Anyone who has ever suffered from back pain knows just how debilitating it can be. Practically everything that you do during the course of a typical day requires you to use your back. As a result, if you have back pain, it can make it incredibly difficult to get through the day. Every time you move, you may experience excruciating pain.
Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to help your back feel better and to minimize the chances of chronic pain. The following section outlines some of the most effective tips to reduce back pain:
1. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can put undue strain on your muscles and tendons. Eventually, this can lead to back pain. By actively working to maintain a healthy weight, you can minimize the strain on your back, helping to eliminate pain as a result.
2. Work on improving your posture. Over time, most people develop bad habits that lead to poor posture. Again, this can cause tension in the back muscles, resulting in chronic pain. Improving your posture can help realign your body, easing tension in the process. Although it may sound overly simple, try tying a string around your finger or your wrist for a few days. Each time you see the string, think of it as a reminder to check your posture. If you are slouching, make any necessary corrections. Over time, this will become a habit, replacing your poor posture with good posture instead.
3. Try taking over-the-counter pain relievers. For acute cases of back pain, you may find it beneficial to take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. These medications help reduce inflammation, which can ease painful symptoms. Of course, like all medications, these drugs do have side effects. It is important to make sure that you can safely take them. Always check with your doctor before taking any type of medication, even if it is sold over-the-counter.
4. Get up and move. Although it may sound counter-intuitive, moving is one of the best things that you can do for back pain. A common misconception is that you should lay down in bed if your back is hurting. In fact, however, this can actually cause the pain to get worse. Movement can limber up tight muscles, helping to reduce or eliminate pain. Just avoid any strenuous activities that could make things worse.
5. Experiment with hot or cold packs. Adding heat or ice may help reduce pain. Cold packs work by reducing inflammation, whereas heat helps ease tension or relieve muscle spasms. Depending on the type of pain that you are experiencing, you may find that you prefer heat or ice. Try both to see which one gives you the most relief. Just be sure not to apply ice directly to your skin.
6. Strengthen your abdominal muscles. Your core muscles help to hold your body upright. When your stomach muscles are weak, it can put excess strain on your back, eventually leading to pain. By doing exercises that strengthen your core, you can develop a more stable base for your body, reducing the amount of strain on your back.
7. Stretch to improve flexibility. Tight muscles can make back pain worse. Incorporate stretching into your everyday workout routine. You also may want to look into yoga to keep your body as limber as possible.
Try using these tips to reduce back pain. Don’t be afraid to experiment since you may find that some techniques are more effective than others. Through trial and error, you should be able to find a treatment regimen that provides you with the relief that you need.