7 Effective Tips For Back Pain Relief: From Massage To Changing Footwear
Most adults are familiar with what back pain feels like. Almost everyone experiences it at least once in their lives, and many people live with chronic back pain. It can develop as a result of many different causes, from poor posture to arthritis, and treatments vary depending on the cause. Regardless of what makes your back hurt, some self-care measures can help relieve your pain.
1. Apply heat or cold
During the first two days after the pain started, apply an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel to the area that hurts in 20-minute sessions. This method will help reduce inflammation. After the first two days, try to apply a heating pad for a change. You can alternate heat and cold, but don’t hold it for longer than 20 minutes.
2. Get a massage
Back massages are often used to relieve back pain. Oils and ointments for pain relief can further amplify the remedial effect of the massage. Go to a certified massage therapist, or you can simply ask your partner or relative for a back rub if you prefer.
3. Try acupuncture
Acupuncture has gained recognition in scientific circles as an effective complementary treatment for back pain and other types of pain. If you’re willing to give acupuncture a try, go to a certified practitioner.
4. Take a painkiller
If your back pain bothers you and distracts you from work or other activities, you can take an over-the-counter painkiller, such as ibuprofen or other NSAID. But you should carefully study the directions for the use of these medicines, because they interact with other drugs and are usually not intended for long-term use. If you’re unsure about which pain medicine to take, consult your doctor.
5. Pay attention to your posture when sitting
Back pain is a common problem for people who sit at their desks when working. Keep your back straight when you’re sitting, and make some adjustments to your workplace if sitting is uncomfortable. You should also stand up and walk around for a couple of minutes, or do stretches after every 20-30 minutes of staying seated.
6. Get some exercise
Exercises such as stretching, walking, swimming, and cycling can help relieve your back pain, and regular exercise can help prevent it from returning. Refrain from intense workouts and lifting heavy objects while your back is still in pain. Stop exercising for a while if your back pain gets worse during or after physical activity.
7. Wear comfortable shoes
You won’t do your back any favor if you walk in high heels when your back is in pain. Stick to flats, low heels (less than 1 inch), or sports shoes until your back recovers. You can also try orthotic inserts to make walking more comfortable.
As helpful as these tips may be, there are situations when you have to see a doctor for your back pain. Get medical help if:
- your back pain doesn’t start to subside in a few days;
- the pain is severe and/or getting worse;
- the pain doesn’t go away when you’re resting;
- the pain is accompanied by tingling and numbness in your limbs;
- you also have abdominal pain.
This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.