Hot and Cold Therapy
Hot and cold packs can be used to relieve muscle tension, swelling, and inflammation. Using packs designed for personal use is strongly advised; you will get the best results from products intended for use as hot and/or cold packs.
- Hot packs – Gently warm the pack as instructed, then wrap it in a soft towel and apply to the site of pain. Heat relaxes tense, cramped muscles while promoting a restful feeling throughout your whole body. The lower back, neck, and shoulders are frequent sites of tension and can benefit from a session with a hot pack.
- Cold packs – These are typically chilled in the freezer or refrigerator though you should refer to the manufacturer’s directions for specifics. Wrap the pack in a towel then place the pack on inflamed or swollen areas. Hips and shoulders are frequent sites of inflammation-related back pain. A session with a cold pack will reduce the swelling and pain.
Lack of flexibility can lead to pain in the back, hips, and shoulders. Talk to your doctor about incorporating a routine of water fitness, yoga, aerobics, Pilates, or other regular activity into your lifestyle. A series of therapeutic stretches performed each day can have significant positive effects on your daily pain levels. A physical therapist can also tell you what stretches are best for the particular sort of pain you are experiencing.
Over the Counter Pain Relievers
Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin are very effective at managing certain kinds of back pain. You can take these as directed though if you are trying to control chronic back pain then talk to your doctor about what pain reliever is best for you.
Getting a little extra rest each day can help manage back pain that develops throughout the day. Rest in a supportive chair or bed for about 20 minutes before resuming your regular activities. Taking a rest break a couple times a day may help reduce your overall pain levels and give you a little more energy.
Massage therapists are very experienced in treating patients with back pain. Gentle applied pressure can relieve tension and stimulate the blood flow required for healing. You can use an Internet search engine to find a licensed massage therapist near you.
Pain Relief is Possible
Back pain is likely to affect everyone at some point in their life. Managing this painful and sometimes debilitating condition is possible though may require the implementation of several different strategies.