Back Pain Blog
by John Turley
Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work.
Fortunately, you can take measures to prevent or relieve most back pain. If prevention fails, simple home treatment often will heal your back within a few weeks and keep it functional. Surgery is rarely needed to treat back pain.
Let's jump right into things you can do to prevent and relieve your back pain at home.
Don't slouch. Avoid movements that twist or strain your back. Avoid lifting and twisting at the same time
Choose a seat with good lower back support, armrests and a swivel base. Placing a pillow or rolled towel or The BackBuddy can maintain your back's normal curve. Every half hour, take a break and walk for 30 seconds.
Smoking increases your risk of low back pain. This is due to increased coughing and lower blood flow to the spine. The risk increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day, so quitting should help reduce this risk.
Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight strains back muscles. If you're overweight, trimming down can prevent back pain.
Regular low-impact aerobic activities — those that don't strain or jolt your back — can increase strength and endurance in your back and allow your muscles to function better. Walking and swimming are great choices.
Build muscle strength and flexibility
Strengthening your back and abdominal muscles will help you prevent significant amounts of back pain. One of the most common causes of back pain is lifting something that is too heavy, and in an improper and abrupt way, for your back and core to handle.
Some of the best exercises are Bridges and Superman.
You can also use yoga. The best exercises for the back are The Sphinx pose and The Cat-Cow.
Ice pack may relieve discomfort and help lessen inflammation in acute phases of back pain. Note: Don’t apply the ice directly to your skin. Wrap it in a thin towel or gauze to prevent damage to your skin.
Warm compresses may also relieve pain when inflammation has subsided. Consider alternating between heat and cold.
Meditation may be helpful in reducing the perception of pain, and can reduce depression, anxiety and sleep problems that commonly occur with chronic pain. Meditative techniques for pain reduction include everything from deep breathing exercises to an altered focus approach.
A hot bath can do wonders for aching muscles. If possible, add Epsom salt. This is considered the second-best way to relieve back pain.
Tennis Ball Method
This is likely the best way to relieve back pain because you can target the exact points where your back hurts.
Tennis balls act like foam rollers, only they’re less trendy, more precise and versatile. Massaging the lower back with tennis balls can help loosen soft tissues, release tension, relieve entrapped nerves, and improve flexibility.
If you are wincing or gritting your teeth, please be gentler with yourself. You need to be able to relax. When massaging with a tennis ball, the pain should be moderate and enjoyable.
Here are exercises people usually do with a tennis ball:
Create a double tennis ball massager
This technique requires you to craft a massager out of two tennis balls duct-taped together. Use as much tape as you need to create a peanut shape, then place it so each ball is on the other side of your spine. Raise both arms slowly, and slowly lower one straightened arm towards your head. Hold the position for a few seconds, return the arm to its original place and repeat with the other arm.
BONUS: The BackBuddy
We Developed The Backbuddy as a better double tennis ball massager.
One of the faults of a DIY tennis ball massager is that the distance between balls isn’t adjustable, which it needs to be for different exercises. Using two separate balls isn’t very practical, and the balls tend to fall or roll away from the intended position.
We fixed this with a flexible sleeve, which lets you adjust the perfect distance between balls for you, and you only. We added a strap, so it stays attached to a chair when using it as back support when sitting down and driving for long hours.
If you found these tips valuable, and want to target your back pain, please check out The BackBuddy by clicking the button below.