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While it’s still more likely that the elderly will experience lower back pain, not only will younger people experience it as well, but the pain can also ‘hit’ a person’s middle and upper back. Your back muscles, and spine help support your entire body every day, and too much weight or different movements can hurt your back. Using painkillers is a short-term solution, and we give you a list of other things you can try.
Hot and cold treatment.
One the oldest, and the most effective tricks in the book for back pain is warming and cooling the problematic spot. This can be done in several ways, and people usually try to do both warming and cooling at the same time, or during the same session. First, you can apply a heating pad to relieve the stiffness around the problem area, and to help relax your muscles. After this, you can place some ice cubes into a towel, and use it to cool the spot. Still, you shouldn’t try to do this for longer than 20 minutes. This is a very hands-on approach, but you could achieve the same results by visiting a sauna, or switching between hot and cold water when taking a shower. All of these methods will cause a similar effect, and it’s up to you to find what works best.
Stretching and yoga.
It’s important to stretch your muscles as often as you can. You could try starting your day with easy and gentle exercises such as touching your toes with your fingers, or rolling your upper body left and right to stretch your lower back muscles. If your back pain is troubling you, we strongly suggest you try taking beginner yoga classes. Yoga is great, not only for stretching your muscles, but for strengthening them as well, and on beginner classes, you will be introduced to a variety of different exercises that will help you achieve this. You will soon strengthen your back muscles, and become more flexible while learning important relaxation techniques.
Gentle pool exercises.
When you have back problems, you might think that resting is imperative, but you’d be wrong. As much as it’s important to rest, it’s equally important to keep your muscles moving and exercise regularly, yet gently. You have to be careful not to overdo it as you could make things only worse with strenuous activities. Exercising in a pool is particularly effective for people with back problems, especially walking across the pool and floating. While walking, make sure you keep your back as straight as you can, and swing your arms like you are walking on the ground. Be careful though, because bending forward or to the side will make the pain worse. Try using weights on your feet to make your movements more uniform and to give your body more support in the new environment.
Talking to a specialist.
Home remedies and painkillers will only get you so far, and it’s of the utmost importance that you consult a specialist if your back pain persists long. If you fear that your back pain might be something more serious than a sprained muscle, we suggest you consult a doctor, and see what your options are. Sometimes physiotherapy is enough, but at other times you should see a surgeon. For instance, Dr Timothy Steel is a neurosurgeon, and a spine surgeon, which makes it easier for people who need delicate interventions. When looking for a specialist, make sure you find someone who has a lot of experience with back pain, and back problems.
Treating back pain isn’t always serious–sometimes all your body needs is a painkiller, and some rest. At other times, you should try strengthening your back muscles, so that these problems don’t happen again. Still, sometimes the problem is more severe, and if that’s the case with you, don’t hesitate to visit a doctor, and even schedule a surgery. After all, your health is one of the most important things you’ve got.