Backache can be a pain in the, well, back! I’ve suffered on and off with back pain for several years. I had a bulging disc several years ago and since then, I’ve been prone to aches and pains. Pregnancy never helps either, and three out of four of my children were born back to back, and I’m pretty sure that has contributed to it. I can mostly deal with the lower backache now, but when it develops into sciatica, which it so often does, it is unbearable. The once, I had to have the doctor come out to me because I couldn’t lift my feet up at all. Thankfully, we lived in a house with a downstairs toilet and a laminate floor – I had to push a dining chair across the floor and use it as a walking frame to use the loo!
While you can’t always prevent backache or shoulder pain (Something else I suffer from a lot, probably from being hunched over a computer too much!), there are things you can do to reduce the risk of it occurring, or speed up your recovery, which is what we’re looking at here.
Keep moving to ease back pain
This is so much easier said than done because when you are in agony with your back, the last thing you feel like doing is moving. However, in most cases, it is one of the best things you can do to both prevent it and ease it. Keeping active keeps your muscles in shape, and strong back and abdominal muscles will help improve your posture, which is always going to help. Start off gently – we aren’t talking about running a marathon here, and work your way up to longer walks or more laps. The following exercises all help strengthen your muscles, improve your fitness and flexibility and help your balance and posture.
- gentle gym workouts
Pop the pills
There’s no shame in turning to painkillers if you need to. After all, that’s what they are there for! Bog standard, over the counter pain killers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, can help ease the pain in the short term – enough to get you moving about and gently exercising. Of course, you should never take more than the maximum dose per day and that they are safe to take alongside any other meds that you are on. If you are unsure, ask a doctor or pharmacist.
If after six weeks or so, your back pain doesn’t seem to be getting any easier, it might be time to get someone to get their hands on you…literally. Physiotherapy involves exercise, the use of heat and cold, and manual techniques such as massage. Osteopathy involves treating your muscles and joints, using stretching and massaging techniques. Acupuncture involves fine needles being inserted into different points on the body by a trained practitioner. It is used for a range of different health problems, including anxiety, infertility, and headaches, as well as lower back pain.