Back pain is no joke. Nearly a quarter of all workdays lost due to sickness are attributable to back pain and other musculoskeletal problems. It’s a huge problem in the US and beyond. Unfortunately, as any sufferer knows, chronic back pain affects every part of your life. You can’t sleep, rest, work or do anything without being in pain. The good news is that there are several ways to help soothe an aching back if you don’t want an expensive trip to the doctor.
Poor posture is the main cause of back pain. Millions of people spend 40+ hours a week sitting in an office chair, hunched over a keyboard. It stands to reason that by the end of the week, their back is in pure agony.
The best way to soothe back pain caused by poor posture is to do some carefully targeted exercises designed to strengthen the core, stretch tight muscles, and loosen up ligaments. Supine stretches and static extension exercises are a good start, but if you really want to heal your back problems, practice yoga or Pilates, as both are great for back problems.
A massage should help your aching back. Ask your partner to gently massage the affected area. If you don’t have a partner, invest in an OSIM massage chair, which will reach parts you didn’t know existed. It’s the perfect accessory after a long day pushing bits of paper around a desk. You can enjoy a soothing massage while watching Game of Thrones. What fun!
Heat is an effective treatment for aching muscles, so if you have a backache, run a hot bath and soak for 30 minutes. Add some aromatherapy oils to help you relax. Lavender is a good choice, as it has stress relieving properties. If you need some heat treatment to help you sleep, take a hot water bottle to bed and place it over your lower back region.
Cold packs are just as effective as heat, although not as pleasant on a cold day. Take a bag of frozen peas from the freezer and place it inside a clean pillow case or tea-towel. Place your ice pack against the sore area and leave it there for at least 20 minutes. The cold will reduce inflammation and pain.
It may sound counterintuitive, but being active is the best treatment for a backache. Back pain is often caused by stiffness in the affected region. Walking around and staying active is far better than lying on a sofa. Where possible, continue with your normal activities, even if your back still hurts. Staying active will distract you from the pain and research has shown that active people tend to recover faster.
If home remedies are not helping and you are still in a lot of pain after two weeks, schedule an appointment with your primary care provider, as the underlying cause of your back pain needs to be identified.