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Back Pain Relief Tips

Updated on December 4, 2012

Getting a healthy back

The Excruciating Pain of Backache

Back pain can be excruciatingly painful, where experts say that two out of three people around the world will suffer from back pain at least once in their life. But why is back pain so prominent in our lives, causing more sick days off from work than the common cold or influenza.

Obviously, we're all different, so it stands to reason that not only the strengths and weaknesses of our bodies unique to each of us, we do things differently too such as lifting, sitting and so on. In addition we shouldn't forget that our habit are different as well - what we eat and how much of it, whether we're overweight and whether we smoke.

When a back pain kicks in, many people think one event or something that happened just before they experience the pain is what caused it to happen. Actually, more often than not it's just the last part of a series of events contributing to the back pain.

What Not To Do

Quit The Tobacco Habit

We all do things that we don't necessarily associate with back pain. Smoking tobacco is one of them. Back pain and tobacco just don't mix well. Quit as soon as possible. Getting rid of the smoking habit is good in itself - even without the back pain, but nicotine does have unpleasant negative effects as it flows through the body reducing blood circulation - including the spine and that - among other things, increases your risk of experiencing back pain.

Lift Things Properly

Back pain is caused by many things, but one thing you need to make sure of doing properly is lifting. Not lifting heavy objects properly, especially if you're prone to back pain - is simply going to . Make sure you're bending your knees, keeping your abs tight and keeping the object you're lifting close to your body. This will help take a lot of the strain off of your back.

Avoiding Additional Back Problems

In order to avoid additional back pain or problems for a recovering back, steer clear of recreation, that will increase the pressure to your back. Moving heavy snow or lifting bags or boxes that weigh a lot for example, are everyday activities you shouldn't be doing until your back is healed completely. If not, you may end up injuring the same area again before it's had the chance to heal itself.

Lifting things that are too far away is commonly due to laziness and time constraints. Shortcuts are taken and people try to do this daily and often. You should make sure that you move closer to the objects that are too far away and take the time to lift in the right way.

Driving Long Trips

To avoid back pain resulting from long hours spent driving, try using back support or pillows to reduce the amount of shock absorbed by your back. If you cannot get a back support to strap to the seat, then simply placing a pillow between your lower back and the seat and between your upper back and any remaining gaps in the seat will help you keep your back straight while also protecting it from shock.

Back Pain Relief Exercises

Exercising and Back Pain

Another point to bear in mind is, after you've finished exercising, make sure you stretch. Doing this keeps your muscles loose and limber and prevent them from tightening up.

Having muscles that are overly tight is a very common source of back pain so you want to avoid that.

By stretching as a cool down, you'll be able to keep those muscles loose and warming up beforehand will help you avoid further injury.

Various Tips for Back Pain Relief

Back Pain Relief

The Ice Pack Method

To get instant, pain relief use ice. It can reduce swelling and inflammation from injuries that cause back pain. Apply the ice to the affected area two or three times a day for about 10 to 20 minutes, and this may help you feel better. An ice pack or a bag of frozen vegetables can be used for this purpose.

Pain Injections

While anesthetic and steroid shots are common for back pain, this is not effective for everyone. In addition, prolonged episodes of this can in fact often worsen back pain. However, these methods are popular and necessary for treatment of back pain in some scenarios but it is your physician that will determine the treatment.

Over the count pain relievers

Use over the counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and so on, to help relieve back pain. Taking oral pain medications can allow you to function somewhat normally when you are suffering from a bout of a pain in the back. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package for best results.

Heat for Pain Spasms

Put heat on any back spasms. Make a warm compress or get a heating pad and just relax. It can soothe the muscles and relax you. Stress can be a large part of back pain, so just laying down and trying to relax can end up doing wonders for you. Try taking a bath in the tub as well as this will relax your muscles.

Sitting and Back Pain

When we sit for longer periods, it's our back that takes the strain as we weigh much more when we're sitting down. But if you sit for long periods of time, keep your feet slightly elevated on a stool or on a stack of books. Doing this will help keep your back aligned correctly and keep pressure from building. Make sure to take breaks, as well and work out those muscles.

A Little Tip To Get Relief

When you experience backache, lay on your back with your hips and knees at approximately 90 degree angles. This position is comfortable and will reduce stress on your back more than most other positions. However, whatever position is most comfortable for you is probably best, as long as you are not twisting your spine.

Walking to Alleviate Back Pain

To help prevent or alleviate back pain, try walking each day. Research shows that walking helps relieve back pain, whereas doing specific exercises meant to alleviate back pain may actually make the pain worse. Although your back may hurt, it is important to walk briskly for three hours or so per week to obtain relief.

Warming Up and Cooling Down

Before and after exercising, make sure you stretch and warm up. This will help keep your muscles loose and limber and prevent them from tightening up. Having muscles that are overly tight is a very common source of back pain so you want to avoid that. By stretching as a cool down after you've exercised, you'll be able to keep those muscles loose, warming up beforehand will also help to avoid injuries such as pulled muscles.

In doubt? Visit Your Doctor

Remember To Get Advice From Your Doctor

If all else fails then a visit to your doctor is on the cards. You may have a pinched nerve or herniated disc, so it's best to check with a medical professional to make sure there's nothing really serious going on.

This is provided for informational purposes only. We've had back pain in our family for years and these are a few things that we've either done or avoided or both. Always ask your doctor if you feel that you have symptoms of something more serious than back pain.

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    • starbright profile image

      Lucy Jones 5 years ago from Scandinavia

      Hi Nell Rose. A pain in the back can be so painful - glad to hear you got over yours. Take care. Lucy

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Great hub about getting rid of back pain, I remember a few years ago I did do my back in when bending to pick up some bags, it was so painful, thanks for the great info, voted up! nell

    • starbright profile image

      Lucy Jones 6 years ago from Scandinavia

      Thanks Ben.

    • profile image

      trainer ben gamon 6 years ago

      Amazing Hub! Completely true and very informative. Thank you for sharing!!