We’ve all been there…ouch. Whether you’ve injured yourself by exercising incorrectly, lifting something a little too heavy, or just woke up with an inexplicable ache, most everyone can relate to how excruciating it can be to have back pain.
According to WebMD, approximately 22 million Americans pay a visit to a chiropractor every year, with 35-percent visiting specifically for back pain. This figure shows how vulnerable our bodies can be, and how susceptible the back is, since it often bears the load of many of our daily activities.
Sometimes, backaches just require a period of “taking it easy,” wherein we allow our bodies rest and recovery. At other times, the injury might be more significant, requiring taking things a step further to get back into tip-top shape.
If you’re stricken by this problem that can range from mildly annoying to absolutely debilitating, consider these five ways to relieve lower back pain.
First, Start with the Tried-and-True Remedies
On the front lines of initial treatment for dealing with lower back pain are the obvious medications generally suggested for pulls, strains and simple injuries: Over-the-counter painkillers. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) are the most commonly suggested sources of relief. Combined with using cold (ice pack or a package of frozen peas) applied for 20 minutes or so for the first 24 hours following arrival of the pain, many cases of lower back pain disappear without further intervention.
When Your Lower Back Pain Requires More
According to Prevention magazine, the right time to consider prescription medications for back pain is after four-to-six weeks have elapsed. If OTC medications are no longer providing relief, or if things aren’t improving, you might need to switch to something more powerful. Medications might include muscle relaxants, prescription-strength topical pain medications, or cortisone shots. Such medications are supposed to be used only temporarily, though, until the reason your lower back pain isn’t healing is fully determined and a treatment plan is established. The plan might include medical testing to look deeper at the back; a round of physical therapy; or a regular schedule of pain-relieving chiropractic treatments.
Try Stretching or Yoga
Gentle stretches, walking, or light activities that get the body moving in gentle ways are helpful in alleviating back pain. It is hard to make yourself “stretch through the pain,” but keeping limber is usually helpful. Yoga poses can go far in helping with lower back pain. A few suggested poses include “Child’s Pose,” “Cat/Cow,” “Downward Facing Dog” and “Standing Forward Bend.”
See Your Chiropractor or Acupuncturist
Join the many who are pursuing alternative routes to healing. Seeing a chiropractor or acupuncturist for lower back pain. It certainly won’t hurt to discuss your problems with them, and might avoid costly medical bills and provide more natural routes to getting well.
Get Your Mood Stabilized
We all know how our minds can affect our bodies. Sometimes, stressing out over pain makes it worse. Try to find relaxation in a full body massage, soak in a hot tub (add Epsom salts for a soothing tub session), and consider mindfulness meditation. It might help, and there’s certainly nothing at all to lose.
As usual, the best way to avoid lower back pain is to be careful and conscious of your movements and aware of your physical capabilities as you go about your day. If you push things too far, however, hopefully some of these suggestions will help set you on the healing path, so you’ll mend sooner rather than later.