Managing Your Back Pain at Home
31 July 2023
Back pain, especially lower back pain, is a widespread issue affecting countless people worldwide. It is estimated that approximately one in six people in the UK experience back pain, demonstrating its substantial nationwide impact.
At Willow Chiropractic, we are specialised experts in addressing back-related concerns. We employ cutting-edge diagnostic techniques to identify the root cause of your back pain to ensure that you have a successful experience with our professional Chiropractors. Our advanced systems allow us to know where and how to make effective chiropractic adjustments every time you come to our clinic.
One of the most crucial elements of chiropractic care, however, is to maintain consistency. Therefore, we believe that you should also be provided with the most effective methods for managing your back pain at home between your scheduled adjustments. This allows you to follow the best practices on your own and prevent further injury or tension from building.
By adhering to the recommendations provided to you by your chiropractor, you give your body the best chance to manage your pain from the comfort of your own home. To give you this chance to continue to look after your body at home, we have compiled a few effective self-help tactics that you can put into practice:
Rest and Gentle Movement:
When managing back pain it is vital to find a balance between rest and gentle movements. This is especially true when you are experiencing acute back pain. On one hand, prolonged bed rest can worsen your pain and stiffness. Alternatively, too much movement can agitate your condition.
Instead, we recommend that you opt for short periods of rest, followed by peaceful and low-impact activities. These can include:
- Aqua Classes
- And more…
These types of exercises will help to improve your flexibility, whilst gently strengthening your back muscles and consequently, reduce your back pain.
Heat and/or Cold Therapy:
One of the easiest temporary relief solutions for managing your back pain at home is to apply heat or cold to the affected area.
Cold therapy is useful for reducing your circulation. It causes your blood vessels to contract and can reduce inflammation to relieve your pain. To achieve this, you can apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth for approximately 15-20 minutes to numb the area. This will also help to alleviate pain and swelling. Though, we do recommend that you take breaks between applications to prevent ice burn.
Heat therapy, however, will promote your circulation and can relieve pain by relaxing the surrounding muscles. To achieve this, you can either use a heating pad or a warm bath.
Utilising Posture and Ergonomics for Managing Back Pain:
Maintaining good posture and practising proper ergonomics are crucial aspects of preventing and managing back pain at home. Appropriate posture and ergonomics can include:
- Avoid slouching or hunching forward when you are sitting or standing.
- Sit upright with your back flush against your chain when sitting. Additionally, keep your shoulders relaxed and feet flat against the floor.
- When standing, ensure that you evenly distribute your weight onto both feet.
With so many people working from home in 2023, it is important to create a comfortable workspace to manage your back pain. If you’re working from home, you could:
- Utilise an ergonomic chair that has lumbar support.
- Position your monitor to meet your eye level.
- Keep your keyboard and mouse within easy reach.
Prevention of further injury to your back is just as important as managing your back pain is at home.
Exercise and Stretching:
Regular exercise and stretching are fundamental to managing back pain. By strengthening the muscles supporting your back and increasing your flexibility, you also reduce the risk of pain and injury.
Core-strengthening exercises such as planks bridges, and pelvic tilts provide stability and support. If your movement is restricted, focus on gentle stretching exercises that target the back, hips, and hamstrings. Examples include the cat-camel stretch, child’s pose, and hamstring stretches.
As mentioned earlier, it is important that you stick to low-impact, low-resistance, and gentle exercises. High-intensity or high-impact exercises are more likely to exacerbate your condition and risk further injury, damage and pain to your back.
Managing Back Pain Through Mind-Body Techniques
One of the least obvious, but highly effective methods for managing back pain is mind-body techniques. These practices include:
- Deep Breathing Exercises
- And Tai Chi
These techniques all promote full-body relaxation which can significantly relieve back pain by reducing stress and tension within the body. Additionally, yoga and tai chi are gentle forms of exercise which further improve your strength, flexibility, balance, and mindfulness. Many yoga poses even target specific areas of your back providing targeted relief and preventing future pain.
Managing Back Pain Can Be Simple:
When it comes to managing back pain, it’s important to adopt a comprehensive approach to your pain management. It is important to encompass all levels of support, including rest, gentle movement, proper ergonomics, exercise, and self-care practices.
These strategies have all been proven to offer pain relief and facilitate healing. Sometimes, however, personalised guidance and specific treatment plans tailored to your specific needs are required. It is, therefore, vital to consult your chiropractor before undertaking drastic changes to your daily habits. Chiropractors possess the expertise to assess your unique situation and can create the most suitable treatment options for managing back pain. We have the specialised knowledge and techniques that can play a pivotal role in alleviating discomfort, promoting healing, and improving your overall spinal health.