If you’ve been suffering from back pain, you’re likely looking for practical and effective solutions. In between your chiropractic appointments, there are a few things you can do at home to relieve back pain and discomfort. Here are some tips you can start using today.
When your back is in pain, it’s important to keep moving. Staying active can also help to prevent discomfort in the lumbar region. While it may be natural for you to avoid moving if your back is hurting, remaining immobile can make the muscles stiffer. If you don’t work your muscles regularly, you could experience even more pain when you try to move after being on bed rest or staying still for hours at a time.
There are several stretches and exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles in the lower back and reduce pain. These include partial crunches which help to strengthen the core and lower back. To perform this exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent. Place your hands behind your head and lift your shoulders, keeping the muscles in your stomach tight. Hold the position for at least one second. Breathe out while lifting your shoulders. Remember to lift the head gently and don’t lift from the elbows.
You may also want to try hamstring stretches. This exercise relieves pain and pressure in the legs and strengthens the lower spine. To perform this exercise, lie on your back and bend one knee. Thread a towel under the ball of your foot under your unbent leg. Hold this stretch for at least 15 seconds and repeat the exercise at least five times per leg.
If you’re having severe low back pain, wall sits can be effective. This exercise gives you a break from sitting on the couch for hours at a time. For this exercise, stand with your back about 10 inches from the wall. Lean against the wall until your spine is flat against the wall. Slide down the wall and bend your knees while pressing your back to the wall. Hold this position while counting to 10 then slide up the wall. Repeat this exercise 10 times in a row. It’s a good idea to perform this exercise while taking a break from working or even when you’re watching a movie and want to make sure you’re not in one spot for too long.
After you’ve exercised, it’s time to find a comfortable position to rest your back muscles. When it comes to sleeping, you may have to try several positions to alleviate back pain. Try lying on your back while bending your knees and hips. Place some pillows under your knees. You can also lie on your side with your knees bent and put a pillow between your legs to eliminate pressure on the back muscles. You can also sit up slightly while in bed with pillows supporting your back, especially if you’re reading or watching television in bed.
Try Ice or Heat
Ice can reduce back pain and heat can relieve muscle tightness. You should apply heat or ice to your back for about 15 minutes at a time every hour. You may find that it’s best to alternate between hot and cold treatments to get rid of the pain. An ice pack or pack of frozen vegetables works well for icing. Use a towel as a barrier between your skin and the cold pack to avoid nerve damage. For heat treatments, use a heating pad or hot water bottle. You can also take a warm bath with Epsom salt to keep your muscles from being constricted.
Take Pain Medication as Needed
Pain medicine may not completely get rid of the pain. However, the medication can keep the discomfort at bay long enough for you to complete daily tasks or get a good night’s rest. You can take over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or anti-inflammatory medication like naproxen or ibuprofen. Acetaminophen helps alleviate pain and anti-inflammatory medicine can reduce swelling. If you’re considering taking pain medication, talk to your physician to make sure the medicine is safe for you and doesn’t interfere with any pre-existing health conditions.
When you’re ready to get relief from back pain, we’re here to help. Contact us today at 205-637-1363 to make your appointment.