Back pain is one of the most awkward and difficult health problems to address, as it can arise from even the most innocuous circumstances and strike an individual at any age. Even today medical science is still split on how best to treat those with ailments affecting their back, with their being various schools of thought ranging from heavy medication all the way through to ‘alternative’ treatments such as acupuncture and yoga. Here we’ll take a look at a dozen of the best home Remedies for back pain to prevent/lower the risk of back injury, and some tried and tested means of alleviating the discomfort for those unlucky enough to suffer from it.
1) Use Heat Treatment Wisely
Probably the most contested issue when it comes to treating back pain, the most widely accepted consensus nowadays is to apply cold (ice packs) to the painful area first of all, and then if this is ineffective use heat treatment (baths/ gel based heat-packs). The theory is that the coldness lowers the transmission of pain signals, whereas the heat can relax the muscle and encourage healing. Be advised that heat treatment isn’t ideal for pregnant women – and any back pain in such a condition ought to be addressed directly to a doctor.
2) Rest Up!
Especially the case shortly after unpleasantly tweaking a muscle or nerve, it’s essential to limit movement as much as possible to prevent the injury worsening. Remember not to sink into a soft and luxurious mattress or couch though – healing will be most effective with the back laid aligned and straight to ease pressure on the spine.
3) Check The Medical Cupboard
Painkillers and back pain are another conjectured area, but over the counter medicines taken as directed can help a great deal – especially for anyone suffering just a slightly unpleasant strain. Serious, long-term back injuries may require much stronger medication (depending on your doctor’s opinion) but always start off with a couple of paracetamols and take it from there.
4) Maybe a Massage?
Again – approach with care as in the wrong hands it can make matters worse. Sports injuries, however, can usually be treated by a qualified masseuse that will be skilled in reducing muscle inflammation without causing further injury. Be wary of taking a ‘back rub’ from anyone unqualified, though.
5) Sleep Right
Contrary to general belief, the best way to alleviate pressure on a back injury is to sleep on your side with a cushion or pillow wedged between the legs. This helps reduce pressure, and those who like to sleep on their backs are advised to do the same. It’s how beds are designed on the International Space Station to reduce gravitational imbalances upon the spine – so there’s no reason not to emulate that down here on Terra Firma!
6) Check the Mattress
A poor quality mattress isn’t necessarily one that’s just cheap, years of regular use can take their fair toll on how supportive they can be for the back too. The tricky part is that people become used to their mattress – often so much so that sleeping in an unusual one such as at a hotel will lead to a sense on of discomfort or unease. The fact is though that familiarity isn’t always a good thing – and that an old mattress can literally fail to support the back, making injuries more likely and also slower to heal.
7) Use Cushions for Support, Not Just Comfort
This is especially important – and also a ‘home remedy’ that ought to be applied at work and even in the car. As many settings and optional adjustments may be present in modern chairs, the fact is that they aren’t universally comfortable for every user. A well-positioned pillow at the base of the spine can play a huge role in helping support the back when performing desk work, and should also be considered for lounging on sofas at home too.
8) Hit The Pool!
We may not all be lucky enough to have a domestic pool, but again the principle stands – swimming is without exception the best exercise for skeletal strength and uniformity. Water allows for a natural cushion to exercise the muscles that power motion, and is one of the main reasons why across the board medical professionals recommend it as the go-to exercise for anyone regardless of their age.
9) Practical & Sensible Lifting Techniques
There’s a reason why pretty much any new job will offer a health and safety induction course that always repeats this simple mantra: Lift with your knees, not your back. At home even grabbing the laundry basket or similar inconsequential movements can cause anyone to ‘put their back out’ – and tens of millions of work days are lost every year because of this. Always remember that just because one may have gotten away with it for a few decades, doesn’t ever mean anyone’s immune to such injuries.
10) Try And Keep In Shape
Running, twisting, lifting and turning are all essential to exercise and in most cases might well sound like they’re a recipe for disaster when it comes to encouraging the risk of back injury. Truth is that getting in shape through a sensible mix or aerobic and impact based training will always make the body stronger and much more resilient to such injuries. Use it or lose it….
Esoteric, as it may well sound, practicing and being aware of your body’s movements and position as you go about your daily business is one of the key ways of helping heal a back injury. It’s trickier than it sounds as movement is pretty much second only to breathing when it comes to subconscious muscle actions, but taking the time to walk/move/sit correctly is utterly essential to helping prevent and heal bodily strains. It’s one of the reasons Yoga and Pilates have become so popular in recent years.
12) Watch Your Nutrition
This can be linked to keeping in shape but it is also important on its own right and is something that everyone can take control of. Make sure that the body isn’t just well nourished in regards to an appropriate amount of calories/as per weight control, but also the food ingested is packed with nutrients and washed down with plenty of simple water. Younger people and those with certain bone disorders will likely do well to look for healthy sources of calcium to help their bones, but vitamin and mineral rich foods will massively help in overall fitness and back/spine integrity.