Back pain can occur for many reasons and can range from mild to severe. Mild, short term back pain may be caused by a cramped muscle, poor posture, sleep disturbances or stress.
If you have mild back pain, you may want to try treating it at home before making an appointment with the doctor. Home remedies for back pain can also help alleviate some of your symptoms and discomfort while you’re waiting for your next appointment.
Relaxation and Deep Breathing
Physical and emotional stress can cause or worsen back pain. Deep breathing exercise can help by releasing your body’s natural pain reliever – endorphins. Drink a cup of Chamomile/Lavender tea to help relax muscles and relieve stress. Pain is often your body’s way of saying “slow down, you’re doing too much.”
Epson Salt Soak
Epson salts are soothing and help relax muscles. Soak in a lukewarm bath tub with 1 or 2 cups of Epson salt. Avoid overly hot water or water that is too cold. It should be comfortable to sit in and soak.
Hot and Cold
Cold reduces inflammation and slows nerve impulses while heat stimulated blood flow and reduces pain signals to the brain. Alternating between hot and cold will give you the benefits of both. However, if heat makes it worse, stick with cold and vice versa.
You can make your own heat and ice packs. Moisten a washcloth or small hand towel just until damp – you don’t want it dripping. Place the damp towel in the freezer for a cold pack or microwave for a hot pack.
Bad posture is one of the biggest reasons people suffer from upper and lower back pain. Correct posture can often relieve pain on its own. Avoid slouching or awkward positions.
When sitting in a chair or at a desk, keep your spine and neck straight and feet flat on the floor. Monitors should be at eye level and mouse and keyboard within easy reach.
Keep the spine aligned while walking and try to keep weight evenly distributed to avoid additional stress on the lower back.
Exercise and Stretching
Keep moving. Even though it hurts, you want to keep the muscles strong and working properly. Stretching also helps relieve tense muscles, knots and pinched nerves.
For lower back pain, stretch the abdomen and lower back muscles as well as the hamstrings. Stretching the hamstrings helps relieve stress on the lower back.
For upper back pain, stretch the neck and shoulder muscles with simple neck and shoulder rotations twice a day or more.
Sleep on your back with a pillow under your feet to relieve pressure on the back. If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your knees. Avoid sleeping on your stomach, which can increase back pain.
When to Contact Your Doctor
The same things that cause mild back pain may also cause more severe and long-term back pain, however, it could also be a sign of a pinched nerves, disc degeneration, arthritis or other bone and joint conditions.
Contact us to schedule an appointment if your pain is not relieved or you experience additional symptoms.
- Trauma, such as car accident or fall
- Extends six months or more
- Not improved in a couple days
- Abdominal pain or loss of bowel or bladder function
- Tingling, numbness or weakness in the extremities
- Wakes you up from a deep sleep or only occurs at night
- Sudden fever or weight loss
For more information about spine and bone health, follow us on Facebook or contact one of our local offices to talk with one of our specialists.