Is your lifestyle so hectic that have a lot of stress and tension in your daily life? If so, this could be the cause of your back pain. You now find yourself in a Catch 22 situation. The pain is caused by stress and tension and then the pain causes further stress and tension. Where will it end – what can you do to alleviate it? Of course, you have the choice of taking medicine or of a course of injections. But these often cause other side effects. The alternative is to book acupuncture or a course of physiotherapy. But where do you fit that in to your busy life style.
Forget about these alternatives – take things into your own hands. How can you do this? It’s simple you just have to find a treatment that can be done in the comfort of your own home. First you need to find out about upper back pain causes and home remedies for lower back pain so read on.
You suddenly feel severe pain in your back after a certain movement. It could be that you just bent down to pick up something, turned awkwardly or you were lifting weights. This means that you have probably caused damage to the muscles or ligaments in your back. Pain in the lower regions of your back, also known as lumbago, in the upper back or in the middle can happen to you at any time at any age. You experience muscle spasms that are so painful you possibly have difficulty in moving. It is important that you seek medical help if you become completely immobilized, the pain becomes unbearable or there is a feeling of numbness at the back of your legs. For less severe cases there are many lower back pain remedies that you can try out yourself at home.
You can keep a cold compress in the refrigerator or just make sure that you keep ice cubes in the deep freezer. If you’re using ice cubes you should place them in a polythene bag and apply the cold compress to the painful area. Another alternative to ice cubes is a bag of frozen peas. Whichever you use it should be removed after 20 minutes but repeated at least once preferably twice daily.
At the same time as soothing the pain the coolness shuts down capillaries to the area thus reducing the flow of blood. This in turn eases the swelling and helps prevent any blood clotting. As it provides an anti-inflammatory effect, pain is reduced considerably. Furthermore, the nerves are no longer able to send pain signals to the brain after being chilled.
This therapy is most successful when used within 48 hours of an injury by reducing any pain or swelling that has occurred. After the 48 hours, it is recommended that you change to heat therapy for relaxing the muscles.
At least once a day you should spend between 25 to 30 minutes with a heating pad against your back. Heat is known to loosen those tight muscles and thus increase circulation. This in turn brings extra oxygen and nutrients to the painful area helping to heal it. Heat therapy is known to be pain relieving and can reduce stiffness as it has an analgesic effect on the muscles. Another alternative is to take a warm shower or a hot bath that will provide the same effect as the heating pad. The heat provides an analgesic effect. This combined with the healing effect of the water has proven to be successful in combating pain and any inflammation caused. It is especially recommended for tightness and muscle spasms in the lower back. If you’re looking for something that is non-invasive, inexpensive and easy to apply then this is the treatment for you.
Whatever your job you probably spend a good part of the day bending or slumping forward. This could be just because you have to lift things or you are sitting in front of a computer. This is one of the main upper back pain causes. Instead of slumping in your chair for hours on end, you should take a break every 20 minutes to exercise your muscles. Consider doing an exercise that stretches your upper and lower back muscles. By exercising the lower back muscles regularly, you can avoid further pain as these muscles support your back. Exercising also gives you a better posture ensuring that your spine is aligned correctly. You need to check out with your doctor or physiotherapist which exercises are right for you. You need exercises to help stretch your shoulder, back and stomach muscles as these are the muscles needed to support your spine. Should your back be hurting, you need to take a break but be sure to start moving again as soon as possible otherwise the pain will get worse.
One movement you need to avoid if possible is the lifting of heavy objects. If it’s not possible to avoid lifting anything then follow this advice: when lifting something you should keep your back straight while bending your knees. Keep the object as close to your body as possible and try not to twist around.
Surely that’s not too hard to follow!
Stretching routines, such as yoga will also give relief. When you consider that ancient cultures successfully used this as a pain cure over 5,000 years ago it is definitely worth considering. As yoga consists of over 100 different forms from fast-paced to intense, gentle to relaxing, you need to find the right form that suits your needs. You could try the Marjaryasana to stretch the muscles and nerves, the Bakasana, Setu Bandhana Asana or the Dhanur Asana. These are otherwise known as the cat pose, the crow pose, the bridge pose or the bow pose. Yoga not only tones your muscles and burns calories, but it is also a great way to meditate and relax. An advantage is that you can do it anywhere, inside or outside, it will only cost you the price of a yoga mat and your age doesn’t need to be taken into consideration.
