Back pain is one of the most common physical ailments. According to Harvard Health, 80 percent of people will experience lower back pain sometime in their life. That’s a lot of people suffering from that sharp ache that hinders us from moving too fast or regularly going about our day. However, sometimes you can treat nagging pain and discomfort on your own using simple at-home remedies.
Cold and Heat Therapies
Using cold and heat pads/presses are probably the most common remedy people use at home when experiencing any type of back pain. It’s best to use cold compresses or an ice pack, not heat, immediately following a back injury, since this can alleviate pain by numbing the area and prevent or reduce swelling. About 48 hours after the onset of back pain, though, applying heating pads or a hot-water bottle to your back may be helpful. The warmth soothes and relaxes aching muscles and increases blood flow, which helps the healing process. Keep in mind that heat therapy is only helpful for the first week.
Ointments can be a great way to alleviate lower back pain that can be pinpointed to a specific area. There are plenty of pain rubs and ointments to help ease pain by blocking the sensation. For example, creams that contain capsaicin, a compound found in hot peppers, have been shown to relieve pain. One study found capsaicin cream to be helpful in treating osteoarthritis pain. (1) Pain-relief creams that contain menthol have a cooling effect that can temporarily dull back pain. One study suggests that applying menthol to the skin can desensitize pain receptors in the body. (2) However, using too much menthol can cause a person to be more sensitive to pain.
Yoga can be a simple and relaxing way to stretch out any stiff muscles, and can also help the healing process for an aching back, prevent problems in the future, and improve function. There are hundreds of videos and stretches that can be found online specifically for lower back pain. One exercise that targets your entire upper and lower back is to lie on your tummy and lift up your legs and arms in the flying position.
Use Posture Products
A healthy posture helps us stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions that place the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement and weight-bearing activities. Having the correct posture may also:
- Help keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly.
- Reduce the stress on the ligaments holding the spinal joints together, minimizing the likelihood of injury.
- Allow muscles to work more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy and, therefore, preventing muscle fatigue.
- Help prevent muscle strain, overuse disorders, and even back and muscular pain.
- Consciously maintaining good posture throughout the day can be difficult, so using a product that assists with that is helpful. Things like a posture corrector, back cushion, and a good desk chair are all things that can help maintain good posture.
Drink Anti Inflammatory Drinks
When you consume anti-inflammatory foods regularly, several antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and even anti-cancer agents can build up in your blood. Over a period of time, these potent agents can play a significant role in reducing and/or eliminating inflammatory reactions in the body. Incorporating turmeric, ginger, and cherries into your diet can help ease the inflammation of muscles.
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