Experiencing back pain can be quite frustrating. Nearly all Australians will suffer back pain at some stage in their lives. An important point to make here is that you need to do something about it when you first notice it.
Seeing a health professional should be your first point of call, but in the mean time what can you do to relieve your back pain?
Here are 7 things we recommend you do:
1. Hot or Cold Pack
Many do not know when to use heat compared to when to use ice.
To make it simple, if it is a sudden injury, use ice and if it is a gradual onset of pain/ache use heat. You can also use heat a few days after the injury has settled. Hot and cold packs are generally inexpensive and great to keep in the freezer, on hand. Same goes for a wheat pack.
2. Adjust your sleeping habit.
So much happens when we sleep, especially when it comes to recovery. So make sure of a few simple things when you go to bed. Firstly ensure your pillow is good enough to support your neck and head properly. This will not only reduce the chances of a stiff neck but it also helps align the spine. The second thing you should remember is, if you are a back sleeper, pillow under your knees, if you are a side sleeper, pillow between your legs. Again this aligns your spine and supporting muscles. Your body recovers better in an ideal position and it also allows tight back muscles to settle.
3. Replenish electrolytes!
Keeping hydrated is important. Replenishing lost electrolytes is just as important. When you are low on electrolytes it strips away the moisture from your muscles and joints, which in turn leads to aches and pains. So make sure you are drinking and eating foods rich in electrolytes like, coconut water, dark leafy greens, fruit and veg and nut butter. It is especially important after you have sweat to replenish immediately, reducing the risk of aches and pains.
4. Foam Rolling
After an intense day, and your muscles and joints are aching, get that foam roller out and start using it. Foam Rolling is great for myofascial release which allows the muscles to lengthen by releasing the tight and short muscle fibres it rolls over. Foam rolling is also great for obtaining better flexibility and movement through the spine. So it is a great addition to the house hold and an excellent device for home back pain relief.
5. The cat and camel stretch
This is a great stretch that is easy to do and doesn’t require too much of an awkward position. So basically you are down on all fours and you move from arching the back toward the sky while taking deep breathes and arching it back to the floor, taking deep breathes. This allows the spine to gain flexibility while allowing the muscles to expand and contract. This takes pressure off the spine and relieves the muscles surrounding it.
6. Soaking in a bath
Not all of us have a bath at home, but if you do, relaxing in a warm bath helps relieve muscular aches. It is a type of heat therapy. It promotes good circulation, the buoyancy of the water takes pressure off the back and the warm water also helps eliminate lactic acid build up. It is an easy and effective way to help relieve back pain.
By meditating you are able to achieve two main things. Firstly it helps relieve stress, and secondly it helps refocus your mind away from pain. Meditation promotes a deeper breathing pattern which allows greater oxygen intake into the bloodstream. Your brain functions better to allow for stress relief and refocusing and it also helps restore joint and muscle function.
If there are any questions about any of these remedies please don’t hesitate to contact us for more info and advice.
See you soon at Dulwich Hill Chiropractic & Therapeutic Centre
Health Professional and Clinic Manager.