During the ongoing pandemic, we are seeing more people experiencing back pain. The causes range from working at a make-shift desk at home to completing projects around the house. Here are some home remedies you can try before seeking the care of a spine physician.
With a new injury or a pulled muscle, apply ice to the area for the first 48-72 hours to help decrease the inflammation and swelling. The cold numbs the area and acts as a pain reliever. Ice should be placed on the injured area several times a day for 20-30 minutes at a time. To avoid “freeze burn,” a towel should be used as insulation to prevent the ice from being placed directly onto the skin. Different types of ice therapy include ice massage, ice packs, frozen gel packs and cold water bottles.
After the first 48-72 hours, heat therapy is often recommended. Heat helps to decrease muscle spasms, stiffness and injury. Heat should be placed on the injured or painful area several times a day for 20-30 minutes at a time. To avoid burning the skin, use a towel as insulation. Different types of heat therapy include hot water bottles,
electric heating pads, heated gel wraps, heat wraps, and hot baths or showers.
When you experience back pain, over the counter anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers can also be used. They both relieve pain but work in different ways. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) assist in relieving pain by reducing the inflammation and swelling in the area of the injury. NSAIDs should be taken on a continuous basis to allow the level of anti-inflammation to build up. It could take 7-14 days for maximum relief. NSAIDs do not reach their full potential if they are only taken occasionally. They should be taken with food to avoid stomach irritation. Examples of over-the-counter NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil, Aleve and Motrin. Acetaminophen is used to treat mild to moderate pain and works by changing the way the body senses pain. It belongs to a class of drugs called analgesics (pain relievers) and antipyretics (fever reducers). Tylenol is an example of a medication that has acetaminophen as its active ingredient. Liver damage can occur if acetaminophen is taken incorrectly. You should not take more than 2,600mg of acetaminophen in a 24-hour period.As with any medication, check with your primary care physician before beginning NSAIDs or acetaminophen.
You may want to decrease your activities for up to 48 hours. This does not mean to lay on the couch or in bed. That will decondition the muscles around your spine. While avoiding activities that aggravate your pain, you can walk around and do gentle stretching to help decrease spasms and promote healing for your spine.
If you are experiencing back pain during this pandemic, we hope these tips can help you manage your back pain at home. For more information on home remedies for back pain, including red flags and when to see a doctor, visit www.resurgens.com/spine/treatment/non-surgical. If your pain persists, the physicians at Resurgens Spine
Center are here to help you.
Bennett D. Grimm, MD, received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia. He completed his residency in orthopaedic surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. He completed a fellowship in spine surgery at OrthoCarolina in Charlotte, NC, and a minimally invasive spine surgery preceptorship at Southeastern Spine Institute in South Carolina. Dr. Grimm is board certified by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Additionally, he is a member of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Medical Association, the International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery, the North American Spine Society and AO Spine. Dr. Grimm practices at the Resurgens Acworth, Canton and Marietta locations.
Details: Resurgens Spine Center • Non-surgical & Surgical Spine Care • 24 Convenient Atlanta Locations • ResurgensSpine.com