Back pain is one of the most common medical complaints in the world. With over 80% of adults experiencing it at least once in their lives, it’s one of the leading causes of disability globally. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to treat and relieve back pain.
Read on to discover 5 fast and effective back pain remedies.
1. Apply Heat And Cold
Applying heat or cold to the site of discomfort is a classic solution to back pain. Heat works to speed up circulation and loosen tightness in the muscles. It can be applied using a heat patch, heat pad, or hot water bottle. Cold, on the other hand, reduces blood flow and limits the ability of your nerves to send pain signals. Use an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel to protect your skin. Which route you go depends on what type of discomfort you are treating. If the pain is acute, first apply cold and follow up with the heat. If it’s chronic or sub-acute, apply mild heat continuously. And if the source of the pain is soreness from exercising, apply ice.
2. Practice Light Stretching
Stretching is a safe, low-impact way to relieve back pain. It can be as easy as touching your toes to relax the muscles of your lower back or alternating between lifting each knee to the chest. There are also a number of beginner yoga stretches that can help banish back pain. Position yourself on your hands and knees, then slowly arch your back up towards the ceiling then back down to the floor in succession for a simple Cat-Cow stretch. Or, try Child’s Pose by sitting on your heels with your knees at hip-width apart and raising your arms in the air. Maintaining that position, lean forward until your forehead touches the floor.
3. Wear Supportive Shoes
Inappropriate footwear is a major culprit for back pain, especially in the lower back. Protect your back by investing in a good pair of supportive shoes. Look for shoes with proper arch support and cushioning. Fit is also significant, as shoes that are too tight or loose can alter your natural gait and put stress on your back.
4. Use A Pain-Relief Cream
To save your back some stress, treat it with a pain-relief cream. Creams formulated with capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot peppers, are known to be effective at relieving pain. Another common ingredient is menthol, which provides a cooling effect that soothes aches and dulls pains. You can also look for creams that contain pain-relieving ingredients like camphor, argan oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil.
5. Take Prescription Medications
Self-help treatments can be useful in the short term, but if your back pain persists for as long as four to six weeks, seek professional advice from your doctor. They’ll be able to advise you on the best course of action and may recommend prescribed therapies like muscle relaxants, cortisone shots, or prescription topical medications.