Home remedies are a great way to help ease pain from a back strain or injury. However, it is important to get a proper diagnosis from a healthcare professional.
Start by applying ice packs to the affected area for the quickest results. You can also use topical ointments that contain menthol or camphor. These ingredients distract the nerves and reduce pain by cooling, heating, or numbing the muscles.
Rest and Proper Posture
- Resting and maintaining good posture can help with back pain relief. However, it is important to avoid staying in one position for too long.
- Getting up and moving around can help improve circulation and ease muscle tension.
- If you have to sit at a desk for long periods of time, make sure to move around every 15 minutes and take short breaks to stand up. Also, try to wear shoes that support your arches and avoid high heels.
- Regular exercise can strengthen the back muscles and prevent strain on the spine.
- It is also important to keep the core muscles strong, and this can be done through abdominal exercises like crunches and core strength training.
Heat and Cold Therapy
- Applying heat to an aching back can relieve pain and stiffness by diluting blood vessels, which allows the muscles to relax
- . It can also ease psychological stress and provide a soothing sensation. There are many safe heating devices, including electrical heating pads, hot water bottles and warm compresses.
- In addition, you can take a warm bath or use over-the-counter adhesive heat wraps.
- Cold therapy can numb the pain, reduce inflammation and promote healing.
- To avoid burning your skin, use a layer of paper towels or a washcloth between the ice pack and your skin. You can also use over-the-counter pain relievers to manage the pain.
Gentle Stretching and Yoga
Aside from relieving back pain in the short term, regular stretching and yoga can also prevent future problems. For those with a sedentary lifestyle, improving back muscles can strengthen and correct posture and reduce stress and strain on the spine.
- One particular type of yoga, known as therapeutic yoga, is a great option for those with chronic back pain because it teaches how to cope with pain.
- This form of yoga is based on the method of teaching developed by BKS Iyengar, and it focuses on alignment and breath work to promote good back health.
- The bending and twisting motions of most forms of yoga can help relieve back pain by loosening tight back muscles and strengthening those that are weak.
- It’s important to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially when it involves the back.
- If you do decide to take up yoga, it’s recommended to find a qualified instructor who can offer protective modifications for those with back issues
- Poses like the Happy Baby pose can be a great way to stretch the back, improve hip mobility, and relax back muscles.
Epsom Salt Baths
- Most folks have heard that soaking in a hot bath – not too hot, mind you – with Epsom salt can help ease achy muscles and joints.
- It may even speed up muscle recovery, per the Cleveland Clinic. Folk remedies often get blown out of proportion.
- They get a lot of attention when they work, and people become overzealous about them. They start shouting about it from the rooftops and claiming that they have proof that it works (take this idiom with “a grain of salt,” or, more appropriately, a pinch).
- What’s true is that Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) can relax tight muscles and ease joint stiffness.
- It can also lower inflammation in some patients with inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or gout.
- It can also improve skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema by softening rough, dry skin and exfoliating dead skin cells.
- But it does not detoxify through osmosis, as many people believe, which is an absurd notion at best. (Osmosis is how water sucks toxins from your body, not the other way around.)
Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers
When you’re dealing with back pain, over-the-counter medication can be a good option.
- The most common pain relievers are NSAIDs such as Ultram, ibuprofen and Tramadol, which can help reduce inflammation that causes the pain in your back.
- Alternatively, acetaminophen (the main ingredient in Tylenol) may also be effective. However, it’s important to read the label carefully, as acetaminophen can be dangerous in those with certain health conditions.
- Another common type of OTC medication is muscle relaxants, which can help ease the stiffness and tension in your back.
- If you don’t get relief from OTC options, your doctor might prescribe a stronger prescription medication such as an opioid or the muscle relaxant cyclobenzaprine (sold under brand names Amrix and Fexmid).
There are a number of essential oils that can provide relief from back pain. Lavender is known to reduce stress, which can contribute to back pain, and eucalyptus has anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease the discomfort of sore muscles.
- You can add a few drops of lavender or eucalyptus oil to your favorite carrier oil and apply it to the affected areas as needed.
- Other popular options include rosemary and ginger oil, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties.
- In addition, peppermint oil relieves tension and marjoram has analgesic properties that can help reduce pain in the back.
- These oils can be applied topically or inhaled using a diffuser.
While there is limited research on the use of essential oils for pain, many people report that they are effective at relieving back pain. When combined with other home remedies, such as stretching and a healthy diet, they can provide long-term pain relief.
If your back pain persists, see a health professional for further evaluation and treatment recommendations. Remember, if your back pain is severe or is accompanied by weakness, numbness, or tingling, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
- Keeping your weight down can help ease back pain. Exercise, such as walking, swimming, water aerobics, yoga or a low-impact aerobics class, can strengthen your back muscles and keep them flexible.
- Exercise can also reduce stress, which can contribute to back pain and tension.
- Applying a cold pack (a bag of frozen peas or an ice pack wrapped in a towel–never on bare skin!) to your back can soothe and relax tense muscles and increase blood flow to the area, bringing healing factors in.
- Apply the cold compress to your back for 20 minutes several times a day.
- Ginger root and chamomile have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to relieve back pain.
- Drinking ginger tea or chamomile tea on a regular basis can help to provide relief from back pain.
- Basil contains essential oils, such as eugenol, citronellol and linalool, which have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Drinking a cup of basil leaf tea or applying diluted basil oil to the affected area can help to relieve back pain.
Hydration and Nutrition
A well-balanced diet and healthy lifestyle help prevent back pain. Avoid sugary foods that increase inflammation and eat plenty of fish, nuts, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. You should also drink water to keep your muscles and joints hydrated.
- Some herbal remedies, like turmeric and devil’s claw, may be beneficial for reducing back pain.
- Try drinking a cup of chamomile tea that contains anti-inflammatory properties to get relief from back pain.
- Add a piece of dried fenugreek to a cup of boiling water and let it steep for 15 minutes. Add honey for flavor and consume this twice a day to get quick relief from back pain.
- A hot shower possesses analgesic properties that can ease back pain. This is because heat stimulates blood flow to the affected areas and relieves inflammation.