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Self-Help Measures for Lower Back Pain

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Self-Help Measures for Lower Back Pain

You probably have lower back pain on occasion because most people do. The pain is not bad enough to warrant a trip to the doctor, but it can still be bothersome. There are several things you can do at home to help reduce your pain so that you can have a productive day.

Rest Time

The general recommendation is to rest no more than one to two days when you have back pain. Healthcare providers say that resting for a prolonged period of time can actually make the pain worse. It is important to get up and loosen up the lower back muscles to reduce any spasms or tightness that might be contributing to the pain.

Get Moving

While you do not want to do any vigorous activity, a slow walk and gentle stretching can help to reduce lower back pain. Make sure to stop any activity immediately if it starts to make the pain considerably worse. Do short bursts of activity and take breaks so that you are getting the benefits without making your discomfort more pronounced.

Heat and Ice

Ice and heat are two of the most common methods for lower back pain. It is generally recommended that you start with ice to reduce any inflammation in the area since reducing inflammation reduces the pain. Always put a cloth between the ice and your skin to prevent skin damage. Leave the ice in place for approximately 20 minutes, give your skin a break for 20 minutes and then reapply the ice if you require further pain relief.

Heat helps to relax the muscles in the lower back to alleviate tightness and spasms. Make sure to protect your skin by not applying the heat source directly to your back without putting a piece of cloth in between. Like the ice, you can leave it in place for 20 minutes, take a 20 minute break and then reapply the heat if you need further relief.

Over-the-Counter Medications

Acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are most commonly used for lower back pain. It is critical to take the medications exactly as indicated to ensure safety. NSAIDs reduce pain and inflammation while acetaminophen only work to reduce the pain.

You can use a mixture of these methods to alleviate your lower back pain. If you do not regularly take over-the-counter medications, talk to a healthcare provider or pharmacist first to make sure that you choose the right one and take them properly.

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