Keeping your back happy
Back pain can interrupt your day or interfere with your plans. In fact, there’s an 84 percent chance that you will develop low back pain in your lifetime. But back pain isn’t always something you can ignore or wait for it to resolve on its own. Thankfully, there are several ways to treat back pain at home. These remedies include everything from herbs to massages. Keep reading to see how you can ease your back pain.
There are plenty of pain rubs and ointments to help ease pain by blocking the sensation. For example, creams with capsaicin can desensitize the pain channels in the affected area. Other ingredients you can look for in topical creams include:
- ketoprofen (Diractin)
- ibuprofen (Nurofen or Dolgit)
- diclofenac (Voltaren)
- lidocaine (Lidoderm)
- Brazilian arnica
Some other brand standards include Icy Hot or Tiger Balm. The effectiveness and side effects of each brand can vary from user to user. You may experience skin irritation with certain brands. Be sure to patch test (apply a small amount and wait 24 hours to see if you experience any side effects) before doing a complete application.
Gently massaging a sore or tense muscle is one of the most effective ways to loosen it up and relieve pain. One study found that massage therapy along with traditional treatment:
- reduces back pain
- improves back function
- lessens use of anti-inflammatory medications
- minimizes days in bed
They also found no difference between relaxation massages and structural massages, although structural massages tend to be more expensive.
Consider asking your partner or a close friend for a massage, if cost is an issue. You can also ask them to use medicated ointment for extra pain relief.
People have also used herbs and supplements to reduce back pain. One study found that the following herbs reduce back pain more than a placebo.
Devil’s claw: 50 or 100 mg daily
Willow bark: 120 or 240 mg daily
Always talk to your doctor before starting to use any herbal medicines. They may interact with your current medications and cause unintended side effects.
Exercises are good for people who have low back pain. They can help restore muscles and protect you from future pain. Some exercises that are known to reduce symptoms are:
- walking on flat ground
- standing backbends
- Cobra pose
Stretching can also loosen up tense muscles and strengthen those that need some help. Anytime you begin stretching, you should approach each step gently. Stop any stretching exercise that causes pain as forcing a stretch damage or cause strains.
You can also try starting your mornings with this 30 minute beginner yoga routine by Yoga TX. One