We know that experiencing chronic back pain can be the worst thing imaginable. However, here are a few simple steps you can take to help manage back pain, whether you’re experiencing a flare-up or your typical daily pain.
- Control inflammation: Avoid heat if you’re flared-up. You can apply an ice pack over a painful area for 20 minutes, several times/day. For a homemade solution, you can make an ice pack with 5 parts water to 1 part rubbing alcohol in a zip lock bag, then place it in your freezer. For daily pain, moist heat can be helpful with relaxing tight muscles. A hot water bottle or towel soaked in hot water are preferred over heating pads to minimize the risk of skin burns.
- Keep moving! In general, bed rest should be avoided in order to maximize blood flow and maintain your mobility. Try to perform your normal daily activities if you can.
- Stretch the affected muscles gently (without increasing pain) 2 – 3x/day, followed by icing the aching muscles. Just like doing your daily activities, stretching will help you maintain mobility.
- Breath! Both an effective relaxation and pain management technique, therapeutic breathing helps to relax tight muscles and reduce stress, and as a result, decrease pain.
Manage back pain with a deep breathing technique
Step 1: Lie down or relax in a chair. Place one hand over your belly, which you should feel rise and fall during each breath (avoid breathing with your chest). Breathe in 4 seconds through your nose, and out 4 seconds through pursed lips.
Step 2: Practice this technique when stretching to make them more effective by helping to relax tight muscles.
Step 3: Use this technique when experiencing increased pain for better pain management.
Did these tips help? Do you have anything to add? If so, send us a tweet at @PDRClinics. We’d love to hear from you!