There are a number of back pain relief remedies that are for the most part under your control. And sometimes, it’s nice to know some options that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine to help manage your pain.
Ice is a Very Effective Pain Reliever
Even with all the high tech medical options available, a simple ice application can still be one of the more effective, proven methods to treat a sore back or neck. Ice is typically most effective if it is applied soon after an injury occurs, or after any activity that causes pain or stiffness. Ice can also be very helpful in alleviating postoperative pain and discomfort. While any form of applying cold to the injured area - such as a bag of ice wrapped in a towel or a commercial ice pack - should be helpful, combining massage therapy with ice application is a nice alternative for pain relief. See also Ice Massage for Back Pain Relief.
Heat Therapy is Good Too
While the overall qualities of warmth and heat have long been associated with comfort and relaxation, heat therapy goes a step further and can provide both pain relief and healing benefits for many types of lower back pain. In addition, heat therapy - such as heating pads, heat wraps, hot baths, warm gel packs, etc. - is both inexpensive and easy to do. Some patients find more pain relief with heat (either moist heat or dry heat) and others with ice. The two therapies may also be alternated. See also Benefits of Heat Therapy for Lower Back Pain.
Hamstring Stretching Exercises Can Help
If you have tight hamstring muscles (the large muscles in the back of your thighs), the motion in your pelvis may be limited, which can increase stress across your lower back. To decrease this stress it is a good idea to incorporate hamstring stretching exercises into your daily routine. Hamstring stretching should typically include applying even pressure to lengthen the hamstring muscle for 30 to 45 seconds at a time, one to two times each day. There are a number of different ways to stretch your hamstrings, and if you have a back condition you may want to check with your doctor or physical therapist to discuss which position will work best for you. See also Specific Hamstring Stretches for Back Pain Relief.
Some Therapies Actually Feel Good!
While it sometimes may not seem like it, there are a number of soothing, rewarding therapies available to treat back pain. Here are two options to consider: Massage therapy is a proven method for alleviating lower back pain, and can also improve sleep and lessen anxiety and depression (which sometimes accompany pain). Some insurance plans will cover massage therapy. Another treatment option is water therapy. In addition to the physical therapy benefits, water therapy has the added benefits of relaxation and sensory alterations due to water temperature and hydrostatic pressure. It also reduces pressure on the joints of the spine and allows for further range of motion. See also Massage Therapy for Lower Back Pain and Water Therapy Exercise Program.