Undoubtedly, your back is literally the backbone of your wellbeing and enables you carry out every physical activity you wish to engage in. A painful back can affect your day; affect your productivity and also how you interact with the rest of your colleagues at work. Back pain is a common disorder that can be caused by a myriad of factors. There are those subtle ones caused by muscle strain while there are others that are more serious caused by spinal stenosis, osteoporosis, Sciatica or a herniated disc amongst others. For the major ones you require specialized attention. Back pains should not be cause for worry as it is amongst the commonest ailments today. The National Institutes of Health posits that it is the second commonest neurological complication after headache. There are a number of medical and non medical ways through which to relieve back pain.
1. Relax and take a seat
The first urge after the first tinge of back ache is to sit it off. This is the right move and will ease the pain slightly. Most back aches come as a result of strain and a moment of rest reduces the strain in the injured muscles. To achieve the most out of this it is important that you lie on your back for some moments with your legs flat to ensure the muscle relaxes fully. After this you can try some few movements to aid in blood circulation so that the affected muscles can get a fresh bout of energy. Any prolonged bed rest can worsen the pain and hence it is crucial that it be combined with some movements here and there.
2. Try to exercise
While it may seem as if exercising a aching back adds to the problem, to the contrary it is a great way of relieving back aches. According to Robert B. Keller, an orthopedic, the way to reduce back pain is by staying active while at the same time avoiding the positions that put you in that situation. Exercising, although it may seem painful at first, not only reduces the back pain it also aids in the recovery and prevents any further injuries or development of complications. The pain experienced when exercising should not discourage you rather it should lead you to increase your vigor. If you fail to engage in any activity you may become inflexible, experience more pain or at worse develop a disability. Exercises that might come in handy at this time include aerobics and stretching exercises. They will indeed help you get a speedy recovery.
3. Bowen Therapy
This has become one of the most popular therapeutic strategies of relieving back aches. Named after the Australian osteopath, Tim Bowen, it involves the combination of precise fingers and thumbs moves on the skin of an individual aimed at applying pressure on the affected muscles then rapidly releasing to relieve the pain and the tension. By localizing the moves on the areas where there are receptors, impulses are channeled to the brain causing relaxation and relieving the pain. This treatment takes close to thirty minutes and has been found to work.
4. Try the willow bark
Having properties similar to those of the aspirin, the bark of the willow tree has been scientifically proven to be an effective back pain reliever. The bark contains an essential ingredient referred to as salicin which is transformed into salicylic acid in the body and is one of the most important compounds when it comes to reducing pain or cases of inflammation. Intense research conducted to ascertain its efficiency has produced positive results. The University of Sydney ascertained this by comparing the effect of conventional pain relievers and the willow bark extracts on patients and found that they both exhibited comparable pain relief. The American Journal of Medicine undertook a similar venture upon patients with chronic back ache problems. From one to a few weeks and depending on the intensity of the dose taken, most of the patients that had received the extract reported reduced pain with those that had received a high dose reporting being relieved in the first week.
5. Heat relaxation
Heat is a natural relaxer and by compressing your body with warm water you stand to achieve three benefits. It removes the tension building in your back easing the ache in just a few minutes resulting into more relaxed muscles. Heat also leads to an increased blood flow resulting into hastened healing of the damaged and aching muscles in your back. Although this may sound paradoxical, heat enables you experience more pain which is a good thing. According to the existing research, the brain, when it comes to pain, is uni-focused and hence can only notice one source of pain at a time. When immersed in hot water the brain fails to discern the pain from the back and focuses on the sensation emanating from the heat. To achieve this you can either tie a bottle containing hot water on your back or you can just slip your body into a hot bath. Whatever the strategy you can be sure of an instant relieve.
6. Over the counter medications
There are indeed a number of effective over the counter treatments but they have their own risks. Aspirin is the most common and popular of all and has been used as a pain reliever for ages. It reduces back and neck aches by inhibiting the emission of prostaglandins which are chemicals that cause pain. Aspirin can lead to a number of side effects ranging from stomach complications to heart problems. Tylenol and Ibuprofen are also common drugs used to reduce back aches. Tylenol is taken mostly in instances of mild and moderate aches. It impedes the central nervous system by reducing the production of the chemical that sends pain signals to the brain. It also hampers the production of the aforementioned prostaglandins giving an individual a relaxation effect. If taken frequently it can lead to liver toxicity. Ibrupofen on the other hand is used to quell serious back aches and muscle strains. Commonly used by patients suffering from arthritis, it contains inflammations. It can lead to stomach complications and cardiovascular problems.
Unless back pain is a symptom of other major medical conditions, there are a few medical and non-medical ways to help you relieve the pain. You can opt to immerse your body in hot water, undergo the Bowen therapy and take a willow bark extract of just take a rest. However if the condition worsens it is always advisable to seek further treatment.