APPOINTMENTS

Back pain - Athletic woman rubbing her back

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people have to visit a doctor or take time off from work, states the Mayo Clinic. The average adult suffers from back at least once in their lifetime. The good news is that there are several ways you can relive back pain at home.

10 ways to relieve back pain at home include:

1. Ditch the Sagging Mattress

A restful sleep is key for a healthier life. However, when you’re experiencing back pain it’s difficult to enjoy a full night’s restful sleep. A firm surface without any soft spots or sags and that offers support for inflamed joints or strained muscles can help ease back pain.

2. Place a Pillow Between Your Knees

Sometimes women will be advised to sleep with a pillow between their knees to ease back pains common with pregnancy. This pillow technique also can help ease lower back pain for anyone (pregnant or not) and lead to better night’s sleep.

3. Gentle Daily Stretches

When back pain does hit, it’s tempting to want to stay immobile. Some back pain may worsen by staying down. Gentle stretches, like reaching your arms slowly above your head, can help ease pain. Keeping back, side, and torso muscles stretched and strong has the potential to reduce or even eliminate future back pain.

4. Yoga

Practicing daily yoga poses can help reduce back pain, while strengthening muscles. Yoga Journal recommends several different yoga poses to relieve back pain including the Upward Salute, the Sphynx, the Locust, and the Cat Pose.

5. Maintain a Healthy Weight

When your body carries excess weight, it can strain joints and muscles. Excess weight is hard on the knees, hips, and back. Talk to your physician to determine if weight may play a factor in your back pain.

6. Over-the-Counter Pain Medication

OTC or over-the-counter pain relief medications in the form of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may provide temporary relief of back pain. These include ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin. Before taking any OTC pain relief medications, consult your doctor.

7. Heat Therapy

Heat therapy via a heating pad or hot water bottle applied directly to the area of pain on your back can offer temporary relief. Heat therapy helps when experiencing muscle spasms or muscle cramps as well as for strained/pulled muscles.

Safety tip: Never go to sleep with an electric heating pad plugged in.

8. Cold Therapy

Cold therapy in the form of ice packs helps when suffering from back pain caused by inflammation. Cold therapy also is ideal when you need to reduce any swelling from an injury.

9. Aqua Therapy

If your home has a soaking tub (even better if it has whirlpool jets), it’s the ideal place for aqua therapy to relieve back pain. Aqua therapy can help relief both joint and muscle stress.

10. Change Your Shoes

Avoid flip-flops and heels higher than one-inch when suffering from back pain. A comfortable, lower-heeled shoe with arch support can be more beneficial.

Important: Before attempting any back pain relief effort, consult with your doctor.