It is true that many of the activities that you do every day can put a strain on your back. Things like sitting, standing, lifting, bending, carrying, twisting, and turning can all cause back pain. Even something as simple as sleeping in a bad position can cause you pain in your back.
Luckily, we have found some home remedies that are excellent for anyone suffering from aching or strained muscles in their back. However, if you are encountering any severe weakness, numbness, or pain you should consult your physician immediately.
Get Up & Get Moving
Despite what we were once told, it is now known that lying in bed for an extended period of time is not good for a bad back. In fact, it can make matters worse. Studies have shown that remaining immobile for more than a day can cause muscles to begin the first stages of atrophy.
Due to this new information, doctors now encourage their patients to get on their feet and get moving as soon and as much as possible. In fact, they prefer that you steer clear of bed rest all together.
If you simply must, it is recommended that you lie flat on your back and have pillows under your knees. Even then, try to get up regularly and get moving as quickly as possible. In addition, more than 72 hours of resting in bed can weaken those muscles in one’s back and intensify the pain.
Remember, just because your doctor wants you to keep moving does not mean they want you to do so recklessly. Keep movements slow and gentle but purposeful.
Ice It Down
In the case of an injury, applying ice to area in paint in the first 24 hours can help. It does so by doing two things:
- Reduces inflammation in the area.
- Decreases the nerves’ ability to send signals of pain to the brain.
If you do not have a premade ice bag available, there are a couple of alternatives available to most people at home.
- Use frozen veggies – peas, corn, etc. – as an impromptu ice bag.
- Make your own ice bag. Simply put three to five ice cubes into a sandwich bag and wrap in a cloth/towel. Crush the ice cubes with a kitchen mallet or rolling pin and place entire thing on pain.
Make sure that you remember to keep a thin towel or piece of fabric between your skin and the ice. Direct contact or over exposure can cause tissue damage. To avoid this, apply the ice pack for no more than 20 minutes and then remove it for the same amount of time before reapplying it and repeating the process.
Warm It Up
If it has been longer than 24 hours after the injury occurred, or the ice simply is not working, it may be time to try heat. Not hot, but warm heat may help to return some of the elasticity to the muscles.
Take a bath or shower, soak in a whirlpool, or apply a heating pad to get warmth to your back and the pain that is there. Much like ice therapy, too much warmth for too long of a period can actually do more harm than good.
Get Some Sleep
While bed rest is no longer believed to be good for a bad back, getting enough sleep is always in fashion. This is especially true when your muscles and/or ligaments are injured and healing. Proper rest is essential to any form of healing.
It is better to lie on your back with two pillows under your knees while sleeping with a back problem. Barring this, sleeping on one’s side with a pillow between their aligned knees is second best.
Back pain is often the result of tensed muscles due to emotional stressors. Learning to spot tension builders and ways to avoid or overcome them can help you manage your back pain at home. Try meditation, deep breathing, or even reading to help you relax and let go of the stress that is quite literally hurting you.