Manage back pain with these at-home solutions
Individuals with back pain often seek relief solutions that don’t involve medication or expensive treatments like massages or acupuncture. While it’s best to speak with your doctor about the best treatment options for your situation, there are a few ways you can manage back pain at home.
At-home solutions for back pain include many therapeutic, noninvasive options. Depending on the nature of your back pain, you may find relief from heat therapy, a new pillow or something else. Other solutions don’t involve any products at all; instead, some people benefit from making simple lifestyle changes that may contribute to less back pain.
What to know about managing back pain at home
What causes back pain?
Back pain is caused by several issues, including arthritis, sprained muscles, sports injuries or car accidents. Some people experience occasional back pain, such occasional flare-ups that last for a couple hours or a few days. Others have chronic back pain, which lasts for a prolonged period of time.
Benefits of at-home back pain management
When you decide to manage back pain at home, you’ll find a multitude of affordable alternatives to pricey treatments like massage therapy. As a result, it’s much easier — and more budget-friendly — to try several products until you find one that works for you.
These solutions are usually noninvasive, which according to MedlinePlus, means they won’t break the skin or physically enter the body. Stretching or using heating pads, for example, are gentle, noninvasive ways that may alleviate back pain.
At-home back pain management often involves lifestyle changes that have positive effects beyond pain relief. Mayo Clinic indicates that losing weight may reduce the stress on your back, as well as improve blood pressure, heart health and overall mobility.
What to know before trying new solutions for back pain
Home remedies for back pain may help, but Mayo Clinic warns consumers to be careful when they buy products that promise relief or prevention. While you may find success using some products, Mayo Clinic stipulates that there is no clinical or scientific evidence that these devices will provide relief.
When to talk to your doctor
While you may find success in managing back pain at home, it’s best to talk to your doctor when symptoms persist, change or worsen.
Nine solutions for back pain
Some individuals experience relief when they use heat therapy devices, such as heating pads. These devices may boost circulation, and in turn, alleviate stiffness and tension.
Paramed Heating Pad XL measures 24 x 12 inches to cover most of the back. A flexible design, the heating pad can be used in bed, on the couch or in your office chair.
Other people report more relief from cold therapy devices, like ice packs. Because ice causes blood vessels to constrict, ice packs may be effective at reducing inflammation or swelling.
Relief Expert Ice Pack is filled with nontoxic gel that keeps the pack frozen longer. The belted design wraps easily around the lower back, mid-back and shoulders.
Many people with back pain have invested in supportive bedding, including mattresses and specialized pillows. These products may provide better support, alleviate pressure points or place your spine in optimal alignment.
Everlasting Comfort Knee Pillow can promote better spinal alignment while you sleep. The pillow has an adjustable strap to help it stay put, even when you toss and turn.
Tempur-Pedic TEMPUR-Cloud Mattress promises to adapt to your body to minimize pressure points. It’s made with four supportive layers and includes a free 90-night trial.
Individuals with poor posture often experience back pain, and practicing better posture may help reduce symptoms over time. You can do posture exercises, stretch throughout the day or switch to ergonomic furniture.
“Pain-Free Posture Handbook” by Lora Pavilack & Nikki Alstedter recommends 40 activities that may contribute to a healthier spine with less back pain. The book includes exercises for at home, work and on the go.
The Original Stretch Out Strap includes a 10-loop nylon stretch strap and comprehensive exercise guide to help you stretch out sore, tense muscles.
Ergonomic office equipment
Spending long hours working without occasionally getting up often results in stiffness and soreness at the end of the day. Ergonomic office furniture and accessories may support better posture and spinal alignment.
WALI Tempered Glass Monitor Riser lifts monitors to more comfortable viewing positions, which may alleviate some neck and upper back strain. The sleek design is adjustable to 3.5 inches.
Duramont Ergonomic Office Chair has adjustable lumbar support and armrests as well as a reclining feature. It’s made with breathable mesh to keep occupants cool.
Gimars Mouse Pad and Wrist Support can place the wrists at a better angle to reduce hand, elbow and wrist fatigue. The pads are filled with slow-rebound memory foam for smooth movement.
A fitness tracker alone won’t improve back pain, but it may provide enough motivation and stimulation to get you more active throughout the day. They have alerts that encourage you to get in your daily steps or to get up off your chair after prolonged periods of sitting.
Fitbit Inspire Fitness Tracker logs all-day activity, including steps, active minutes and calories burned. It also tracks hourly activity and alerts users when it’s time to move.
Low-impact exercise includes activities or sports that are gentle on joints. Engaging in low-impact exercise a few times a week may help you lose weight, which in turn may reduce the stress of extra weight on the back.
New Balance Women’s 877 V1 Walking Shoe is designed to stabilize the foot through the gait cycle. The shoe has an impact-absorbing midsole and reflective details.
Bowflex C6 Exercise Bike offers a smooth, quiet wide with 100 resistance levels. The bike works with most devices and tablets, so users can enjoy JRNY, an interactive cycling app.
Pilates, an exercise program originally developed to rehabilitate injured ballet dancers, is said to increase flexibility and range of motion. Exercises revolve around core strength, and a stronger core may improve posture or alleviate back tension.
Grouper Thick Yoga Mat is made with thick, high-density foam known for its fast rebound. The nonslip backing offers maximum stability on all floor types, including carpet.
ProBody Pilates Ring, on par with studio rings, is a beginner-friendly device that helps users get more from their Pilates workout. It comes with a travel bag and a quick-start guide.
Massage guns, also called percussive massagers, may provide targeted relief to sore back muscles. The percussion and vibration of these devices may boost circulation, alleviate tension and release lactic acid.
PlayMakar MVP Percussion Massager offers six speeds and comes with six attachment heads for a customized massage experience. The rechargeable design lasts through three hours of use.
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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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