Back pain is commonplace worldwide, and at the very least, is disruptive and frustrating. The good news is, for many types of back pain, relief can be found at home! But before moving forward, understand the nature of your back pain, and listen to your body-it knows best! Consult a doctor as soon as possible, if you were recently injured, have severe pain, or can’t walk, stand or sit due to your back pain. If you are currently in the care of an orthopedic specialist or have been diagnosed with vertebral joint or disc issues, consult your doctor and perform any exercises discussed here with caution.
For minor injuries to soft tissues including muscles, tendons, and ligaments, following the R.I.C.E. protocol at home, for several days to weeks, is sufficient.
Poor posture is a leading cause of back and neck pain. Good posture helps to balance the weight of gravity evenly along the length of the spine. Here are some quick tips to fix your posture, and counteract the effects of poor posture:
Movement is also a great way to release tension and emotional stress! Sometimes back pain is actually due to short, tight muscles in the front of the body, such as the pectoralis major, and overstretched back muscles.In order to maintain good posture and prevent injury, it is essential the muscles of the body are strong enough to support the joints, and the joints are healthy enough to support movement. How you move or don’t move, matters. Regularly conditioning the body, through stretching and strengthening, is essential to its resilience. When stretching, be careful not to overstretch your muscles, ligaments, and tendons, by easing slowly into the stretch, and only going as far as is slightly uncomfortable. If it is painful, intense, or feels like something is tearing, immediately pull back a bit. When you feel a “good stretch”, hold the position for 2-3 deep breaths. If you are unsure, consult a professional.
If you are waking up with back or neck pain, your pillow, bed, or sleeping position may be to blame. Unknowingly, the hours you spend in bed could be the source of your back pain. A therapeutic pillow and bed can help to keep your spine aligned while you sleep, and take the pressure off of your shoulders and hips. If you are a back or stomach sleeper, a bolster under your knees or ankles can help to relieve lower back pain. You may also want to try a pillow between your knees while you sleep on your side.