Back Pain Relief | How to Alleviate Winter Back Pain Naturally

Feature | Back Pain Relief | How to Alleviate Winter Back Pain Naturally | natural chronic pain rellief

When it’s cold, your muscles, tendons, and ligaments are tighter and less flexible. This makes you more prone to back injury. While there are many over-the-counter pain medications that you can take, pain relief can also be achieved in other ways.

6-Step Winter Back Pain Relief

Step 1: Apply Cold Compress to Your Back

Use a cold compress on your back within the first 48 hours of your injury. This will help reduce muscle inflammation. A cold compress can come in the form of an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas from your freezer. Here’s the proper way to apply a cold compress:

  • Lay on your stomach.
  • Elevate your hips and ankles by placing a pillow underneath.
  • Put the cold compress on the painful or injured area of your back.
  • Leave it on for 10-15 minutes.
  • Don’t leave it on for more than 20 minutes because it will restrict the blood flow in your back and may cause more damage.
  • Make sure your back returns to its normal temperature before applying the cold compress again. This normally takes about five minutes.
  • Never put ice directly on your skin because it may damage your skin tissue or even cause frostbite.

When applied properly, the cold compress should help reduce pain and muscle spasms.

Step 2: Adjust Your Sleeping Position

Adjust your sleeping position to minimize the strain on your back. Here are optimal sleeping positions for back pain relief:

  • If you sleep on your back, place a pillow underneath your knees. Place a rolled up a small towel or small pillow under your lower back.
  • If you sleep on your side, place a pillow in between your knees. Make sure that the side you fall asleep on is flat and is making contact with the mattress. Place a small pillow between your waist and the bed if there is a gap. If the pillows are uncomfortable, you can also try sleeping in the fetal position.
  • If you sleep on your stomach, make sure that there’s a pillow under your head to help support your neck. Place a pillow under your pelvis or lower abdomen.

In general, it’s best to minimize any gaps between your body and the bed. This will reduce the strain on your back and, hopefully, improve the quality of your sleep.

Step 3: Apply Warm Compress on Your Back

After the first 48 hours, a hot compress can be applied on your back to help manage pain. A heating pad or a hot towel can be used. Here’s the proper way to apply a hot compress:

  • Lay on your stomach.
  • Elevate your hips and ankles by placing a pillow underneath.
  • Put the hot compress on the painful or injured area of your back.
  • Leave it on for 10-15 minutes

A warm compress can be done to 3-4 times a day. The heat from the warm compress should help stimulate blood flow in your back and reduce muscle spasms. Warm baths or showers can also provide similar pain relief.

Step 4: Get a Massage

Step 4: Get a Massage | Back Pain Relief | How to Alleviate Winter Back Pain Naturally | pain relief medicine

A good massage can help promote better blood circulation and relax your muscles. Make an appointment with a licensed massage therapist or chiropractor. Be sure to share your medical history and present your problem areas to the therapist so they can focus on specific areas. Therapists will often perform the quadratus lumborum muscle massage and the gluteus medius massage for back pain relief.

Step 5: Keep Moving

You may be tempted to hibernate when you’re experiencing back pain in the winter, but it’s very important to keep moving. Remember, stiff muscles will make you more prone to injury. A day or two after the onset of your pain, try to go about your day the way you normally would. Do your chores and run errands. It might take a little longer than it normally would, but it’s important to keep moving to warm up your muscles.

Step 6: Start a Low Impact Exercise Program

Once you’ve gotten back into your regular routine, you can start a low impact exercise program. It’s always best to consult your doctor first. Your doctor can help you develop the exercise program.  Walking, swimming, stretching, and yoga are common exercises recommended for those who are looking for back pain relief. Regular exercise helps the healing process and it also helps prevent further injury. Start slowly and work your way back to your regular pace.

 

If you’re interested in exercises that help relieve back pain, watch this video by Intermountain Healthcare:

While these steps may help relieve your winter back pain, prevention is still better than a cure. You can prevent winter back pains by dressing warmly to avoid tight muscles. Try to be mindful of your posture while you do winter related chores like shoveling snow. Remember to always lift and bend with your legs and not your back. Consult your doctor if your back pain lasts longer than a few weeks or if it’s accompanied by other symptoms (i.e. fever, impaired bladder function, or weight loss).

Have you been experiencing back pain lately? How do you deal with it? Let us know in the comments section below.

Up Next: What Is Musculoskeletal Pain And How To Treat It?

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