Whether you live with chronic back pain or you just woke up and experienced a flare, knowing how to banish the pain and find relief at home can make your life easier. After all, while we’d all like to head to the spa and let a therapist work out the kinks, being able to kick the pain to the curb on your own is a great way to not only save money, but also time.
So get ready because we’re going to lay out the simple tips you can use to relax your back, reduce pain and keep it away.
#1 – Stretch
The doctors at Spine recommend using yoga stretches on a daily basis to not only relax tight muscles, but also improve the health of your muscles and joints. That’s because stretching has been shown to boost spinal flexibility and enhance the distribution of healing nutrients by promoting healthy circulation.
If possible, plan to do your stretching when you wake up in order to overcome any lower back pain in the morning and get your joints moving for the day. Just be sure to start slowly and work your way up, adding more stretches as you’re able.
Here’s a great video that will give you an easy 20 minute morning routine perfect for beginners. It will help you with stretching the main muscle groups responsible for most back pain problems, including those in your low back, hips, thighs, shoulders and neck.
#2 – Try meditation
Another tip from the team at Spine for banishing back pain is to add mindful meditation into your daily routine. While some people believe meditation sounds to “woo-woo”, it’s actually a great way to ease stress and anxiety and has been found to stimulate the release endorphins that make you feel good.
To start your meditation practice, get in a comfortable position either sitting or lying down and take 5 to 10 minutes to focus on your breath, allowing it to slow down. It can be as simple and non “woo-woo” as that.
#3 – Drink more water
When your body is dehydrated, your muscles become tight, your joints stiffen and the disc space between your vertebrae can start to dry out, making you more likely to experience and injury, as well as back pain.
That’s why it’s so important to stay hydrated in order to feel your best. While the old rule of drink eight glasses of eight ounces of water each can do the trick, it can help to add electrolytes to your water. These are easy to find online.
#4 – Use heat and cold
Using cold or heat for low back pain is a proven way to feel better. But it can also help pain in your mid-back, shoulder and neck. While the heat helps to ease the stress of tight muscles, cold works to reduce inflammation and swelling for more long-term relief.
Many experts recommend combining and alternating the two. For example, use a hot pack for 15 minutes, then take it off and replace with an ice pack for another 15. This can help stimulate circulation and lymphatic flow to flush out that inflammation and help you feel better faster.
#5 – Try arnicaThe homeopathic remedy arnica can offer powerful relief for muscle pain, simply by rubbing it on. It’s even often used to reduce swelling following cosmetic injections. A case report from 2018 even found that in combination with acupuncture and massage, arnica was capable of easing the pain of osteoarthritis.
#6 – Get your rest
While most of us only think about the problems of lack of sleep when we feel grouchy the next day, the truth is sleep affects every aspect of your health, including the pain you feel in your back and neck.
Not only can sleep problems make your pain worse, depriving your body of sleep can also make you less able to tolerate the pain you’re in.
That’s why you should focus on getting at least 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night.
To get better sleep, turn down the temperature in your bedroom and remove all screens that emit blue light (such as televisions, laptops and smartphones) from the room. Also, be sure your pillow is supportive to your neck and if you’re a side sleeper, try putting a pillow between your legs to reduce the strain on your low back.
#7 – Keep moving
One of the most common reasons for back pain is lack of movement. While most of us spend many hours a day either sitting or lying down, far too few of us remember to take breaks to keep our muscles and joints loose.
Start each day with motion and set a timer to remind yourself to get up every hour during the day to take a short walk around your home or office in order to stimulate the flow of synovial fluid that flushes out your joints.
#8 – Use foam rolling
Foam rolling has become extremely popular and for good reason. Using a foam roller helps to break up painful trigger points that lock down your muscles, so that they can finally relax and you can finally get out of pain.
If you live with low back pain, it’s especially important to use a foam roller for your lumbar and hip muscles in order to find relief.
#9 – Core strengthening
Your upper body and spinal column are supported by a group of muscles around your waist known as your "core". When these muscles are weak, back pain can often be inevitable.
By strengthening your core, you provide the support your spine needs to stop sending warning signals to your brain that leave you in pain.#10 – Try a better angle
Finally, getting an inversion table you can use at home might be the best thing you ever do to get your back into better shape.
Inversion therapy lets you put gravity and your own body weight to work to decompress the disc spaces between your vertebrae, elongate tight spinal muscles and reduce pressure on nerves. Along with strengthening your core, it’s one the only proven ways to overcome back pain naturally.
Built for back pain relief
For an easy way to incorporate the last three tips for relieving back pain into your daily life, you’ll want to try Backlounge. The best inversion table on the market, Backlounge combines inversion therapy, core strengthening and myofascial release to get to the root of your pain and deliver relief in just minutes a day.