Quick Remedies for Back Pain
One of the first things you may think of when your back hurts is bed rest. Yes, you should rest but not for too long!
One of the biggest back pain myths is that you should stay in bed as long as your back hurts. If you just hurt your back, up to two days of bed rest can help your back rest and recover. But any longer than that will be unproductive and cause your muscles to atrophy and stiffen, potentially causing, even more, back pain.
Some studies show that bed rest longer than a couple days can double your recovery time! Listen to your body. If you need to rest a day or two then do it. But then get out of bed and start moving again!
Fast Back Pain Relief Stretch
If you are stuck in bed with lower back pain. Try this gentle stretch which is great for relieving painful muscle spasms in your lower back.
To do this gentle stretch you raise your knees from the bed to your chest then put a slight pressure on
your knees for a light stretch in your lower back. Remember the stretch should not add to your pain to listen to your body if it hurts quit.
Make Back Pain Chill Out
Ice is one of the most effective tools for ending back spasms. For the best results get the ice on the painful area within the first five minutes of a new injury or flare-up. Appling the ice 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off for the first 48-72 hours is recommended to minimize swelling and inflammation. A wet paper towel or thin t-shirt between your back and the ice will help prevent frostbite.
You can create a flexible ice pack by soaking a small hand towel then wringing it out, fold it, placing in a ziplock bag and put it in the freezer then it will always be ready to go
The ziplock bag will keep you from getting wet and the towel will conform to your back.
Heat for Back Pain
Not with a blowtorch, what I’m talking about is using heat to “burn out” back pain. Similar to how ice shocks your body into breaking the pain-spasm cycle, heat can help you break away from repeated muscle spasms. The heat improves circulation to the area so your body can deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the injured area and carry away waste products to help it heal faster.
Heating lamps, heating pads, hot tubs, pain creams with cayenne pepper, or even a hot shower can all bring on the heat for your source of pain. Plus, they’re much safer than a blow torch. Again, try 20 minutes on, 20 off.
Back muscle spasms still keeping you miserable and in pain? When it’s time to let your back muscles know you mean business by giving them a double-shock. Start by applying ice for 20 minutes, then switch to applying heat for 20 minutes. Repeat this cycle three times. That’ll usually settle down those out of control back muscle spasms in a hurry.
Rub On the Pain Relief
One old standby for pain sufferers around the world is a rub-on pain cream. Of course, all pain creams aren’t created equally so here’s what you should look for if you want the best results. Most pain relief creams use copious amounts of menthol, which is great if you want to stink up to high heavens. Yes, menthol works wonders for improving blood circulation to speed healing and it feels great, but if you don’t want to smell so “minty fresh” look for a cream with titrated menthol which improves its effectiveness and allows the same effect with less smell.
The other common ingredient in most pain relief creams is some form of salicylate, like methyl salicylate, which is basically a form of aspirin. Heavy use can have undesired side effects and has even resulted in the death of otherwise healthy users in rare cases. (That’s why you’ll typically see a warning not to use more than 3 or 4 times daily.) Proceed with caution if using one of these. Instead of salicylates, look for a rub-on pain cream with all-natural ingredients. Rub On Relief™ is one pain cream which uses only natural ingredients to tackle types of back pain most other creams don’t even address.
In With the Good, Out with the Bad
If back pain has you feeling like screaming in pain, there’s a good chance that’s because your body is screaming for more oxygen. Making matters worse, many of us tend to breathe more shallowly while in pain, adding to our body’s oxygen deficit.
Try this now:
Slowly inhale a deep breath. Hold it a few seconds. Slowly let it out. Feel better already? Great! Regular deep breathing will help you maximize your lung’s oxygen capacity, calm nerves, and yes, decrease pain.
Want to know if you’re doing it right? Put one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Breathe through your nose and make sure your belly rises first.
Hit the Hot Tub
Heating pads and heat lamps work great for warming localized areas of pain, but usually, keep you somewhat immobile. Hot tubs provide heat to get your blood pumping just like heat pads but covers a larger area of your body at one time. Plus, hot tubs are fun, right? Saunas work well, too.
Home Health Spa in a Box
If you don’t have easy access to a hot tub or sauna, no problem. Taking a hot bath or shower helps, too. But if you really want to give your back an extra boost of pain relieving power, add 2 cups of Epsom salt to your bath water. Many back-pain sufferers swear by the relief Epsom salt brings. In fact, you should check out the numerous other health benefits of Epsom salts too.
Stop the Nonsense
This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people fall into the trap of continuing to do what doesn’t work for them. If you’re trying a new treatment or therapy, give it some time to work for you. This might take a couple weeks to a few months depending on what it is. But if you’ve found no or only minimal pain relief after this experimental period, it’s time to stop wasting time and money on it and try something else!
Why is this tip in the Quick Remedies section? Because if you waste all your time, money and energy on a treatment that isn’t working for you, regardless of what it is, you’re not going to get relief. But if you try something new, it might work right away!
