Whether you are an office worker or a stay-at-home mom, back pain doesn’t discriminate. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders says that up to 80 percent of adults will experience back pain in their lifetime.
The causes for lower back pain are varied, but the most common reasons are sprains and strains. If a person has experienced a recent gain in weight, this can strain his spine and lead to back pain. The same is true for pregnancy and work that require heavy lifting. Other factors that could be contributing to your back pain have to do with age and fitness levels.
Here are a few simple methods to alleviate back pain that each require less than 5 minutes to perform.
- Try a gentle massage
Massage is a well-known method of pain relief. Long strokes and the massaging of trigger point areas help soothe painful knots and tight muscles. And you don’t need to go to a massage therapist to get the benefits. You can give yourself a massage that is just as effective at alleviating pain as a therapist would give. Handheld massagers that provide a chiropractic tool for massage are becoming a popular method of treatment.
If you’ve placed your order for a handheld massager but need immediate relief until the product arrives at your door, try the following. Find a baseball. Lie on the floor, facing the ceiling, and place the ball underneath your back. Roll around on the ball until it hits a sore area and let the weight of your body against the ball serve to knead out the tension.
- Stretch to feel better
After sitting for a while, what’s a movement you feel almost compelled to do? Stretch. And that’s a good thing. Stretching aids your range of movement and helps you not pull anything you shouldn’t. It’s a preventative activity, but it can also serve to alleviate back pain. Try both of these well-known yoga poses to find this out for yourself.
The cat and cow. Get down on your hands and knees. Drop your head and arch your back as high as it will go. Hold for 3 seconds. Then drop your back in a counter-arch, bringing your head back to face forward. Hold for 3 seconds. Repeat this move 3 times.
The child pose. Start off by sitting on your knees. Then slowly lower your head to the floor in front of you, stretching your arms forward as you do so. Your body should take the shape of a flattened Z. Move around in this position so that you feel the stretch along your sides and deep within your lower back. See if you don’t feel better after both of these moves.
- Comfort yourself with heat therapy. Or ice for an injury.
Heat therapy, also called thermotherapy, is a common way to help treat muscle spasms or trigger point areas. It can soothe your nervous system and provide comfort to an aching back. Use a hot water bottle, a heating pad, an electric blanket, or a heated bean bag to apply heat to your lower back. You could also try a soak in a hot water bath or a trip to a sauna.
Keep in mind that heat therapy is not a good treatment option if your back pain is a result of an injury or joint inflammation. In the case of an injury, you will want to use ice, not heat, to help soothe the pain. When using ice therapy to alleviate pain from injury, place ice cubes in a plastic bag and wrap the bag in a towel.
If your lower back pain persists, consider seeing your family doctor. While sprains and strains are the common cause of lower back pain, there may be a more serious issue at play. Get diagnosed and find your way back to a pain-free life.
Submitted by Community Writer.