Relief of Back Pain while HealingBack pain, especially lower back pain, is one of the most common types of pain reported in the U.S. It is probably just as common in many other countries, since it is often brought on by improper lifting techniques or unaccustomed exercise.
Most back pain will resolve itself in two to four weeks, but until it does, what can you do for relief of back pain?
Initial Relief of Back Pain
For immediate relief of sudden back pain, try lying flat on the floor on your back. Raise your legs and place them on a chair. This position will relieve the pressure on your back. Remain on the floor until you begin to get relief of back pain.
Ongoing Relief of Back Pain
In the first weeks, there is a tried and proven regimen for relief of back pain. Using most or all of the following in conjunction with one another will give maximum relief of back pain.
Most of us naturally resort to rest for relief of back pain. This is good when done in moderation. However, you should not take to your bed and stay there. Relief of back pain depends on as much activity as is comfortable. Getting up and moving around can ease the stiffness and hasten the anticipated ultimate relief of back pain.
Heat gives relief of back pain by relaxing the muscles. By dilating the blood vessels, heat improves the flow of oxygen to the affected area, reducing the pain and relieving muscle spasms. Use a heating pad on a medium setting to avoid burning the skin. Apply heat for no more than 20 to 30 minutes at a time, since constant heat for prolong periods can negatively impact organs in the abdominal area. Never sleep with a heating pad for relief of back pain.
Ice packs, or cold packs, are another part of your regimen for relief of back pain. Ice packs may be as simple as crushed ice wrapped in a towel. Or use an ice bag or professional ice pack. If neither is available, wrap a bag of frozen peas or corn in a towel. Ice works in an opposite manner from that of heat. Ice decreases blood vessel size, and reduces the flow of blood to the affected are. In doing this, cold reduces inflammation in the back, and provides relief of back pain. Avoid prolonged contact with cold packs. Instead, alternate heat and ice, 20 to 30 minutes each for maximum relief of back pain.
Relief of back pain must include exercise, especially stretching exercises. Many people avoid exercise, but physicians recommend it highly for relief of back pain. Stretching exercises reduce stiffness in the back, and may relieve compression on the spine. In addition, you will strengthen the muscles while you are healing. Strong core muscles will help prevent future back trouble. Ask your doctor or therapist for exercises suited to your condition.
Massage is important for relief of back pain, whether it is administered by a professional therapist or by on of the available massage cushions. Massage can stimulate blood flow to the affected area. It can also relax the muscles, giving the desired relief of back pain.
6. OTC Medications
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are also useful in relief of back pain. Choose analgesic medications such as aspirin or acetaminophen, both of which are intended for relief of back pain and other similar pain. You may also want to try OTC medications that are spread on the back. Ben Gay, Icy Hot, and Zostrix are examples of topical analgesics that give relief of back pain. If your back pain is accompanied by swelling, consider using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to reduce swelling and give further relief of back pain. Nonprescription NSAIDS include such medications as Advil, Motrin, Actron, Orudis, or Aleve. Check with your physician to be sure these will not react negatively with any prescriptions you may be taking.
CAUTION: If you continue to have pain after two to four weeks, please see your physician for relief of back pain. See your physician immediately if you have any of these other symptoms:
* Leg pain below the knee
* Leg or groin numbness
* Nausea or vomiting
* Stomach pain
* Loss of control over bathroom functions
The author is not a trained professional, and provides the foregoing advice on relief of back pain for educational purposes only.
© 2007, Anna Hart. Anna Hart invites you to read more of her articles about back pain at http://www.backpainreliefblog.com. Anna has done extensive research on back pain, and offers you the results of her research free of charge. If you are looking for more ways to get relief of back pain, visit Anna to see what new information she has posted.