8 Ways to Manage Back Pain at Home
Managing your back pain can be a difficult proposition. There are the opinions and directives of several medical professionals to consider plus more holistic approaches to consider. However, you’ve decided to medically manage your back pain, there are some steps you can take at home to counter back pain. Some of these things may seem counterintuitive, but hear us out.
Stick to your normal, everyday activities. Avoid strenuous exercise or lifting excessive amounts of weight, but keep right on moving. Even if your back hurts, it still needs to move to stay healthy. Getting up and moving also gets your spine upright. Make sure you avoid the motion that caused the injury if a certain activity is behind your pain.
This doesn’t necessarily mean apply heat. It means you need to keep the muscles engaged, warmed up if you will. This keeps them pliant and can mean that you avoid further pain or injury due to tightening muscles.
Staying in bed may feel like the right thing to do if your back is in bad shape, but it may do more harm than good if you stay in bed too long. Staying active is far more effective in reducing back pain. Instead, use bed rest sparingly to give your back a break rather than as a treatment strategy.
Be sure to stretch your back muscles frequently, whether you’re up and moving or especially if you’re sitting for extended periods of time. Simple stretches like arching your back, bending forward towards the floor, and reaching side to side over your head can help keep those back muscles stretched out.
Think about the way you do repetitive tasks. Do they promote poor posture? If not, find a more effective way to work. Adjust your desk chair so that you’re not hunched over or see if you have access to a standing workstation.
You already know smoking is bad for you, but did you know it can contribute to your back pain? It’s bad for your bones and the effects of smoking cigarettes on your circulatory system can promote inflammation and restrict blood flow.
Excess weight can make your back problems worse, compressing the spine, increasing inflammation, and inhibiting movement. Eat right and exercise appropriately to help manage your weight and your back pain, in turn.
Mental health conditions may contribute to back pain. People with anxiety and depression are more likely to suffer from back pain. This is likely due to tense muscles and an increased perception of pain. Treating these conditions may help alleviate back pain.
If you’re experiencing back pain that doesn’t get better with these at-home treatments, is severe, or are in pain even while resting, you might consider seeing a pain specialist. They have the tools and team needed to appropriately diagnose the root cause of your pain and treat it effectively.