Besides feeling good, did you know that orgasms actually make you, well, feel good? Scientific studies have shown that from start to end of sexual activity, endorphin production increases as much as 200%. Besides providing a feeling of well-being, endorphins enhance the immune system, reduce stress, slow down the aging process, and blocks pain almost like morphine – only naturally. So, if you’re in pain, try having more sex. I know how the hell can you get interested in sex if you’re in pain?
Start Your Engines
If back pain has really put a crimp in your ability to perform in the bedroom, you might want to start things off a little earlier. Here are a few activities to try before hitting the sheets to prepare your body for an enjoyable romp in the hay:
- Take a hot shower together with your partner. Besides allowing extra time for foreplay, the heat of the shower will relax your muscles and get your blood flowing.
- Begin with a massage. Done carefully, massage feels great, prepares your muscles to accept further activity, and can increase intimacy with your partner.
- If your back still isn’t ready, try having your partner ice down the painful area so the rest of your night can heat up.
Back Pain in the Bedroom
If we spend 1/3 of our lives in bed, back pain is certainly going to have a major impact on the two important activities most adults associate with the bedroom: sleep and sex. The tips in this section will help you minimize the impact of back pain on both.
Sex Positions for Men
Men, back pain doesn’t have to ruin your sex life.
Try these positions tonight:
- Lay on a firm surface and use pillows to support your knees and head. You might like to try placing a small rolled towel under your lower back.
- Try a side-by-side position.
- Place a pillow under your lower back while your partner straddles you on top.
- Try sitting in a sturdy chair instead of lying down.
Sex Positions for Women
Ladies, these positions will help you enjoy your sex life again even with back pain:
- Try the missionary position with your legs bent towards your chest.
- Sit on the edge of a chair and have your partner kneel between your legs for entry.
- Rear entry may be more comfortable for women with back pain. Try kneeling on the bed or lying on your belly with a pillow under your chest.
- Sit on your partner’s lap as he sits in a chair.
Get Your Zzzz’s
Failing to get enough sleep for some folks may mean waking up grumpy. But there’s a hidden danger even for those who can “get by” on less sleep. Studies have shown that a sleep deficit of two hours a night (e.g. sleeping six hours a night) for as little as six weeks can stimulate an increase in chronic inflammation.
If you haven’t heard already, chronic inflammation is a major contributor to most of the top 10 killers, including heart attack, stroke, and even cancer. Chronic inflammation is also a major contributor to back pain. So, while you need to minimize bed rest, getting a regular eight hours of sleep is important for both your back and your overall health.
Finding Cloud 9
Selecting the right mattress is one of the most important decisions you can make to ensure a good night’s sleep.
But what’s the best mattress for back pain? Well, that depends…
- Those with lower back pain typically find a medium firm mattress gives the right amount of support and comfort.
- Sciatica sufferers may find an even firmer mattress is important for preventing flexion which could aggravate their condition during the night.
- Those with spinal stenosis on the other hand usually need to sleep in a somewhat flexed position for comfort so a medium or even softer mattress may be warranted.
- Above all else, pick a mattress that is comfortable for you to sleep on, regardless of what any guide including this one says should help you sleep better. It’s your back after all, and everyone is different. Don’t forget, reputable mattress sellers will allow you to try a mattress and return it if it doesn’t work for you.
A Firm Foundation
A sagging mattress can be murder on your back. If you’re not prepared to buy a new mattress just yet, one way to give yourself a firmer foundation to sleep on is to slip a piece of plywood between your mattress and box spring.
Even if you have the best mattress in the world for back pain, improper pillow usage will completely sabotage your efforts to sleep well and allow your back to recover. Regardless of their thickness, firmness, or number of pillows you use, what you want is a neutral spinal alignment when you rest your head for the night. Allowing your head to push forward, fall back, or lean to the side all night is a sure recipe for a neck ache and back pain in the morning.
Choose Your Position
One of the top questions we get is: What’s the best position to sleep in for back pain? Sleeping on your back provides the most stable position for your spine. Sleeping on your side would be our second choice try placing a pillow between your legs to support your hips and relieve pressure on your lower back. Stomach sleeping is the most difficult position for most back-pain sufferers to sleep in because of the lack of spinal support.
Now here’s the real tip.
Try each of the sleeping positions mentioned above. Whichever one allows you to sleep best and wake up with the least pain is the right position for you.
Fight the Center Sag
The heaviest part of your body centers on your hips and pelvis. As a result, the extra weight in this area tends to cause even firm mattresses to sag further here than surrounding areas. A little extra support here can make a huge difference for your back.
You can add extra support to any mattress by simply folding a towel or blanket in half and slipping it under your fitted sheet (fold it in half again if it’s thin). It may only make a few millimeters difference but your back will thank you in the morning.
Slipping Out of Bed (without slipping a disc)
Your day has been going great. Your back pain has been tolerable so far. But now it’s time to get out of bed.
Here’s how to do it with minimal strain on your back:
- Roll to your side near the edge of the bed
- Let your feet come over the edge while you push down with your bedside elbow and push up with your opposite hand
- Stabilize with both hands as you sit up to keep your back in a more neutral, balanced, and stable state.
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