There are few things in life that are as uncomfortable, consistent and tricky to resolve as back pain. Some of us get no more than a twinge every so often (usually when doing exhaustive chores), but many have long-lasting or chronic back pain that flares up regularly.
If that’s you, you’ve probably tried several different therapies to relieve the aches. Have you tried them all, though? Here are just some of the ways that you could try to help get some relief from the discomfort you experience with your back.
Improve your posture
Many of us spend a lot of our days sitting down – which can be more harmful than you think – so you can try to minimize the effects by maintaining good posture. Having the correct posture in your chair means having all the bones in your spine neatly lined up, like a stack of blocks. Keep your feet flat on the floor, and your keyboard in easy reach so you’re not slumping or leaning forward.
There is technology that could help you to improve your posture while at your desk. These include apps that can track where your face is in relation to your screen (and will alert you when your posture starts to curve or droop), and devices that can alert you to when you change your posture from what it should be.
Try hands-on therapy
A study has found that having a weekly massage over a 10-week period improved pain and function for those people with chronic back pain. The effects of this lasted about six months.
Another option is spinal manipulation. By using chiropractic therapy in Orlando, for instance, undertaking this type of treatment can help to relieve any structural problems with your spine, and restore any mobility that you may have lost.
Take a salt bath
Soaking in a bath of Epsom salt (or magnesium sulfate) for 20 minutes can help to ease sore muscles. The salt can work its way through your skin and into your aching muscles.
Make sure your bath water is warm – too hot and the muscles can swell; too cold and your muscles can cramp. Aim between 92 and 100F (33 and 38C). Temperatures above 104F (40C) aren’t recommended, especially if you have heart problems.
You can try to enhance the results by using a tennis ball (or similar-sized rubber ball). Put it in the small of your back, or mid-back, and move it from side to side.
Sleeping can be hard with back pain, and your back pain may feel worse if you don’t get enough sleep – and a poor sleep position might compound your back pain. You could try lying on your side. Place a pillow between your knees, so you can keep your spine in a neutral position and relieve the strain on your back. If you sleep on the side, a good long-term investment would be to get a side sleeper mattress. Put a pillow under your knees if you need to sleep on your back. Also make sure that you sleep on a comfortably firm mattress.