chronic back pain, then pain killers are likely not a good long-term back pain treatment option.
When To Seek Professional Back Pain Treatment
If you’ve tried several of these methods and still have extreme or persistent back pain, it may be time to seek professional back pain treatment. If your back pain is severe enough to inhibit your movement significantly, then you should contact a medical professional right away to evaluate your situation and provide expert back pain treatment advice.