Back problems seem to be almost on par with death and taxes, particularly as you move past thirty. Whether your job involves heavy lifting or tapping away at a keyboard, there seems to be no escaping it. The roughest of all is when you wake up to aches and pains that seemingly weren’t there when you went to bed. This is when you really feel like father time has crept up on you and jabbed you in the back. Bar any unfortunate injuries, back problems are not typically of great concern to the young but the repetition of particular movements, an overly sedentary work situation and or a weakening of your core muscles can really start to chip away at your back’s resilience. Throw in the lifting of children, often from very awkward angles, and your poor back could really benefit from some tender loving care.
Here are some natural tips that you can employ to safeguard your back and help minimise the risk of pain and problems:
- Include anti-inflammatory foods and drinks in your everyday diet
The regular consumption of anti-inflammatory foods can help to build up a stockpile of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents in your blood. This stockpile can really help to limit the body having inflammatory reactions, thus minimising the likelihood of back problems. The key here is the regularity to really ensure that your stockpile is well laden.
- Prioritise sleep
It’s no coincidence that you feel generally better after a significant amount of uninterrupted sleep. Sleep is incredibly restorative and your back will hold up a lot better throughout the day after a good night’s sleep. Investing in a good mattress and pillow will go a long way to assisting your back’s restoration.
- Avoid being in the same position for too long
Other than lying down to sleep, you really want to avoid being static in one particular position for too long. The spine and hip get put under tremendous stress if they are forced to hold one position for too long. The fatigue will likely cause a loss of good posture and the pressure on the back only increases from there. If you have no choice but to be at a computer screen for extended periods then consider having a standing desk option to mix up your positions. Take regular breaks to move around, incorporating stretching and set yourself some kind of reminder to check your posture regularly. Through combining these efforts you can combat back pain.
- Practise yoga
There are few activities better to support your back than yoga. Yoga not only stretches your back, it improves the health of your muscles and joints, improves circulation and increases flexibility. This all adds up to a happier and healthier spine and best of all, less pain.
- Utilise meditation
Stress can really contribute to and or aggravate back pain. Meditation can play a powerful part in decreasing stress and anxiety by improving concentration and focus. Mornings and nights are typically the most beneficial time to practise meditation but even some focused breathing when the chance arises will be of benefit. Start with 5 to 10 minutes and look to increase it if you are finding it beneficial.
The buoyancy that water provides makes swimming the perfect exercise to combat or treat back pain. Exercising in water also has the added benefit of helping to regulate the functioning of nerves and muscles, further relieving pain. There really is nothing quite like stretching your back out with a few laps of the pool. If you can access a warmer water option then this can be quite soothing.
- Use heat patches or packs
Getting heat to an area of agitation can really help to relax the muscles, improve circulation and minimise pain. These can be used regularly but be cautious of duration to ensure that you don’t damage your skin.
Now, of course, there are times when pain strikes, no matter how well you may have fortified your back. Maybe you tweaked it by picking up something you shouldn’t have or those hours cramming to get that work report finished left your lower back aching. Regardless of the reason, you’ve got back pain and you need some pain relief quickly. You may have already visited an online pharmacy Australia and stocked up on painkillers. If not, here are some of the best over-the-counter pain relievers for back problems:
There are a wide range of brand options for ibuprofen. The important things to be aware of with ibuprofen is that it is a NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug), meaning it acts to decrease inflammation and that ibuprofen doses need to be carefully monitored so as not to cause other serious medical complications. You do not require a prescription for ibuprofen so they are a good option for purchasing from an online pharmacy Australia. If the pain is really severe then consult your doctor as prescription based doses are available.
- Naproxen or Naprosyn
This is another NSAID which works by lowering inflammation but its pain relief tends to last longer than ibuprofen. This makes it a particularly good choice for night time pain relief to assist with sleeping. The same dose risks apply as with ibuprofen but it can be purchased from online pharmacy Australia.
- Paracetamol (An alternative to NSAIDs)
Paracetamol works by impacting different paths in the brain relating to pain and temperature. There are several different brands and it can be purchased from online pharmacy Australia. Be aware though that failure to follow dosage instructions can lead to serious health problems and continued use should only be undertaken in consultation with a doctor.
- Topical options
Gels are a great option for back pain relief as they can be applied directly to the area of the greatest pain for immediate relief. It works similar to an NSAID by limiting inflammation but is more targeted. Brands like Voltaren can be purchased from online pharmacy Australia.
As referenced at the start, prevention is better than cure. Fortify your back as best you can to avoid back pain in the first place. However, if you do find yourself wincing with every little move your spine makes, don’t fear. There are plenty of pain relief options that are available to you to take the immediate edge of the pain and assist you in getting back to pain free movement.