Nearly everyone will suffer from back pain in their life. In fact, there is an 84 percent chance that every person will develop lower back pain in their lifetime. However, as common as back pain may be, it is not something that is easy to ignore. Pain and discomfort can get in the way of enjoying everyday life. If you are looking for how to get rid of back pain, take a look at these remedies recommended by doctors, trainers, and physical therapists. Some are as simple as daily lifestyle and routine changes. Fight back pain the right way with these tips below.
1. Apply Something Cold
Applying ice to an injury is especially helpful while the injury is fresh (occurring in the last 24-48 hours). However, cold therapy can be beneficial anytime to reduce inflammation and numb your nerves, significantly reducing the pain. Apply ice for 10-15 minutes every hour, reducing the frequency as pain subsides. Be sure to protect your skin by covering the ice pack with a thin cloth or bandage.
2. Apply Some Heat
When back pain becomes chronic, applying moist heat is another excellent treatment for the pain. Heat therapy stimulates blood flow to help heal lower back pain, and it inhibits sensory messages sent to the brain, allowing for temporary relief. Use a heating pad or hot water bottle on the affected area of your back. There are microwavable herbal bags that can provide relief as well as aromatherapy. Leave the heat on for no more than 10-15 minutes to promote healing without overdoing it.
3. Soak in a Warm Bath
If you’re looking for how to get rid of back pain in the most relaxing way possible try a warm bath. Adding Epsom salt will increase the healing properties and relief the bath can provide. Epsom salt works its way through the skin to provide relief to sore muscles. Soak in a warm tub (around 92 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 20 minutes to ease pain and provide relief.
4. Try Some Over-the-Counter Meds
A great short-term solution for how to get rid of back pain are over-the-counter painkillers. An analgesic like acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) can help provide relief temporarily and allow muscles to heal by relaxing them. NSAIDs like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen are commonly available and relatively safe for use by healthy adults. Be sure to take only the recommended dose and rely on painkillers for temporary relief, seeking a doctor if symptoms do not improve.
5. Roll It Out
Using a foam roller to massage the spine is a great way to help with lower back tightness and spinal pain. Commonly used in physical therapy, yoga, and pilates, foam rollers are a cheap and easy way to apply pressure on hard to reach areas of your back. Place the foam roller on the ground and position it beneath your shoulders. Lie down on your back and roll back and forth. Although your muscles may be temporarily sore after using a foam roller in the beginning, over time it will relieve tension and muscle knots very well.For smaller areas of you back, such as between your shoulder blades, try the same technique with a tennis or lacrosse ball. While lying down, place the ball between your shoulder blades and apply light pressure until you feel a tender spot. Work gently and hold the spot until you feel relief of tension.
6. Sleep the Right Way
How you sleep may be a key factor in how to get rid of back pain. Choose a sleeping position that will help to relieve lower back pain. Sleeping on your stomach can irritate your back joints. Instead, choose to sleep on your side or your back with a pillow elevating the legs. These positions will take pressure off of your back and allow for restorative sleep.
Avoid mattresses that are too soft or thick pillows, as these things are actually lower back pain causes. Change out your mattress as it wears down to keep the same quality for proper sleep. Mattresses typically last 8-10 years with constant use.
7. Practice Proper Lifting Technique
Many back injuries and stressors are caused by not lifting things correctly. Be sure that when you are lifting objects, they are not too heavy for you to move alone. Keep the object close to your body, and avoid twisting at the waist. Bend at the hips and knees while keeping your back straight to help your body lift with your legs and not your back.
8. Exercise to Strengthen Your back
Strengthening and stretching the muscles of your back is one of the top tips for how to get rid of back pain. Exercises like squats, planks, standing backbends, and press-ups are known to restore muscles and help protect you from future pain. Make sure to consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen. That way you know what you can your back can handle.
9. Train Your Core
If you want to know how to get rid of back pain, a strong core is one of the most significant factors. The muscles of your abdominal wall and back play a large role in support of your spinal health. Core muscles need to be targeting through working out. Thankfully, this is a simple task and can be a part of your daily routine with minimal effort. Try these fantastic core exercises for a workout that will engage your abs right at home.
10. Visit a Chiropractor
Making an appointment with a chiropractor can help to get rid of pain in the muscles of the lower back. Chiropractors specialize in making adjustments to your misaligned joints that cause inflammation and pain. Many specialists have a variety of techniques to reduce the pain of muscle strains. Visit with a chiropractor for 3-5 treatments, and you may notice significant relief of back pain.
11. Get a Massage
Treat yourself to a deep tissue massage and notice relief from a strained lower back. Massage therapists work muscle tissue to reduce muscle spasms, combat inflammation, and promote relaxation. One study found that massage therapy reduces back pain and improves back function, minimizing the use of painkillers and time in bed. If you (or your bank account!) is more comfortable with an at-home massage, try these best back massagers of 2018 and see real results
12. Try Acupuncture Therapy
Based on traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture has become widely practiced in the Western world. It can be beneficial for relief of back pain, primarily when the symptoms first occur. Acupuncture treatment uses needles at various pressure points on the body. Stimulating these pressure points causes the nervous system to react, providing pain relief for a variety of neuromuscular issues. If you are interested in making an appointment, be sure to find a qualified and certified acupuncturist.
13. Practice Yoga and Meditation
How to get rid of back pain can be as relaxing as a session of yoga. By loosening tight muscles as well as building strength and range of motion, yoga can improve back pain. One study even found that practicing yoga was as useful as traditional physical therapy exercises. Try this easy beginner’s yoga video explicitly designed to help reduce back pain. If reducing back pain isn’t enough of an incentive, check out these other unreal benefits of practicing yoga.
14. Have Perfect Posture
Many Americans spend much of their day sitting down, which has its own harmful effects on muscles of the lower back. To reduce the impact of a day of sitting, it is vital to maintain good posture. Keep all of the bones in your spine aligned while your feet are flat on the floor. Be sure to avoid leaning forward or slumping as well as the tendency to arch your shoulders. To offset poor posture, stretch your neck each day by slowly rolling your head back, forward, and to the sides.
15. Make an Appointment with a Physical Therapist
For recurring back pain, the best solution may be a visit to the physical therapist. A qualified physical therapist will be able to design a program that provides you with specific stretched and strengthening exercises for your back pain. You will be able to perform many of these exercises for back pain at home, checking in with the therapist 2-3 times a week for around 4-8 weeks to help with chronic conditions. They can also provide electrotherapy as needed, which can help treat severe lower back pain.
16. Don't Rest (Too Much!)
When you are experiencing back pain, you may think total bed rest is the way to go. However, it is essential to allow your body some movement. This stimulates blood flow to promote healing and allows your muscles to regenerate. You can give your body some time to rest, but stay moving in the long-term to help the healing process.
Stretching is vital for loosening up tense muscles and to strengthen those that are in pain. Begin each day with a full body stretch to help strengthen your muscles and relieve unwanted tension. Stretching your hamstring muscles (located in the back of your thigh) is one of the top tricks for how to get rid of back pain. If your hamstrings are too tight, they will put stress on your lower back, leading to increased pain.
These 17 tips recommended by the experts are sure to help in your efforts to relieve back pain. Make sure you are careful when trying any new exercise or stretch that you do not strain your muscles even more. Practice safe and effective healing to ensure wellness and happiness!