♦ 10 ways to get rid of back pain
- One of the most frequent health disorders is back discomfort. According to studies, eight out of ten Americans have back discomfort at some point in their life, most commonly in the lower back.
- You may have sprained it while cleaning the house or working in the yard. An past sports injury or a chronic ailment like arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis could be the cause of your back pain.
- A doctor or physical therapist should be seen if you experience sudden or severe back pain. That also applies to persistent pain.
- However, nagging pain and discomfort can occasionally be treated on your own.
Wilson Ray, MD, is the Department of Neurological Surgery’s chief of spine surgery.
1. Continue to move
- When you’re in agony, you might not feel like it. But this is likely to be the first thing your doctor suggests.” Patients with isolated back pain frequently believe they are unable to remain active.
Maintain your normal level of everyday activity and movement. A brisk 30-minute walk or circling the block with your dog can suffice. At least three times a week, get up and move around.
- Your back is supported by strong muscles, particularly those in your abdominal core. Strength and flexibility may aid in the relief and prevention of pain.
“I encourage individuals to do that first thing in the morning a lot of the time,” Ray explains. If you’re older or concerned about overdoing it, wait until your body has warmed up before stretching and strengthening activities.
Yoga, Pilates, and tai chi are just a few of the exercises that can help you develop your core and hip muscles. Lying on your stomach and lifting your legs and arms in the flying posture is one workout that targets your entire upper and lower back.
3. Maintain a good posture to get rid of back pain
- This relieves tension in your lower back. To keep your spine aligned, you can use tape, straps, or flexible bands. Keep your head over your pelvis as much as possible. Do not slump your shoulders or lean forward with your chin. If you operate in front of a computer, maintain your arms evenly balanced on the table or desk and your eyes level with the screen’s top. Get out of your chair, stretch, and go for a stroll on a regular basis.
4. Keep a Healthy Body Weight to get rid of back pain
- Losing weight relieves the strain on your lower back.
“Weight loss helps [with pain] because it lessens the mechanical force on the spine,” Hemanshi explains.
Ask for assistance if you require it.
5. Give up smoking to get rid of back pain
- According to research, smokers are four times more likely than nonsmokers to develop degenerative disk disease or other spine issues.
Nicotine in cigarettes and other tobacco products can damage your spine and deplete the nutrients in your spongy disks, which cushion your joints. A healthy spine maintains your back flexible and prevents stiff and aching muscles.
6. Experiment with ice and heat
- You may have heard that one is superior than the other when it comes to back pain alleviation. The quick answer is that whatever works best for you is the best option.
Ray explains, “Some individuals come in and swear by heat or cold.” “You could try both, and you’ll probably find that one is more suitable for your relief.”
If your back is inflamed or swollen, ice is usually the best treatment. If you’re seeking to ease stiff or tight muscles, a heating pad can be a better option.
Hemanshi recommends just using ice or heat for 20 minutes at a time. If you’re using muscle-ache creams or ointments on your skin, don’t use them.
7. Know Your Over-the-Counter Medications
- Muscle pains and stiffness can be relieved using nonprescription pain medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen are the two most common over-the-counter choices. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are examples of NSAIDs.
NSAIDs, as their name suggests, serve to reduce inflammation, which can cause swelling and pain. Acetaminophen, on the other hand, does not relieve inflammation. For occasional back discomfort, you can use any form of pain reliever. If you have arthritis of the spine or other inflammatory disorders, NSAIDs may help, according to Hemanshi.
8. Apply medicated creams
When your back is stiff, sore, or tense, skin creams, salves, ointments, or patches may help. Many of these products contain substances that can cool, heat, or numb the affected area, such as menthol, camphor, or lidocaine.
Apply creams to the affected areas. If you’re having difficulties reaching the place, have someone else apply it.
“It’s not going to be a staple for considerable relief,” Ray adds, “but it can settle things down.”
9. Inquire about supplementation
Food is the best source of vitamins and minerals. However, see your doctor to see whether vitamins can assist.
Many people, for example, do not get enough vitamin D, which is crucial for bone health. This can occur due to a lack of exposure to sunlight or a failure to absorb enough vitamin D from meals.
Magnesium shortage can cause muscle cramps and weakness. Turmeric, a bright yellow spice linked to ginger, may also help reduce inflammation, according to Hemanshi.
Before taking any supplements, consult your doctor.
10. Toss in a Towel
Back pain alleviation can be as simple as rolling up a towel. When you’re lying down, try putting it beneath your pelvic. Relax your hips over the towel to assist stretch out your lower back stiffness. Learn how to sleep on your back in this video.
A back brace might be beneficial in some cases, particularly after an injury or surgery. However, they should not be worn too frequently or for too long. “People get reliant on it, and it permits those muscles to become lethargic,” says the author.