Piercing pain between your shoulder blades? Constant dull ache in your lower back? If you haven’t experienced these symptoms yet, you probably will.
In fact, 80 percent of the population will suffer from a back problem at some point in their lives, according to the American Chiropractic Association. What can you do to help beat these back aches and pains? The remedy could start at home.
A recent survey of primary care physicians conducted by the L.C. Williams & Associates Research Group for La-Z-Boy uncovered a simple activity that can easily be added to your daily routine – seven in 10 doctors agree that reclining at home can decrease back pain.
Many types of back pain, caused by a variety of reasons including heavy lifting and poor posture, can be eased without surgery. Find comfort at home by following these three easy ideas which may help to alleviate back pain and strengthen your back for the future.
1. Stretch away tension – Stretching is a great way to loosen muscles and relieve tension in your back. But, be sure to consult your physician if you have any medical conditions, and move carefully to keep from straining or inflicting additional pain. This means warming up your muscles with a quick walk before you stretch, stretching slowly and steadily and only reaching as far as your body will comfortably allow.
2. Recline with support – Sitting in a reclined position is often an effective step in helping to relieve back pain, as it transfers weight and pressure off of your spine and allows your muscles to relax. Get comfortable in reclining furniture with total body and lumbar support, meaning that no extra stress is placed on any one part of the body, and be sure to fully recline and adjust the leg rest to the highest position. This will redistribute your weight and ease pressure on your lower spine – 80 percent of doctors prefer for patients to recline with their legs elevated up high and their backs partially or fully reclined.
3. Apply “steamy” heat – As long as it’s not within 24 to 48 hours of an acute injury, the next time you are feeling discomfort, apply a moist heat pack directly on the point of pain to help relax and loosen the surrounding muscles. Moist heat, as opposed to an ice pack, increases the flow of blood to the area, and thus can help speed recovery.
“I encourage patients to take steps toward a healthier back every day,” says Dr. Dave David, a board-certified physician who has been practicing medicine for more than 30 years. “From utilizing at-home remedies to stretching regularly and utilizing reclining furniture with the right support, sufferers can oftentimes find soothing relief from current aches and pains and work to prevent future discomfort.”