Low back pain is a common ailment that can be caused by heavy lifting, poor posture or acute injury. There are several treatments approaches that may alleviate your pain if you would rather avoid medications or need additional non-medication options.
Soak The Pain Away
A hot bath is a common way to alleviate back pain. However, you can add products to your bath water to take the pain-relieving properties to the next level. Epsom salt is an old standby for alleviating pain. The combination of warmth and Epsom salt can help your back muscles to relax and improve circulation, thereby reducing pain. Another bath additive is turmeric. This spice can reduce inflammation and pain, whether you add it to food or your bath water. If you choose to take a turmeric bath, you should try it at night. Turmeric can temporarily stain the skin, but it should wash away with your morning shower.
Several products are available to ease low back pain while you sleep, and potentially make a difference in your pain throughout the day. If you prefer to sleep on your back, purchase a sturdy foam pillow that will provide lumbar support as you sleep. The foam should be soft enough to conform to the natural curve of your spine, yet firm enough to offer adequate support.
If you prefer to sleep on your side, consider purchasing a knee pillow that is placed between your legs to keep your legs slightly apart as you sleep. This position can reduce some of the strain on your hips and back while you lay on your side. Sleeping with a body pillow can offer the same benefits, but its larger surface area may be more comfortable.
Consider Alternative Treatment
Chiropractic medicine is a common treatment that is used to minimize or alleviate different forms of musculoskeletal pain. Some instances of low back pain are due to spinal misalignment and can be alleviated with several sessions of spinal manipulation. Your chiropractor can identify other problems that contribute to back pain, such as poor alignment in your feet or legs, which create unnecessary strain on your back.
Massage is another form of alternative therapy that has benefits for low back pain. Regular massages can soothe tight muscles in your lower back that exacerbate pain. If regular massages are not practical for your budget, consider trying massaging pads or cushions that you can adjust to different settings. Many versions are available that incorporate heat, and you simply place the pad on your favorite chair for an at-home massage.
Yoga is not only a good form of exercise and relaxation, but some yoga poses are good for reducing back pain. If you are unable to sit on the floor to perform exercises, consider using your bed as your yoga mat. There are also some yoga poses that can be performed from the standing position, which can minimize unintentional injury or exacerbation of pain.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) units are a popular over-the-counter resource for any type of musculoskeletal pain. TENS units have small pads that you apply to the area of your body where you are experiencing pain. The unit generates small electrical signals, which may help suppress pain signals in your body.
TENS units have different settings so you can adjust the intensity of the electrical pulse, depending on your pain intensity and what level is comfortable. Furthermore, some models accept different size electrode pads, so you can select the right size pad that is appropriate for the area.
Many cases of mild to moderate low back pain can be reduced or alleviated without medicine. If you need medication, any of these non-medication approaches can be used in conjunction with analgesics or muscle relaxers.