One important factor – you should learn the yoga poses from a qualified instructor or from a tutorial that is known to be reliable before you start it.
Have you ever considered that the way you sleep could aggravate the pain in your back? Maybe your mattress in not the correct one for you and that is the cause of your pain. If you suffer from lower back pain, a mattress that is medium-firm is more suitable than a firm mattress. Also, you should consider changing your mattress if it is more than 8 years old or if it is sagging. Sleeping on your right side or left side instead of on your back or your stomach should also help. To relieve any strain on your back you should position a pillow between your knees. By doing this the strain on you back will be relieved as it helps to keep your spine in a neutral position. Nothing could be simpler!
A healthy eating habit with foods containing calcium such as milk, yoghurt and cheese, and vitamin D is a must if you want to prevent osteoporosis. This is one of the biggest causes of back pain for the older generation.
As a child, your mother probably got on your nerves telling you to eat your vegetables. But she was right. Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, beets, spinach, broccoli and carrots are full of the nutrition needed to alleviate back pain. The greener the vegetable the more effective it is as an anti-inflammatory that includes properties that help fight back pain.
Fruits like cherries, berries, grapes and watermelon and herbs such as ginger, garlic and onions are also important. You could even consider drinking herbal teas, eating lean proteins like turkey and chicken and snack on walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts and almonds. In other words, why not try to eat that pain away.
An easy and efficient way to ease that back pain is to drink a glass of warm milk once or twice a day. It contains the much-needed calcium for your muscles to work properly. Without it the muscles will start to cramp. Drinking warm milk will give you instant relief as it immediately moves across the walls of the cells. It’s anti-inflammatory properties not only treat the pain directly but also provide your bones with much needed calcium. Calcium is important to prevent degeneration of the spinal disks. Back pain is often caused as a result of degeneration of the spinal disks that have caused the bones to weaken.
Ayurvedic oils or St John’s wort oil applied to the painful area and massaged in for between 10 to 15 minutes can be exceptionally pain relieving. This should be repeated for around 3 to 4 days.
Another oil treatment that is recommended is garlic oil massage. One teaspoonful of this anti-inflammatory oil massaged into the painful area for circa 10 minutes works on the tissue and the muscle for relief of pain. You need to be careful here if you have sensitive skin as garlic oil could be too harsh for you and thus cause a burning sensation. If this the case you need to consult your medical doctor immediately.
All these oils contain pain killing and anti-inflammatory properties that will give you practically instant relief. Just be sure that the person who massages you is experienced in giving massages. You could end up with further complications if the massage is not given correctly. You certainly don’t want to exchange one pain for another!
One positive aspect to any discomfort you feel is that you now have a legit excuse to have a massage. The benefit of a massage is that it helps your circulation by increasing your blood flow. Your blood is now able to flow freely so it can distribute the much-needed nutrition to your muscles. By relaxing the muscle, it becomes flexible again thus reducing pain. Should you be suffering with chronic back pain as a result of stress, anxiety or depression then massage is a must. Massage helps increase the level of endorphins you brain produces. These endorphins stop the brain from registering pain signals.
The trigger point massage is most recommendable. It is a neuromuscular therapy where pressure is applied for between 10 to 30 seconds to the area that is affected. This therapy should be applied four times over a period of six weeks. After 2 weeks at the most you will feel the results. You should be sure to book these sessions with an experienced therapist who will treat you in the comfort of your own home.
Should you not be flexible with time but like the idea of a regular massage then a massage chair is an excellent alternative. As with any massage therapy, your muscles will be relaxed and circulation will be increased. This will result in the necessary pain relieving nutrition reaching those aching muscles. Your brain will receive stimulation resulting in an increase of production of those all-important endorphins. The endorphins act as a natural drug and help the brain reduce the perception of pain. This is one of the best lower back pain remedies.
The biggest advantage of a massage chair is that you can have a massage without booking an appointment. Also, you don’t need to go to a therapist or have a therapist visit your home for treatment. You can have a massage in comfort at any time that you feel like.
As there are various home remedies for back pain, it’s now up to you to decide which ones to try out. For some of the massage therapies you need an experienced person to apply the massage. An alternative to this is a massage chair. But this is rather costly and you need to have space in your home for it.
But one word of advice, if you are suffering from severe pain it is important to consult a medical doctor immediately. There could be an underlying cause for the pain that really does need medical treatment. Also, if the back pain symptoms continue despite trying out different home remedies for lower back pain you need to consult your doctor.