6 ways to relieve back pain

back painBack pain can be, well, a real pain. More than 80 percent of us will experience low back pain at some point in our lives. If an aspirin isn’t cutting it, many of us figure we just have to live with the discomfort. Not so—there’s a lot you can do right at home. Below are six strategies that can offer some relief from that nagging ache.

Grab a beach ball. Inflate a beach ball about halfway and place it between your lower back and a chair to provide lumbar support when sitting. This can help relieve the back strain that comes from being at your desk for long hours or when you’re in the car for an extended period. Find more tips on relieving back pain during a road trip here.

Then, find some tennis balls. Fitness therapy expert Jill Miller says this exercise is one of her most requested moves to relieve upper back pain and neck strain. Find two old tennis balls (that aren’t as stiff as brand new ones) and place them under your shoulder blades as you lie on your back. With your hands behind your head, slowly pull your chin in toward your chest as your raise your pelvis off the floor. Inch the balls slowly up and down the spine. Find more details on the move here.

Catch some more Zzzzzs. A better night’s sleep can help repair strained muscles and inflamed joints. Also, try sleeping on your side to prevent your spine from curving, which could prolong your back pain.

Take a dip. If you were looking for an excuse to get away to a resort or spa, look no further. Relaxing in a whirlpool tub is just what the doctor ordered—the combo of warm water and massaging jets will relax the muscles surrounding the spine and you should notice an improvement in back pain after just a few minutes.

Change positions. Take a cue from your fidgety toddler and, when you’re forced to sit still for a while, move around at least every 20 minutes. Readjusting your posture will help your spine stretch out and settle in a new position, lessening your back pain when you get up again. This can be especially helpful in a movie theater. See more tips for avoiding back pain at the movies here.

Walk the dog. That’s right, Fido can be part of your back pain relief. Spines are made to move and bend, not stay locked in place, so don’t use back pain as an excuse to become a permanent couch potato. Carry on with daily activities, like going for a walk around the block. Just don’t overdo it. When your back starts to feel better, step up your activity level by working out with weights to strengthen your back, which will help you avoid future injuries.

If your back pain has persisted after months of conservative treatment, ask your doctor about your options. For more information about relieving back pain with minimally invasive spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute.

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