Do you sometimes wake up in the morning with really bad back aches and you haven’t got a clue how that happened? Or did you accidentally lift something heavy the wrong way and the back pain just comes out of nowhere? It happens to the best of us and today we shall talk about why we get these pains and how to treat them.
Back pain can be caused by carrying heavy objects, sudden movements, sports injuries, and even poor posture. These type of injuries, be it sprains or pulled muscles, can happen either suddenly or over time. Lower back strain happens when a muscle is overstretched and tears. With sprains, it is the ligament (which connects bones together) that is overstretched and torn. Below are some treatments that can soothe back pain.
I know that it can be hard to even move when you’re having aches in your body, whether it’s your back, period, or arm pains. But exercising can strengthen the muscles and reduces the chances of injuring your lower back in future. Before your back heals, you can do simple exercises like stretching, yoga or even walking on flat ground. If you find that stretching or yoga is still too strenuous an exercise that seems to be aggravating your back aches, find the nearest pool around you and give water therapy a try. Floating in the water helps to reduce pressure on your back, allowing you to move more without feeling as much pain! After it heals, exercises that strengthen hip, pelvic and abdominal muscles can give you more back support.
Take a bath with Epsom salt
While its name is Epsom salt, it is unlike the regular salt that you add in your dishes to season it, butrather a naturally occurring compound comprising of magnesium and sulphate. Epsom salt has been known to have many benefits, with pain and stress relief being one of the main benefits. Add 2 cups of Epsom salts into your regular filled up bathtub and soak for 30 minutes. Not sure where to find them in Singapore? They can be found at Guardian, RedMart and Lazada.
Oh, this is my favourite. New studies have found that massage might have a lasting effect on relieving chronic lower back pain. Researchers have discovered that massage lessens the activity of proteins known as inflammatory cytokines, which causes aches and pain. It also helps cells to produce energy and the muscles to recover.
Sometimes using ice compression may soothe the aches. You can simply take an ice pack and place it directly on to the affected area. If you find it too cold, wrap it in a cloth. Do note that you shouldn’t place the ice compression on your skin for too long! We suggest placing the compression for about twenty minutes per session, for a few sessions per day. Ice compression narrows down capillaries and decreases blood flow to the affected area; this allows swelling to reduce. If you are a DIY fan like me, you can make your own ice pack with 1 part rubbing alcohol to 3 parts water. It gets cold enough to act as an ice compression, but does not fully freeze.
This is done by placing a warm wrap or pad around the affected area, ideally one that has steady temperature throughout the session. Warm temperature allows more blood supply to flow to the area by dilating blood vessels of muscles. This means the muscle receives more nutrients and oxygen, and is able to heal. Heat is also able to improve a body’s elimination of toxins. You can get self-adhesive heat patches that are more convenient to bring around, especially when you are working in an office or have to travel around often. Do check out BackHeat, which uses heat therapy to relieve back aches, and can stay warm for up to 12 hours.
Above are only a few methods of how you can treat lower back aches, but these can also apply to general aches. If the pain is too unbearable, do head to the doctor for professional advice. The doctor would be able to give you a more accurate diagnosis and treatment. On top of that, rest well and recover soon!
Jia Qi Chua
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