Back pain is one of the common complaints of people. Common in adults and the elderly, the condition limits movement, why also restricts a person’s activities of daily living. The following are the causes, signs and symptoms, and home remedies for back pain.
Back pain has several causes. According to Mayo Clinic, these include muscle or ligament strain secondary to repeated heavy lifting or sudden awkward movement that may strain the back muscles, as well as the spinal ligaments; bulging or ruptured disks, which may press on a nerve; arthritis, which results to spinal stenosis or the narrowing of the space around the spinal cord; skeletal irregularities from abnormal spinal curvature, such as scoliosis; and osteoporosis, in which the spine’s vertebrae develops compression fractures if the bones become brittle and porous.
Signs and Symptoms
Back pain also presents several symptoms. According to Spine Health, these include difficulty moving that may prevent standing or walking; pain that travels around the buttocks, groin, and upper thigh; dull pain; muscle spasms, which may be severe; and soreness upon touch. As per the publication, a condition called sciatica, in which the back pain travels to the leg, foot, or buttock, presents the combination of symptoms like ongoing pain or pain that worsens in the leg and foot; pain felt on one side of the buttock or leg, pain that is worsened by prolonged sitting or standing; difficulty moving the leg or foot; weakness; and numbness.
While pain medication in at par with its action, which is to reduce or relieve pain; home remedies can also be applied to manage back pain.
Cold and Heat Application
The application of cold and heat is one of the remedies for back pain. According to Best Health Magazine, cold is applied first before heat. As per the publication, ice blocks pain signals while reducing swelling. An ice pack wrapped in a towel can be applied on the painful area for up to 20 minutes for several times a day. Following 24 hours, heat application is done to stimulate blood flow and reduce spasms. To apply, a towel is dipped in very warm water, wringed out, flatted, and folded. Then, the person lies on his stomach with pillows under his hips and ankles. Next, the towel is placed across the painful area, covered with a plastic wrap, and is left on for up to 20 minutes. The procedure can be repeated for three to four times a day for several days.
Another remedy for back pain is stretching. Since muscle tension is one of the key factors that result to back pain, stretching may loosen up the tense muscles and strengthen the ones that need some stretch. As per Health Line, stretching should be gentle and any stretching exercises that result to pain should be stopped; otherwise, the remedy may just aggravate the condition. As per the publication, regular stretching helps relieve back pain fast and efficiently.
Aerobics, Massage, and Meditation
Aerobic exercise, massage therapy, and meditation are three other remedies for back pain. According to Spine Health, these interventions promote the body’s release of inner endorphins, hormones that help block signals from registering with the brain. To add, these help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression, which are also linked to chronic back pain and worsening pain. In other words, as per the publication, endorphins act as body-manufactured pain medication.
Back pain is one of people’s usual complaints and it may adversely impact a person’s activities that promote life. Thus, it is best to seek medical consult from a health professional for proper assessment, planning, intervention, education, and evaluation.