top tips for back pain relief

Top Tips for Back Pain Relief

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Back pain is a very common problem for many people. Knowing that others are going through the same thing isn’t going to ease your own back tension, but it does mean that there are many tried and true pain relief methods that have been discovered.

If you’re suffering from mild to moderate back pain, the good news is that there are various ways to ease the pain using DIY remedies. It’s just a matter of finding one that works for you.

The most common causes of back pain

It’s surprising how many things can cause back pain. In some cases, even mental conditions such as depression and anxiety can manifest in physical pain. Because there are so many varying causes of back pain, we’re only going to list the most common ones here for you. If you suspect that you’re experiencing pain from something else, we highly recommend visiting your doctor and getting properly diagnosed.

  • Injuries from sport or physical exercise
  • Trauma such as a fall or car accident
  • Repetitive motion over a period of time
  • Frequent backpack use
  • Not using best practice lifting techniques while moving heavy items
  • Ongoing poor posture
  • Sitting for long periods of time (particularly relevant for office workers)
  • Stress
  • Inactivity and lack of muscle strength
  • A slipped disc

If none of the above seem to be the likely culprit for your back pain, it may be due to an underlying medical cause, such as osteoporosis or other conditions. Get it checked out with your doctor just to make sure.

Our top tips for relieving back pain

Not all back pain will respond to the same pain relief methods, but there are a handful of home remedies that most people will find helpful. These are our top tips:

  • Move around: You may see information advising the opposite, but if you are experiencing back pain which isn’t due to a serious injury or fracture, it’s best to keep moving so your muscles can build up their strength again. You don’t have to run a marathon (and that’s certainly not recommended for back pain sufferers), but simply walking around the house or your local neighbourhood can assist in your recovery.
  • Take a water walk: This isn’t possible for everyone, but if there is a heated public swimming pool in your area, walking laps of it can relieve pain dramatically. For those suffering quite severe muscle pain, it’s often easier and more beneficial than taking a walk out of water.
  • Practice good posture: Many people fall victim to back pain after years of sitting for long periods of time at a desk. In this environment it’s easy find yourself hunched over or not sitting correctly, which can cause problems over an extended period of time. Use a chair with good back support and remind yourself throughout the day to sit up straight with your shoulders back.
  • Use back-safe lifting techniques: If you frequently lift heavy items, use best practice lifting techniques to ensure maximum back protection. Always squat down to pick up the item (rather than bend over) and lift using the strength of your legs. Using a back belt in tandem with safe lifting techniques has also been proven successful in preventing back injury.
  • Use a supportive tape or bandage: After a sports injury or strain, providing extra support to the area is highly recommended. Try Elastoplast’s Adjustable Back Stabilizer or Leukoband if you need to tape your back and check out our article on tape preparation and removal for more information on how to use tape to support your back injury.
  • Try to reduce stress: Stress can be a big cause or contributor to back pain. Review your lifestyle and see if you can cut any stressful activities from your day-to-day. Many people find yoga and meditation beneficial.
  • Stretch: Yoga is not just beneficial for stress relief; stretching is also a great pain reliever. If you don’t fancy yoga, your doctor or chiropractor may be able to recommend some simple exercises and stretches to keep your muscles active and rebuild their strength. Or check out our video library for simple exercises and stretches you can do at home.
  • Get plenty of sleep: While moving around can help your sore muscles recover, it’s also important for them to have sufficient rest. Make sleep a priority and ensure you’re clocking at least eight hours per night.
  • Heat patches, ice packs, and creams: Heat and cold therapy is a great method for temporary pain relief. You can try applying a heat or ice pack to the affected area or employ the use of a patch, gel, or cream. We recommend Elastoplast’s Sport Cold Spray for cold therapy and our ABC Heat Plaster or Elastoplast Spiral Heat for heat therapy.
  • Get a new mattress: If your mattress is more than seven years old and your back pain occurs mostly in the mornings, it’s probably time for a new one. Try something medium to firm and research the best options for back support.