Simple steps to help relieve back pain
Posted by: the personal injury help and advice team
After an injury, both mental wellbeing and physical health may be compromised. According to NHS England, back pain is the largest single cause of disability in the UK and is unfortunately more likely to occur after an accident. Our personal injury help and advice team look into some simple ways to help relieve back pain after suffering an injury.
Whilst bed rest was the traditional recommendation for back pain, it is now thought inactivity can worsen the condition. Though occasional rest may be necessary, it is advised to carry out a usual routine along with light exercise if possible.
Low-impact exercise such as walking and daily housework may improve health without adding strain, and can be practised at home. Other beneficial exercises include swimming, due to supported bodyweight weight and reduced stress on joints, as well as yoga which uses simple stretches to ease tension and relieve pain.
Many find relief in hot and cold therapies, due to their inexpensive and natural properties. Whilst cold therapy is good for relieving inflammation and numbing back pain, heat therapy is effective in soothing muscle tightness and helping to restore movement.
Some studies indicate that trigger points are eased by heat and irritated by cold, so it is essential to take precaution when looking to this form of relief. To avoid any further injury such as burns, do not apply heat, for example hot water bottles and ice packs, directly onto skin. A warm bath may provide simple but effective therapy as well as provoking relaxation.
Because health is the main cause of stress in the UK, avoiding stress is essential to coping with pain and can sometimes even reduce it. Relaxing the mind helps to lessen the intensity of stress and anxiety as well as physical pain.
Relaxation techniques such deep breathing and meditation can help put the mind at ease, whilst the manual therapy of a massage may also help to relax both body and mind. Therapies such as CBT help to better manage back pain by altering thought processes and introducing positive coping techniques.
Maintaining a good posture takes pressure off the nerves and reduces back pain. Simple posture mistakes include slouching in a seat or hunching over a sink, and can affect or even cause back pain. The NHS’ guide to fixing posture provides visual examples of good and bad posture and advises on how to alleviate muscle tension with posture.
Ensuring an appropriate sleeping position can further ease pain. Use an extra pillow for support, placing it between your legs when sleeping on the side or behind the knees when sleeping on your back. Avoid laying stomach-down as this strains the back and adds unnecessary pressure.