5 Ways to Cope with an Aching Back

woman holds onto aching back

Often, you can address back pain at home and get it to subside in a few days or weeks. Move the process along with these tactics.

1. Adjust your posture.

Slouching or slumping affects your alignment, flexibility, and joint movement. Instead:

  • Sit in chairs that have low-back support or use a straight-backed chair with a cushion behind you. Keep your knees slightly higher than your hips and your elbows close to your body.
  • Stand with your ears, shoulders, and hips aligned. Hold your head level and pull your stomach in to keep your back straight. Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes. Break up standing or sitting with frequent walk breaks.
  • Sleep on a firm mattress on your side, knees bent. Place a pillow between your knees if needed.

2. Tinker with temperature.

Ice or heat may reduce inflammation and ease aches. Use ice soon after back pain starts, or after you exercise. Beginning 48 hours after the onset, try a hot shower or bath, warm compress, or heating pad to relax your muscles.

3. Soothe stress.

Daily pressures can tighten your muscles, increasing the agony. Balance out worry with hobbies and relaxing time with friends and family. If problems feel overwhelming, seek professional help.

4. Work it out.

You might need one to two days of rest after back pain sets in. But if you relax for too long, your muscles can weaken, hampering your recovery. Keep your back muscles strong by walking around at least a few minutes every hour.

5. Experiment with alternatives.

While over-the-counter medicines might help in some cases, research supports many natural therapies. These include massage, adjustments by a chiropractor or physical therapist, and acupuncture.

We’ve Got Your Back

If your back pain comes with complications like stomachaches, trouble going to the bathroom, or leg numbness, it may be time to see a specialist. Our experts have extensive experience identifying and treating various back and spine conditions—click below to learn more: