The bad news is most of us will experience back pain at some point in our lives. The good news is most of it is due to muscle strain and will go away through time. But no need to grin and bear it! Here are some quick and easy ways to get relief now!
Increase your endorphins! These are natural pain-suppressing proteins released by your brain through physical activity, laughter and meditation.
Heat and/or Ice is nice! People often ask me which is right and when? The rule of thumb is within the first 24-48 hours ice to reduce inflammation (A bag of frozen peas works wonders). Heat increases circulation, stimulates blood flow and brings healing nutrients to the site of pain. Microwave a moist towel and relax!
Over-the-counter meds. Some reduce pain, some reduce inflammation, some are combined to do both. Nsaids reduce inflammation (Aleve, Aspirin, Advil, Motrin). Tylenol reduces pain but is not an anti-inflammatory. Take a FULL glass of water with all meds and follow interval dosing on label. It’s easier to keep pain at bay than get rid of it.
Massage. You can do it your self with a foam roller and tennis balls but it’s so much nicer to have it done by a professional massage therapist. Ahhhhh…
Topical Treatments. These heat and cool skin with menthol, wintergreen or eucalyptus oil (Biofreeze, Icy Hot, Flexall, Tiger Balm). Some creams have aspirin (Bengay, Aspercream). Homeopathic medicine includes Arnica gel (reduce inflammation and bruising)
For more ways to manage and prevent back pain, check out my book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Back Pain.