by Catalogs.com Info Guru Elizabeth Sobiski
More than 65 million Americans are affected by back pain./span>
Fortunately, over 95 percent of these people won’t need surgery to fix their back problems. If you’ve ever suffered from back pain, you know how debilitating it can be and how it affects every aspect of daily life. Here are the top 10 ways to reduce back pain.
10. Epsom salt bath
A warm bath with a cup of Epsom salts can help ease a sore back. Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate and different from the salt you put on your fries (sodium chloride). To use, dissolve the salt in a bathtub with warm to hot water, then get in, relax and enjoy. The tub soak also helps increase blood flow through the muscles, which removes toxins and improves relaxation. Soaking in this kind of bath became popular in 1618 at a natural spring in Epsom, England which later became a famous spa.
9. Practice yoga
In 2005, the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that practicing yoga may be more likely to relieve chronic back pain than conventional exercise or pain medications. People often start feeling results after the first week or so. If you’re new to yoga, look for a class or instructional video that modifies moves for beginners. Yoga, like anything else, takes time and practice. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes and take things slowly, while working within your abilities.
8. Chill out
Ice can help reduce some initial pain from a sore back, especially if the injury is new or has flared up. The cooler temperature numbs away soreness and helps lessen pain. The key is to not use ice too long, as it can begin to impede movement and slow down fine motor coordination. One way to handle this issue is with a cold/hot compress, which is designed to be used frozen or heated up. The compress warms up faster than a bag of ice cubes and is safer to use next to bare skin.
7. Regular movement
Sitting is commonly referred to as the new smoking. Why? Because your muscles don’t get the movement they need when you sit for extended periods of time. This leads to back pain and other disorders. To help combat this problem and stave off back pain, get up and move regularly. Take a walk around the block, go for a bike ride, visit a pool and swim some laps – the possibilities are endless. There is sure to be an exercise that appeals to you.
6. Dressing aids
For those with chronic back issues, sometimes a helping hand is what you need. But what if you live alone and need assistance? There are a number of personal aids to help you with everyday chores, including ones that make it easier to put on socks and shoes. These handy sock puller-uppers are usually made of a lightweight aluminum tube, have a shoe horn at one end and ‘fingers’ at the other that grip socks or support hose.
A thorough rub-down by a trained therapist can help relieve back and muscle pain. The massage breaks down the lactic acid produced by muscles when they are working. Many athletes and health professionals have long contended that massage improves blood flow, reducing soreness and pain. Going out for a massage can get pricy if you do it often, so consider putting that money towards a home massage chair. Look for products that let you customize your massage intensity and duration, is easy to use and is comfortable. Many offer foot massages, too.
4. Lift responsibly
Chores in everyday life invariably involve lifting of some sort, from on the job to at home. There are certain precautions you can take to protect your back. For instance, try not to bend and twist at the same time and always bend at the knees and hips instead of with the back. When you do have to carry heavier loads, keep the bulk of the weight closer to your body. This reduces strain, especially if you have weaker core muscles.
If your back is aching and you’re finding it difficult to get relief, try wearing a back brace for a short while. Braces help stabilize your spine and surrounding muscles. Some models work especially well on the lower back or lumbar region, targeting a common problem area. There are people who have reported that their back brace also helps them with their posture – and good posture leads to a healthy back.
2. Lighten up
Everyone knows that carrying excess weight around on your body is harmful. This goes for your back, too. As the pounds creep on, more and more strain is put on the back. If you’re a person who carries extra weight on the front of the body, it can cause the back to arch more. The increased arch can lead to compression injuries of the discs and nerves. Losing weight will lessen the tendency to arch and relieve pressure on the spine.
1. Sleep well
Your mattress can help your back feel better. Look for one that is supportive and comfortable at the same time. Many advances have been made in mattress technology, so you can get the one that suits your needs best. Try to find a top brand mattress that works with your height, weight, sleeping positions and age. A mattress is a product that is best bought in person. With so many options on the market, try as many as you can. You’ll soon know which ones feel good to you versus those you don’t like.