You can feel it.
Your back pain is starting to flare up again. Whether you’re at home, at work or busy with life, you can’t always drop everything to visit your chiropractor for care.
Don’t worry. Pain killers are not your only option. Let’s help you manage your pain naturally.
There are several things laying around the house that can help provide back pain relief right now:
Massage is one of the quickest ways to relieve pain caused by tense muscles. While a foam roller or massage ball will certainly do the trick, other household items will work just as well. Use a tennis, lacrosse or baseball. Lie on the ground with the ball between your sore muscles and the floor. Slowly roll the ball under your muscle while you shift on the floor. Continue until you feel your muscles release some of the tension. Repeat several times a day if needed.
Cold therapy is helpful for inflammation and swelling. One of the best cold packs is a package of frozen vegetables from your freezer. Apply the package of corn, peas or other small veggie to the sore area. The smaller pieces will form to your back shape, providing cold contact over the entire area. After the package defrosts, throw it back in the freezer for use as a cold pack again next time. Just don’t eat those veggies, they are now officially your cold pack!
It’s important to note that people with a severe acute injury should not stretch or try to self-treat other than using ice, because stretching or heat could potentially make certain injuries worse.
If your pain is less from inflammation and more from tightness and tension, heat therapy will help. While a traditional heating pad is always a reliable tool, you can make your own heating pad if you need to. Soak hand towels in hot water, wring of excess water and place directly on your back. Or, run towels under the faucet at room temperature, wring of excess water and microwave on a plate for 30-60 seconds. Rest while the heat penetrates your muscles and relaxes your back.
Another DIY heating pad requires a cup of rice and a sock. Pour the dry rice into the sock (preferably a larger sock like a sports sock) and sew closed or seal with a rubber band or tie. Microwave the rice bag for 60 seconds and apply the heat to the sore back area. Just make sure it’s not too hot where it could burn your skin.
One trigger for back pain is poor posture while sitting. To improve your posture and provide additional support to your aching back, use a bath towel. Fold the towel in half length wise, then roll it up to create a cylinder shape. Wedge the cylinder between your lower back and the back of your desk chair, kitchen chair or driver’s seat in your car. Adjust the shape and positioning until you feel some lumbar support, taking the pressure off those muscles.
If you don’t have any pain relief cream on hand, check your spice cabinet for meat tenderizer. The enzymes in meat tenderizer can penetrate the skin and relieve sore muscles. Mix the meat tenderizer with water to create a paste. Rub the paste on your sore back and rest while it eases your muscles.
Drink for a healthy back! Dehydration is a hidden trigger for back pain. When flare ups occur, make sure you are drinking your daily amount of water. Dehydration can cause stiff muscles and reduced mobility. Drink frequently throughout the day, especially if you exercise or live in a hot climate.
While these home remedies soothe your pain, call your chiropractor for an appointment. Find out what larger issue is causing the discomfort and get the care you need to live more comfortably.