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 Back Pain  Holistic-online.com

Common Sense Recommendations

Back pain can strike at any time. Most of the recommendations given here apply to short term, acute pain. If you are suffering from pain for quite some time (chronic pain), you should seek professional help.

  1. Do not ignore the pain. It is the body's way of telling us that something is wrong. Stop doing whatever started the pain attack in the first place. Stop what you are doing and ease yourself gently into a more comfortable position.

  2. When pain hits, immediately drink two large glasses of quality water. This often gives relief within minutes. Muscle aches and back pain are frequently connected to dehydration. The body needs a minimum of eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily to keep acidic wastes from building up in muscles and other tissues.

  3. Try lying face down on the floor, hands by your sides, immediately the pain starts. This takes the pressure off your back.

  4. If pain follows an injury or sudden movement, apply ice (or a bag of frozen vegetables from the freezer in an emergency) (Do not apply ice directly to your skin as it may cause a cold burn.) for the first forty-eight hours  then apply heat.

  5. Rest on a firm bed. When getting up, roll to your side, draw your knees up, push up to a sitting position, and stand by pushing up with your legs.

  6. Avoid all meats and animal protein products until you are healed. Animal foods contain uric acid, which puts undue strain on the kidneys that can contribute to back pain. Eat no gravies, oils, fats, sugar, or rich or highly processed foods.

  7. Try gentle stretches. Gentle stretches can actually help you heal more quickly. While lying down, try bringing up your knees to your chest. Then, put a little pressure on your knees. Stretch, then relax. Repeat a few times unless you feel pain. If you do, stop.

  8. See your doctor after one or two days if the pain is still bad. Before you see the doctor, make a note on how the pain started, how bad it is, what makes it better/worse etc. 

  9. Take painkillers at regular intervals. Do not exceed the recommended dose. Always read the instructions.

  10. To relieve back muscle pain, soak in a very warm bath or apply a heating pad directly to your back.

  11. Stop smoking. If you smoke, quit. Studies have shown that people who don't smoke are more likely to experience long-lasting relief from back pain, including less persistent problems overall than those who do smoke. Smoking also makes the disks in your back age faster and stiffen up, because it keeps oxygen and blood from getting to your back.

  12. Once the acute pain has subsided, doing exercises to strengthen the abdominal muscles may help to prevent recurrences; these muscles help to support the back.

  13. Use relaxation music to help calm the mind and ease body tension.

  14. Don't do any bending, twisting or lifting. Learn the correct techniques. 

  15. Ask a friend or your partner to massage your back. Make sure, though, that they treat you gently and stop them if anything they are doing causes pain. Don't let them touch your spine.

  16. When sitting, keep your knees a little higher than your hips and keep your feet flat on the floor.

  17. When carrying things on your shoulder, switch the weight to the other side from time to time. Carrying heavy shoulder bags may produce neck, back, and shoulder pain.

  18. Always push large objects; never pull them.

  19. If you are a nursing mother, put pillows behind your back for comfort and bring your baby to your breast rather than strain your back by bending over your infant. If you're nursing in a chair, make sure that it's a chair with good back support.

  20. Move around. Do not sit in the same position for long periods of time.

  21. Do not sleep on your stomach with your head raised on a pillow. Instead, rest your back by lying on your side with your legs bent, so that your knees are about an inch higher than your hips. Sleep on a firm mattress with your head supported on a pillow. If your mattress is not firm enough, place a board between the box spring and the mattress.

  22. Maintain a healthy weight and get regular moderate exercise. A lack of exercise can cause back pain. Activities that are good for the back include swimming, cycling, walking, and rowing. Avoid baseball, basketball, football, bowling, golf, tennis and weightlifting.

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