Did you know that ice works great as a pain reliever? The cold sensation might not be very pleasant at first, but here's why it works: applying an ice pack on your back for no longer than 20 minutes will cool the muscles in your back, and once you remove it, your back muscles will start working harder to get warm again. This can get rid of stiffness in your back. Doing this every day will train your back muscles so the pain will disolve after you've done this trick a few times.
Warmth is one of the best ways to relax tensed muscles and is much more comforting than using an icepack. It depends on the type of back pain you have, but if you've got stiff muscles in your lower back, a heat pad will do wonders. Heat therapy dilates the blood vessels of the muscles around your spine, which will increase the flow of oxygen and relieve the tension in your back. You can use a hot water bottle and lay down on it so you can really relax, but when you're on the gp: try those heat pads that you can stick onto your clothes. They get very warm and actually stay warm for 8 hours!
Activity is often the best medicine for back pain, whether it's a simple walk around the block, doing yoga or another type of sports. If it's nothing to intensive, any form of excercise will help with most cases of back pain. A mistake that many people make is to take a lot of bed rest. Laying down and not moving at all will make tensed muscles even more tensed and stiff, so not moving around is a no go. So, remember to move but in moderation.
Sleep the right wayOften, people who wake up with back pain and go to sleep with back pain, do not sleep the right way for their back. The amount of rest you get is just as important as he position you get it in. Of course, a good mattress and pillow is important but then you're not there yet. If you suffer from lower back pain, it is best to sleep on your back with a pillows under your knees. This will tilt your pelvis and make sure your spine is naturally curved in an S-shape. When you like to sleep on your side, a pillow between your knees can keep the spine in a neutral position. If you sleep on your stomach: it is best to stop doing that right away. There's nothing you can do to stop the neck and head from twisting to the side and put stress your the back.
Watch your posture
This one is very important! We often don't realise it, but we sit and even walk hunched over with our faces up in our smartphones. And at the office, we all continue sitting hunched over at work in front of our laptops. Many companies have taken measures to make sure their employees can work better, but there's this simple trick you can always do whenever you are sitting down: sit at the edge of your seat. When you straighten your spine, your pelvis will be forced to tilt backwards, which will automatically curve your spine into an S-shape again. It will feel far more natural to sit up straight on the edge of your seat with no support in your back, than sitting back in your chair if it causes you to hunch over.
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Posted by Malu Swartjes on 19 September 2016