Back pain Relief Exercises at Home
Simple ideas for back pain relief.
An estimated 50 percent to 80 percent of American adults will experience back pain. Whether because of a traumatic accident, a simple injury or arthritis, there are ways to find relief.
"About half the time, back pain gets better within two weeks, " says David Borenstein, MD, clinical professor of medicine at George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. "About 80 percent of the time it improves within two months."
Discomfort in your back can sure be a pain, but hopefully, the following suggestions may help you get back on track.
Heat and Cold Therapy
Researchers at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – New Jersey Medical Center (UMDNJ-NJMC) discovered that the continuous (eight hours daily) application of low-level heat (104 degrees F) eased acute back pain better than either of two commonly used drugs, ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Heat may be dry or moist. Dry heat sources include heat lamps, heating pads or "wearable" disposable heat packs that you can find at most grocery stores or pharmacies. Moist heat sources include warm baths and washcloths soaked in warm water.
Soaking in a warm tub can be a good way to apply heat to all parts of the body at once, especially if you ache all over with fibromyalgia or if you have arthritis in several joints.
But, using ice for too long can cause stiffness. Dr. Borenstein recommends using cold for pain in the first 24 to 48 hours after pain starts. To avoid causing damage to the skin, apply cold packs for no more than 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Always put a towel between your skin and the cold pack.
Physical therapy can strengthen the muscles in your back to help relieve back pain or regain motion. Recent research shows that exercises designed to strengthen back muscles may be useful even if you don't have back pain yet. In a recent study of 50 women between the ages of 58 and 75, those who performed back-strengthening exercises suffered fewer painful fractures of the vertebrae than women who didn't do the exercises.
Warm water is a good place to stretch and strengthen your back muscles. Water allows your muscles to relax and acts as resistance to help build muscle strength. Buoyancy makes it feel easier and more comfortable to exercise. To get a full-body workout in the water, you'll need access to a heated pool. You can do warm-water exercise on a smaller scale in your own tub, spa or whirlpool bath.
In a study by researchers at the University of Miami School of Medicine, patients who received two 30-minute massage sessions per week for five weeks reported less back pain, anxiety and depression, and better sleep than a control group. They also demonstrated better low back flexibility and had higher levels of pain-relieving hormones.