Home Care for Back Pain

First of all pain can affect more than just your physical well-being, it can affect you psychologically, leading to depression and anxiety.  Here are some tips showing how you can learn to cope with reoccurring back pain.

  • Accept the pain– Don’t pretend you are not in pain, the pain exists it is real.  When you deny the pain it can actually make it worse.  You will experience more relief if you acknowledge the pain and make accommodations to adjust to the pain.
  • Manage stress– Stress will increase the pain. Try relaxation techniques when your stress level rises.  Tension can cause an increase in muscle pain in the back.  So relax.
  • Identify your pain triggers– Pay attention to what activities you do which intensifies your pain level.  When you know what causes the increase in pain you can avoid these activities, until the pain subsides.

Changes to Your Lifestyle

  • Medication- Minor back pain can be relieved using simple over the counter medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen or naproxen.  Don’t take on a empty stomach and only as directed by your physician.
  • Cold and hot packs- Cold packs can relieve the pain and inflammation of back pain. Apply the ice pack to the affected area for 20 minutes then let the area rest for another 20 minutes.  Don’t apply the cold or hot packs directly to the skin.  After using cold packs for a few days try gentle heat to give added relief and comfort.  A hot bath is quite soothing when your back is aching.
  • Avoid staying in bed- too much bed rest can lead to stiff joints and weakened muscles.  Staying in bed can complicate your problem and make it much worse.  Rest during short periods during the day then take a walk or do some low impact  work.  Activity will help you recover faster and keep you flexible.
  • Take your vitamins- this healthy change can be quite effective.  Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D3 can help to heal the back pain, especially if your levels are low.  Take according to your physicians recommendations.
  • Foods that heal- try adding foods like capsicum (cayenne), ginger, clove, or fish oil to your diet. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds eliminate soft drinks, sugars, flour, processed foods and caffeinated drinks.  Drink plenty of fluids, enjoy water, juices, green or herbal teas instead of coffee.
  • Try some stretches- If you feel tightness in your soft tissues and back muscles, try some gentle stretches to keep your back flexible.
  • Sit up straight when watching TV or using the computer, use a pillow to support the back.  Don’t pick up anything from the floor, by bending over instead squat down to pick up the object using your legs, this will protect your back from increased pressure to the spine and muscles.

Everyday life can be rewarding even if you are stricken with back pain.  How you take care of yourself, treat your body, the foods you eat and your weight can affect your quality of life.  Find and use what works for you, so you can feel better again.

Barbara Lucore

I have been a nurse for 15+ years and as a nurse I understand how to prevent back strain and pain. The correct ways to lift objects, the causes of back pain, treatments available, the exercises to reduce or prevent back pain and the proper ways to move without strain or injury to your back.