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Even making small movements can be a challenge when dealing with back pain. However, if you’re discomfort isn’t the result of a jarring, impact event or another recent injury, it may be easy to resolve at home. Back pain is frequently caused by correctable factors such as excess body weight, poor posture, and sedentary living. With the home remedies that follow, you may be able to experience fast, effective, and long-lasting relief.

Use Low-Impact Exercise to Get Your Blood Moving

Back pain is often attributed to stressful or overly taxing movements. However, sitting for long hours at a computer or spending long periods of time with your head craned over a mobile phone are both common causes of back pain. Taking a short walk, going for a quick swim, or practicing yoga or Pilates are great ways to get your blood pumping without exacerbating the problem. Better blood flow will loosen stiff, sore muscles up. It will also make it easier for you to gently stretch away any remaining tension. Best of all, exercise can result in a mood-boosting rush of endorphins. Endorphins are all-natural, and incredibly effective painkillers.

When implementing any exercise program to alleviate or prevent back pain, always start slow. Don’t engage in activities that might add to your discomfort. Wear supportive shoes, be sure to properly warm-up and cool down, and only increase the intensity of your training as your body becomes able.

Alleviate Back Pain With Hot and Cold Therapy

Hot and cold therapy is another natural way to reduce back pain at home. If you’ve pulled or strained your back while engaging in heavy lifting or have sustained any other mild to moderate back injury, apply an ice pack right away. This will reduce inflammation and swelling across the targeted area. Wrapping your ice pack in a towel will allow you to keep it in place longer without over-cooling your skin. Prolonged periods of icing an injured area can also have a numbing effect that relieves the persistent ache of intense back pain.

When you’re ready, heating pads can loosen stiff, sore muscles up. You should only apply heat after any immediate swelling has abated. Heating pads or even cloth bags that have been filled with uncooked rice or beans then heated in a microwave work great for improving mobility. After applying heat for several minutes, try to start gradually stretching muscles that are tight and tense.

The Best Stretches for Relieving Back Pain at Home

Certain stretches are perfect for relieving mild back pain. When doing them, try holding each stretch for at least 30 seconds while breathing deeply. You want to keep a good flow of oxygen moving to your muscles and thus, holding your breath is never a good idea.

Start by trying to touch your toes. You can do this in a seated position with your legs stretched out in front of you, or by bending at the waist while standing. This is a great way to loosen your lower back muscles. Then, reverse the stretch by assuming the “cobra pose”. Lie flat on your belly with your legs straight out behind you and gently lift your chest while keeping the top of your head pointed upwards. You can additionally try the “child’s pose”. Sit back on your heels and stretch forward in a prayerful position with your head on the floor. Then, stretch your arms directly out in front of you. These movements can be performed before bed, upon waking up, during exercise, or immediately after working out.

Use a Topical Pain Relieving Agent

Consider using a store-bought, topical pain reliever. Products that contain capsaicin are largely derived from cayenne pepper. This makes them both largely natural in composition and incredibly good at alleviating pain and inflammation. Menthol-containing creams have a deep-penetrating, cooling effect, and are good to use when you need a little extra help moving around. You can also shop at a natural, herbal or homeopathy store to get Arnica. Arnica is topically applied and is effective for alleviating pain, swelling, and muscle tension at the lower, upper, and mid-back.

Get Better Footwear

Sometimes back pain is caused by poor footwear. Make sure that your shoes fit well and that they offer an adequate amount of cushioning and support. If you spend a lot of time in high-heels, try switching to sneakers, loafers, or shorter, “kitten-style” heels.

Back pain doesn’t have to diminish your life quality or your ability to get around. Taking a proactive approach to improving the health of your back can provide impressive benefits. With the tips above, you can enjoy less pain and greater range of movement.