Treating Back Pain at Home
For a long time now I have suffered from occasional lower back pain. Lifting heavy loads; twisting; and basic over exertion have all taken their toll on my back. Sometimes it’s even comical (though still painful). Like the time I was reaching for the toilet paper and bam, out goes the old man’s back. Seriously, what sadistic person mounts the roll behind you on the wall at shoulder height? If your spouse comes to help you in this position, you really know their love will last a lifetime. So here is how I fix my own back pains at home…
A disclaimer - I am not a doctor; physical therapist; or any kind of medical professional. Follow this advice at your own risk and considering its free how can you go wrong at this price – right? First of all you need to assess how bad of a situation you are facing. Even I have had to make the call to see a chiropractor in some cases. Cowboy up and face the music if you really need it. My approaches vary with the degree of pain involved.
Minor – Just plain physical exertion can stress muscles and cause tightness. I take Advil right away to help with muscle inflammation and tightness. Even if you don’t feel it right away consider taking some before going to bed. Your back will thank you in the morning because it won’t feel like you’ve slept on a board all night. Also consider simple stretching exercises. I lie on my back, and pull one knee up to my chest while stretching the other leg out straight. Then switch legs. Another option is to bring both knees up to your chest (again while laying on your back); then pull one knee to your chest while pushing the other knee away from you but holding leg pressure against the push. Then switch legs again.
Moderate – After spending a couple of days once crawling out of bed on my hands and knees; humped over like Quasimodo; and walking like John Wayne with hemorrhoids; I decided something a little stronger was needed. I bought an inversion table. Best money I ever spent when dealing with back pain. Now I gently hang on this table to stretch and relax my back muscles; loosen joints and realign all the vertebrae. I have literally had situations where you could hear my back popping and cracking, while feeling it too! Get on it every morning and every evening to keep you standing fully homo-erectus upright.
Major – After going to the chiropractor for one of my worst “just shoot me” episodes, I was advised to use some special gel he sold along with exercises; ice; heat; etc… and of course I received the special magic-hands Gumby chiropractic treatment (which is not covered by my healthcare insurance by the way). To avoid this as a last resort, I will do everything in combination: Advil; Stretching exercises; Inversion table; and the thermal gel call Sombra. Just rub this stuff on your lower back (or shoulder or whatever hurts) and it will heat up like mad. Do not go overboard using this as it will seriously light you up – but in a good way.
P.S. – for those of you who may have an aversion to the inversion table… or are just too cheap. I found this little inexpensive device which actually does a good job without all the blood rushing to your head. It called an Arched Back Stretcher and you just lay on it and let your back bend over the curved cushion. Easy-peasy.
IRONMAN Gravity 4000 Highest Weight Capacity Inversion Table
Brand: IRONMAN fitness
Part Number: 5402
Amazon Price: $169.00
ThermaCare Lower Back & Hip Pain Therapy Heatwraps, L-XL Size (2-Count, Pack of 3)
Part Number: 345972
Amazon Price: $25.49
North American Healthcare JB4866 Arched Back Stretcher
Manufacturer: Jobar Interntation - PCA
Brand: North American Health and Wellness
Part Number: ZPO-408
Amazon Price: $13.25
Sombra Warm Therapy Natural Pain Relieving Gel, 8-Ounce
Part Number: SC80
Amazon Price: $13.86