Easy home fixes for back pain

We present simple remedies to try if you have been suffering from niggling back pain in recent days or weeks.

Back pain is a reality for many people, especially senior citizens, or those recovering from an accident, or those who play sports professionally. While it can be dealt with swiftly and eliminated in most cases, you might need to be careful about self-treating it if it is a recurring problem.

The most obvious thing to do is to get your back looked at by a doctor if the pain is severe and debilitating. But if the pain is a result of stress, overwork, lack of sleep, or minor injury, then you can deal with it yourself at home.

The following section presents easy tips on dealing minor but recurring back pain in the comfort of your home, and without making an immediate run to the doctor.

* Rest it. The easiest and often, the best, fix for back pain is to relieve it with rest. Try and get at least 7 hours’ sleep at night, on a comfortable but firm mattress that supports your spine. If your lower back is painful, put a pillow under your knees to raise the spine slightly and alleviate pressure. Aim for restful sleep without distractions, and try to get a few days off from work to recover completely.

* Apply pain relief cream. There are several good pain relief creams in the market, but the best ones are those that use a natural formulation of pain-killing ingredients. Look for a back pain cream that contains eucalyptus oil, turpentine oil, wintergreen oil and mint extract. The cream goes to the source of the pain immediately upon application, and numbs the area so that you feel more comfortable. Meanwhile, the painful muscle or joint is worked upon. Regular application helps to alleviate the pain and eliminate it entirely.

* Keep it active. A painful back can seize up and ‘freeze’ into an uncomfortable state if you are inactive. You might be tempted to rest a lot – and rest may be necessary if you have a severe strain or spine misalignment – but being on your feet can actually help the healing process much better. Do gentle stretches to increase blood supply to the painful muscle or joint. Enlist the help of a physiotherapist to learn exercises that will stretch the muscle or move the joint rhythmically to restore it to good health. However, be careful about overexerting it or you may cause more harm than good.

* Correct your posture. Wrong posture can cause back pain, as well as neck and shoulder stiffness. Make sure your shoulders are pulled back, and your spine is straight when you walk, stand or sit. Slouching or rolling your shoulders forward automatically brings your neck forward as well, and this causes strain on the shoulders and curves the spine. Soon, you begin to experience back pain that can increase in intensity over time.