Each year, millions of people across the globe suffer some type of back injury or strain, making it the number one cause of disability and the top reason for missed time from work. Back pain can range from a mild ache to a severe and debilitating shooting or stabbing sensation, making even the simplest everyday tasks impossible to complete.
The best way to treat your back pain is to get professional physiotherapy treatments. In addition, there are some common remedies that you can try at home. Use these remedies to help minimize back pain, prevent future injuries and strains, and increase your overall mobility in no time.
Ice is best applied in the first 24 to 72 hours after injuring your back. Wrap an ice pack in a towel and place it directly on the affected area. Apply for no longer than 20 minutes and then remove it.
Do this multiple times throughout the day to help lower the body temperature of the injured area. When the body temperature is reduced, the blood vessels will constrict, which will decrease swelling and inflammation, and will help to numb the area, reducing pain.
After the initial inflammation has subsided, switch from ice therapy to heat. Using a heating pad, heated blanket, or hot water bottle will stimulate blood flow to the injury. This improves soft tissue and muscle flexibility and promotes healing.
3. Epsom Salt Bath
An Epsom salt bath can be incredibly soothing to a sore back. Epsom salt contains high levels of magnesium sulfate, which helps to minimize muscle stiffness and help stop muscle spasms. Add one to two cups of Epsom salts to a tub full of warm water. Soak for at least 15 minutes for maximum benefits.
Capsaicin is the primary active ingredient in chili peppers. It is used in topical pain relief creams and ointments. When applied to the skin, it causes a slight burning sensation, which irritates the neurotransmitters under the skin, responsible for sending pain signals to the brain. While it won’t provide long-term healing for your back, it can significantly reduce the amount of pain you feel when applied.
5. Back Brace
Back braces come in different shapes and sizes. They can be purchased at your local pharmacy, medical supply store, or even ordered online. Some are very stiff and rigid, while others are more pliable. The type of back brace used will depend upon the extent of the injury.
Using a back brace helps to apply pressure to the torso and offers stability to the muscles of the back and the spine. These devices also limit your range of motion, preventing further strain, and promoting better posture. They can even help to reduce future injuries from occurring.
6. Tens Machine
For quite a while, Tens machines were only available in doctors’ offices and physiotherapy clinics. Now it is easy and inexpensive to purchase a Tens machine to use at home. These devices provide transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (Tens) to help heal injured areas. Tiny electric impulses are directed to the sore muscles, causing them to pulse and contract. This speeds up healing by increasing blood flow to the site. It also stimulates the nerves, blocking out the sensation of pain.
For back pain, place the conductor pads on the affected area, ensuring a good connection with the skin. Turn on the machine to the lowest setting and gradually increase the pulse length and frequency as your tolerance allows. Use for 30 minutes at a time, two to three times per day for best results.
7. Over-The-Counter Medications
Sometimes, back pain can be so severe that the only option is to take over-the-counter medications to get some relief. Your doctor or local pharmacist can provide assistance on which of these medications is best for you. They may determine the dosage based on your level of pain, current medical conditions, and possible interactions with other medications that you are taking.
Over-the-counter medications contain ingredients to help relieve pain. Some are best used for treating inflammation, and others work to relax the muscles and stop spasms. Speak to your healthcare professional to find out which of these are most appropriate for you.
While you may not feel like moving around when experiencing back pain, gentle stretching exercises may help reduce your discomfort. Gentle stretching with proper form can warm up and loosen tight muscles, reducing spasms and alleviating pain.
Stretching before physical activity is a great way to prevent future back injuries from happening. If you suffer from chronic back pain, incorporating a daily stretching regimen into your routine can help keep the muscles and tendons of your back loose and limber. Plus, stretches will reduce the chances of back pain in the future.
Suffering from a backache can be a debilitating and painful ailment, one that can have far-reaching implications in all areas of your life. Not only can it affect employment, but it can also significantly reduce your quality of life. Fortunately, many different remedies can be tried at home, which can help to alleviate this pain. These stretches allow you to get back to your regular daily routine much faster.