You are tired, sore, and out of sorts. Your lower back feels like it is killing you—ouch! If this scenario sounds familiar to you, don’t hesitate to take action. You don’t have to live with the pain. In fact, there are things that you can do to ease your back pain so that you can feel better.
Bed Rest May Help for a Short Time
When your back aches, the last thing you want to do is get up and move around. Feeling stiff and sore, you just want to lay on the couch or rest in bed. Granted, no one could blame you for doing that.
Occasionally, that is the best thing you can do. Eventually, your body will be much better off if you get up and move around. In the meantime, limited bed rest for a few hours can help, but only for one or two days.
Exercise Makes a Big Difference
Experts at Harvard recommend physical activity to help relieve back pain. Incorporating strengthening routines, flexibility training and aerobic exercise into your daily habits will build strong muscles to support your back.
While it can be difficult to think about exercising when you are hurting, it can improve your ability to function and help the healing process. Furthermore, including strengthening routines will help prevent future back problems.
Use Ice and Heat
When your back starts to hurt, using an ice pack during the first two days can help. If you don’t have an ice pack, you can also use a bag of frozen peas. Try to use it for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Place the ice pack in a pillowcase before putting it on your back if that makes you more comfortable. Applying ice serves to ease the initial swelling in your back.
After two days, it is time to switch to using a heating pad for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Again, place the heating pad in a pillowcase or use a cover if it feels too hot against your skin. Using heat increases your blood circulation to bring extra oxygen to your sore back. It also loosens tight muscles.
Stretch for Flexibility
Gentle stretching will provide the flexibility you need to keep your back muscles fit. Do not bounce into a stretch. Gradually, move your body until you feel resistance.
Although you may be anxious to make progress, do not stretch to the point where it hurts. That only damages tissues and muscles already under a strain. Once your reach the point of resistance, hold the position for a count of ten before gradually moving your body back to its original position.
If you try these methods and you experience no relief, it is time to consult a professional such as a chiropractor. This is not the time to suck it up and keep going. You may have a serious back injury that needs treatment for proper healing.