10 Fast and Effective Ways to Relieve Back Pain
Back pain is a widespread problem and regardless of where you feel pain, whether it is in the upper, middle or lower back, it is one of the worst types of pain you could suffer from. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Before Anything Else: Visit a Physiotherapist
First thing first. If you’ve been suffering from back pain for a long time or believe that the back pain is due to a recent trauma: consult a physical therapist. Recurring or persistent back pain could indicate an underlying illness and could be warning signs of a more serious medical disease or condition.
A physical therapist will not only be able to make an accurate diagnosis but can also create a personalized plan to help you get better. Additionally, physiotherapists can teach you how to sit and stand properly. Moving in the right way ensures that your spine is in proper alignment and will alleviate strain on your back.
Slouching will make your back pain worse, especially if you sit for long periods. The physical therapist will also provide advice on how to correct your body posture. Below is a list of things you can start doing right now:
- Do not slump over your keyboard.
- Always sit upright, with your shoulders relaxed.
- Ensure the back of your chair can support your back.
- When sitting, always keep your feet flat on the floor.
Method 1: Have a Better Sleep Routine
Countless research shows a potential link between low sleep quality and worsening back pain. According to another study, in addition to worsening back pain, lack of sleep can also decrease a person’s tolerance to pain.
Hence, experiment with different sleep positions. For example, you can try placing a pillow under your knees to take some pressure off your back and knees. If you enjoy sleeping on your side though, place a pillow between your knees. But do not sleep on your stomach to avoid arching your back.
Method 2: Replace Your Mattress and Pillows
An uncomfortable mattress and wrong size pillows could trigger back pain and affect the quality of your sleep. On top of that, if you already suffer from back pain, sleeping will be almost impossible if the pain increases when you lie down.
To reduce the chances of aggravating your back pain, ensure that your back is properly aligned. Get a mattress that’s comfortably firm and pillows that can keep the back and neck in a straight line.
Method 3: Get Regular Massages
Studies have shown that regular massage sessions can improve pain and provide relief to people with chronic back pain. It eases stress, relaxes your muscles and can boost endorphins. Endorphins are known to act as natural pain relievers.
But for long term benefits, it is important to schedule regular sessions. A recent study found that the benefits of getting one massage per week over 10 weeks can last for about 6 months. But after that period, these benefits will dwindle, unless you start scheduling more sessions.
Method 4: Hit the Gym
Training your core and your back provides support to the upper body and decreases pressure on other parts of the body. As your core and abdominals get stronger, you will lighten the burden on the other parts of your body and naturally decrease lower pain. Also, by training your legs and hamstrings you will strengthen your legs. This will make walking and sitting less painful. However, this process is not easy and takes time. Hence, consider visiting a physical therapist. He or she can devise a program meant specially for you. It will consist of specialized exercises and can decrease the amount of time it would usually take for you to get a strong core.
Method 5: Try Flexibility Training
While it may be tempting to lie down and do nothing when back pain strikes, you should know that lying still is considered to be one of the worst things one can do in these cases. Doctors indeed used to prescribe bed rest, but recent studies have shown that this can only make back pain worse.
If it’s too painful and you want to rest, do it for not more than a day or two. Exercise is probably the most effective solution to relieving back pain. So, get up and do some light stretching if you don’t think you can exercise. Try stretching your legs by going for a short walk or do some low-impact activity, such as yoga or Pilates. Water exercise can also be of some help.
Below is a list of stretches that you can do on your own. Try to hold each position for 30 seconds:
1. Touching the toes
Stand straight and bend forward at the hips (do not bend your knees) to touch your toes.
2. Cobra Pose
Lie on your stomach, press your hands face down beside the shoulders. Lift your chest gently until the top of your head points toward the ceiling.
3. Child’s Resting Pose
Sit on your heels. Ensure your knees are hip-width apart. Carefully lean forward to place your head on the floor and stretch your arms out in front of you.