Health, Skincare, Nutrition, Wellbeing, Natural Remedies

Back Pain: Best Home Remedies and How to Prevent it

Back pain can start off with a mildly and can intensify to an extent where you could hardly walk. So whenever you experience back pain, even a mild one its a signal from your body that your back needs some extra care henceforth to avoid future troubles. There are some quick solutions to deal with severe back pains like taking ibuprofen or naproxen sodium which will ease away your swelling and reduce your pain. But use the drugs with Doctor’s advice. Other instant relief measures include ice and heat which are mentioned below. Once you start to feel little better with back pain, then consult a professional yoga instructor and perform certain postures with his/her guidance so that you can get back in form again.

Why Back pain?

Your back is made up of fragile or delicate column of bones, muscles, ligaments, and joints. When something goes wrong with any of these four components it can transform into back pain. The fine disk that separates the vertebrae can get damaged due to stress, accident, and sudden shock. This disk composed of pulp or jelly-like core surrounded by fibrous rings. Normally this pulp substance acts as a lubricant, which enables for the smooth functioning of the back, but when this pulpy substance escapes the fibrous rings around it, it reaches the nerve roots. So every time there is an extra stress on this area, there will be a sharp pain that shoots down one or both of your legs. This condition is called sciatica. Sciatica mainly occurs due to the herniated disc.

There are numerous others reasons as to why you might have a back pain, which includes arthritis, spine fractures, degenerative disc, bulging disc, thinning disc, excessive strain, and stress. So you need to be properly tested to find out what is the real reason behind your back pain.

Instant Relief Measures

Ice: Chillness or cold numbs down the nerve endings that send a pain signal to the brain. Ice has been known very well for its pain reducing property. Whenever there is an injury or pain anywhere traditionally we have the habit of applying ice over it for the same reason. It works the same way when it comes to back pain, apply some ice pack over the painful area for up to 20 minutes to reduce swelling and stop the pain. You might want to wrap the ice pack with a towel so that you don’t wet the area.

Bag of frozen peas or corn kernels works the same way as an ice pack. Repeat this process as often as you want whenever you feel pain. You can also use it after an intense workout session.

Moist heat: After a couple of days of ice treatment, you can switch to moist heat. Soak a towel in very warm water and wring out the water content. Lie down on your stomach with pillows under your hips and ankles. Now place the hot towel across the painful area, spread a plastic cover over the towel, and place a heating pad on top and the heat to medium. Do this for 20 minutes once for two to three times a day to find some relief from spasms.

Gentle Massage: You would need the help of your partner or a friend for this. Ask the person to use a back rub cream or ointment or gel to gently massage your back and painful areas. Do not do this more frequently as these creams can be quite irritating and can damage the skin tissues on top. You can also use a back roller which is easily available online and comes quite handy when you want to get some much-needed relief.

Methyl Salicylate is a derivative of wintergreen shrub. This compound has natural pain relieving property that is related to aspirin. It is often mixed with menthol or camphor to give that hot and cool feel for many ointments and creams. These creams are generally counterirritants, and they work by stimulating the nerve endings in the skin, which distracts the brain from deeper pain signals. A little massage while applying this cream will make it more effective. So look out the for the cream or ointment that contains Methyl Salicylate.

Capsaicin is a natural substance found in hot peppers. It is the main reason why you feel that hotness in the peppers. This compound will irritate the nerve endings and suppresses a neurochemical called substance P which is responsible for sending the pain signals. This way it reduces the pain. There several creams available in the drugstores that have Capsaicin. Choose the ones that have 0.075% to 0.025% capsaicin for topical application, as they are the ones that fetch good results. Just be patient and use it for at least 6 weeks time to fetch the full benefits of the cream.

If you notice any skin irritation or skin burns after using the cream, then stop it immediately.

When you need Doctor’s attention

Home remedies for back pains can go in vain when you are dealing with a severe problem in your back that needs special care or special treatment. So when you find your back pain is persistent and continuous then immediately bring it to the attention of a Doctor and get it tested to know the exact reason for your pain. When you feel a pain that starts with your back and shoots down to your legs then do not waste your time trying out home remedies mentioned here, it needs a special treatment. Back pain accompanied by dizziness, fainting, fever, stomach cramps, and labored breathing are all indications that your back needs an immediate treatment from a physical therapist or an orthopedist.

Pain Relieving Drugs

Bromelain: It is a natural enzyme that is derived from pineapples. It reduces swelling, increases circulation, and it is a potent anti-inflammatory. Take 500 milligrams of bromelain for three to four times a day.  Doctors recommend the strength of between 1200 and 2400 MCU (milk-clotting units) or between 720 and 1440 GDU (gelatin dissolving units).

Bromelain starts to work almost immediately, so take it at least one hour after your meal. So that it will work on your muscles instead of the gut.

Valerian: Scientist claim that valerian is a very mild sedative. So it helps you in a great way in reducing your pain and help you get to sleep. Take 250 milligrams of valerian capsule three to four times a day depending on your pain level. You can also prepare tea out of valerian but it has a strong unpleasant smell which makes it extremely hard to drink. So prefer capsules.

Toradol: This drug must only be used with Doctor’s advice and directions. This is a strong and powerful drug with anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Additionally, it stops muscle spasms.

Mustard Plaster: Mustard powder irritates the nerve endings in the skin and inhibits it from sending pain signals to the brain just like capsaicin and other counterirritants available in the market. To make a mustard plaster, finely powder mustard seeds and mix one part of the powder with two parts of all-purpose flour, add some water till it gets to paste consistency. Take a dish-cloth and lather the paste on it, fold it in and apply it as a compress over the painful area.

Mustard can cause skin irritation, so at the most apply this compress for three times a day lasting 15 to 20 minutes for each session.

Correct your Postures

  • Distribute your weight throughout the body while you are in the standing position. Let the body weight be equally distributed to both your feet while you walk.
  • Sit down in such a way that puts less stress on your back, make use of a chair that allows you to rest your neck comfortably. Let your spine be erect so that your weight is transferred straight to your chair instead of your back.
  • Lie on your back while you are sleeping or sleep on your sides. Doctors recommend sleeping on your left if you want to sleep on your side as it encourages digestion. If you are comfortable with on your back then make use of two pillows, place one under your head and another one under your knees. This position will relax your lower back. If you want to sleep on the sides, place the place the pillow in-between both your knees. People suffering from sciatica may need to sleep on their stomach.
  • Ensure your car seats are straight up and not slanted.
  • If you have the habit of placing your wallet in your back pockets, take it out while you sit down. You might think it is not a big deal to sit over your wallet safely placed into your pocket, but sometimes it is more than enough to spoil the alignment of your spine.

You might want to take a look at the following articles to know more about postures

  1. 10 Simple Tips to Prevent Body Pains Induced by Electronics
  2. Text Neck Syndrome – Causes, Symptoms and Preventive measures

So what is the link between Sciatica and back pain?

Sometimes you might feel pain your leg or numbness in your legs accompanied by lower back pain. So how is this both related to one another? Roots of the sciatic nerve lie at the bottom of your spine and extend to your legs. When you have herniated disc in your lower back, it puts more pressure on the sciatic nerve when this happens, it shoots down pain and numb feeling in your legs.

Medically Doctors will recommend for lower back exercises and treatments for Sciatica and it fetches great results for the patients. Sciatica patients must follow Doctor’s direction over the remedies mentioned here. On rare occasions, Sciatica patients might experience difficulty in controlling their bladder and bowels. This condition might call for a minor surgery.