There aren’t many issues that can disrupt life more than back pain. Since back pain can make it difficult to perform basic functions such as walking, it can inhibit your ability to work, sleep and even sit down comfortably. If left untreated, mild back pain can become severe, debilitating back pain. But what is the difference from a simple back ache and ongoing back pain?
The short answer is that a simple back ache is likely to dissipate after a few hours or days, while chronic or persistent back pain is often a sign that there is something else wrong of which back pain is a symptom. If you place unnecessary pressure on your back by improper lifting or poor posture, you may suffer a back ache for a short period of time until that pressure is relieved.
If that pain persists after the pressure has been relieved, it is likely you are suffering more serious back pain.
Popular Back Ache Therapies
One of the most common and effective ways to treat a back ache is actually a good way to treat muscle aches in general. Professional athletes, dancers or even gym enthusiasts rely on ice to alleviate back pain and prevent additional soreness. If you are not a professional athlete chances are slim that you will need an entire tub of ice to soak your muscles, but an ice pack placed on the sore area is just as effective. It may only provide temporary relief, but ice can really help prevent residual soreness the next day.
An effective back ache therapy that can also be a preventative measure against future back pain is good posture. Often if you spend a long period of time sitting at a desk or hunched over a laptop, your posture will begin to falter. By slouching your shoulders or hunching over, the spine becomes misaligned and applies pressure to the middle and lower back that can lead to a back ache. Making an effort to sit up with a straight back and squared shoulders will keep the spine in its appropriate structure and keep tension out of the back muscles and spine.
Those who suffer irregular back aches may do so because they sit or stand for long periods of time without a break. If you sit for most of your work day, make an effort to take 5 to 10 minutes away from the desk and sitting to give your spine and back a break. The same is true if you stand for long periods of time, take a few minutes to sit down or stretch your back to loosen the muscles.
Exercise combined with stretching is effective back ache therapy because it does two things: first it strengthens the back muscles and therefore making them less susceptible to back aches and second it relaxes the muscles by relieving the tension placed upon them. Exercises such as yoga and Pilates are effective back ache therapy because they stretch and strengthen the muscles simultaneously.
Treating A Back Ache
Above are the most common forms of back ache therapy are easy and can be completed on your own without the supervision of a back specialist. However more intensive treatment of back aches will require a proper diagnosis. Not all types of back therapy work well for all types of aches. If your back ache is spinal compared to muscular, different treatments will be required for a quick recovery.
Below is a list of targeted back therapies that have proven effective for a variety of back ailments:
- Massage Therapy helps relax stiff muscles and joints, while relieving the tension in your body and sometimes, in life.
- Stretching will loosen the muscles and get blood flowing to the injured area. Stretching can also help the patient regain some mobility.
- Heat Therapy relieves pain associated with back aches. A heating pad, hot compress or even a hot water bottle applied to the affected area of the back can relieve pain and soothe muscles.
- Inversion Therapy returns oxygen-rich blood back to the affected area while also reducing pressure placed on the spine by pinched or compressed nerves.
If you suffer from regular back aches, visit the treatments section of our website.
Written By: Updated: September 13,2011