We experience aches and pains of all sorts, and none of them are pleasant. One pain that can be downright debilitating, however, is back pain. How often have you rolled out of bed only to wish you hadn’t tried something so ambitious as standing? Have you ever popped pain pill after pain pill to dull the ache? Here are a few ways to tackle back pain as well as how to prevent it in the first place:
1. Use an ice pack, then a heating pad.
Cold therapy is the number one choice for inflammation because it reduces blood flow to an inflamed area and can dull nerve activity to lessen pain overall. After 48 hours of using an ice pack off and on, you can switch to heat if you’d like.
2. Bed rest is no longer recommended.
Most of us think bed rest is the top recommendation when muscles in our body are sore or in pain, but that’s what the doctor ordered anymore. Instead, it’s better to keep moving to avoid letting your muscles get too stiff. Take it easy, though, and don’t overexert yourself. Just stick to your normal everyday routine and don’t add in any strenuous exercise.
3. Severe pain may necessitate muscle relaxants.
You won’t always be able to relieve pain naturally. Back pain caused by muscle spasms is often treated with muscle relaxants, which are quick and effective. Your doctor will be able to provide more guidance on the right relaxers for you and how long you should take them.
4. Take steps to prevent future pain.
We can’t always control pain, but there are factors that contribute to recurrences. Back pain is often caused by strain or injury, so when you’re exercising, make sure you’re sticking to proper form. Also, when you’re lifting something, follow the advice to lift with your legs and not your back. If you’re overweight, this can place strain on many parts of your body. Poor posture is also a common culprit, so remind yourself periodically to sit up straighter and strengthen your core to take the strain off your back.