- Ice is a great place to start to relieve pain.
- Hot/Warm baths combined with Epsom salt
- Microwavable hot packs can help
- Over-the-counter pain medications like Motrin are one of the best medicines for non-traumatic back pain inflammation.
Heat Packs/Heat TherapyHeat therapy promotes vasodilation and draws nutrient-rich blood into the targeted tissues. Increased blood flow delivers oxygen and nutrients and cell waste is removed. The warmth decreases muscle spasms, relaxes tense muscles, relieves pain, and increases range of motion. Superficial heat is available in different forms, which include:
- Hot and moist compresses
- Dry or moist heating pads
- Commercial chemical/gel packs
Cold Packs/Cold TherapyCold therapy produces vasoconstriction. This slows blood circulation, which reduces inflammation, muscle spasms, and pain. Superficial cold is also available in different forms, which include:
- Commercial cold packs
- Ice cubes
- Iced towels/compresses
TelemedicineIt might be hard to believe that a virtual video visit can work to handle back pain. On a video call, a chiropractor is unable to physically palpate the sore areas and measure the range of motion and strength. However, this should not discourage you from scheduling a virtual appointment. Telemedicine, without a physical examination, can be highly beneficial. A chiropractor can start the process of ordering tests, like MRI, X-ray, etc. Even if the pain is tolerable, meaning the kind that doesn’t need medicine or imaging tests, this should not be an excuse to skip an orthopedic visit. With telemedicine, a chiropractor can still give advice, show back stretches, exercises, order back pain supplements, and talk about the risks and benefits of treatments available to try on your own.
Physical TherapyWith chronic low back pain, chances are your chiropractor suggested physical therapy or PT. Now is the time to bring back those PT exercises, especially with a back-pain flare-up. Low-back pain or any back pain for that matter with no neurological issues, could mean that a stretching and exercise program is all that is needed. Find out if your chiropractor or a physical therapist offers other options:
- Patient portal communication or e-visits.
- Uploads of illustrated handouts describing how to do various stretches and exercises.
- Remote evaluation. The individual submits pictures or a video of their movements for personalized feedback, which the chiropractor or physical therapist evaluates and provides.
Get ActiveEvidence shows that being active is better than resting. Moving increases the blood flow to the muscles, which helps with muscle spasms, trigger points, tense muscles/ligaments, and other issues.
PilatesPilates focuses on controlled movement, breathing, and stretching. A review found Pilates can be a highly effective and beneficial approach to handle back pain and related discomfort. Check out beginner Pilates videos. Be sure to avoid any move/s that cause pain, worsens the existing pain, or generate new pain.
YogaA review found that yoga can help improve mobility and decrease pain. If this is a new practice, start with gentle yoga or restorative yoga.
WalkingGoing for a walk is easy, accessible, and is beneficial for the spine. Walking can be as effective as non-drug interventions in decreasing pain and discomfort in chronic low-back pain. Simple movements along with rollers and massagers can handle back pain as well. These include:
- Self-massage with a tennis ball
- Foam rolling
- Hand-held massager
- McKenzie Method, comprised of gentle stretching exercises