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Back Pain

Affecting around 8 out of 10 people at least once during their lives, back pain is one of the most common health problems. A stressful job, pregnancy, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, strenuous physical exercise, etc. can lead to back pain. Back pain can be really painful, and may even affect your working capacity and productivity.

Dr. Health suggests some home remedies, which will help you manage the pain and get back to work

  • For immediate relief from back pain in a particular region, use ice packs. The pack works as a pain reliever, giving immediate relief. You can use ice or a frozen-peas bag on the area that hurts, and repeat this during the day. Ice packs are considered to give best results especially if the back pain is a result of strenuous physical activity or exercise.
  • Although ice packs provide immediate pain relief, after about 2 days of using ice pack, it is advisable to switch to warm and moist heating technique, which stimulates blood flow and reduces painful spasms. Soak a towel in warm water, wring out the excess water, fold it and place it on the affected area of your back. Now, cover it with a plastic wrap. Keep a heating pad on top of this plastic wrap, and relax while you leave it for around 20 minutes.
  • Keep a pillow between your knees while sleeping on one side. If you are lying down on your back, place the pillow under your knees. These positions may provide some comfort to the aching back.
  • If you have a back pain accompanied by a sore and stiff back, the best way to get some relief is by soaking yourself in a warm bath. Add Epsom salts and essential oil of your choice in a bath tub filled with warm water, and lie down for at least half an hour. Epsom salts help to reduce swelling while essential oils like rosemary can soothe the stiff back and help you relax. Adding marjoram is apt for a warm and relaxing soak.
  • A mustard poultice is an excellent remedy for back pain. Mix powdered mustard with flour (1 part mustard +2 parts flour), and add water to make a paste. Now, spread it on a tea towel, and compress the folded tea towel onto your back. Some people might experience a burning sensation on the skin due to mustard; in this case it is advisable to stop using the compress immediately. Apply petroleum jelly before applying the mustard poultice in order to avoid the burning sensation.
  • It is important to make conscious efforts to stand, sit and sleep in the correct posture. Proper posture will help you to work more efficiently without getting tired or giving strain to your back or body.
  • Some yoga asanaas also help in relieving back pain. To name a few, the Tadasana, which helps to stretch the spinal cord and is good for the muscles of the arms, shoulders and the neck, the Matsyasana, which relieves stiffness in the neck, and the savasana, which takes away physical and mental stress and strain are recommended.

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