Back pain can come from many causes. Improper lifting, overuse and hunching over a keyboard all day are a few of the things that can be treated at home. Even if the issue is more serious, a doctor may recommend some of the home remedies on this list in order to help ease the pain.
Heat and Ice: When dealing with an injury, ice is best for the first 48 to 72 hours. This helps keep inflammation down. After that, heat or alternating heat and ice are useful. One thing that has been used for my back problems is heat before physical therapy to warm the muscles up and ice after for a cool down. In this instance, the extra physical activity could do more harm than good.
NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce the pain. Many are easily available over the counter. An herbal counterpart is willow bark. If you are allergic to aspirin or take any sort of blood thinners, you may want to skip the herb, as it contains the same chemical ingredient as aspirin.
Patches: Pain patches often use herbs that heat the skin. They may have cayenne, menthol and/or camphor. These patches have the potential of causing burns on sensitive skin, so be careful in choosing. Also, do not use these patches on children without instructions from the pediatrician. These herbs are likely to be too strong for young skin.
Rubs: While many rubs contain the above ingredients, some contain aspirin. If you can’t tolerate the heating patches or rubs and aren’t allergic to aspirin, this may be a better option. If you’re on an aspirin regimen, blood thinners or have gout, talk to your doctor before using.
Keep Moving: Once upon a time, people with back pain or back injuries were encouraged to stay in bed. Studies indicate this is exactly the wrong thing to do. As soon as you are physically able, it’s best to go about as normal a routine as possible. That doesn’t mean go out and run a marathon, but your regular activities such as going to work, cleaning house and so forth should be safe to do.
When dealing with back pain, it’s best to have a talk to your doctor before choosing any remedies. The doctor knows the nature of the pain and can advise you on pain relief and safe activities. If physical therapy is appropriate, the doctor can also refer you to the proper facility.