Home remedies for the back and neck
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When you go to the dentist to get a cavity filled, the
dentist will remind you to floss and brush your teeth daily to prevent
future cavities. Similarly, we strongly emphasize a daily back or neck
exercise program to prevent a future recurrence of back strain. Once
you have a back pain attack, you’re four times more likely to
have a recurrence. Being a previous victim of back pain requires you
to work extra hard to prevent future back attacks.
A home exercise program is
typically customized for an individual’s specific back problem.
These exercises can be done on the living room rug while watching TV.
Other stretching exercises can be done throughout the day to increase
flexibility. The way to prevent future back or neck pain is by using
customized exercises that make the back stronger, more flexible and
resistant to injury.
Just as someone with a heart problem needs to watch their
cholesterol, diet and exercise, someone with a back problem needs to
keep their back flexible and strong. When faced with the task of lifting
an object, it’s essential to use proper body mechanics, or even
to get assistance if the object is too heavy, in order to avoid injury.
Studies maintain that exercise is more effective at treating
cases of simple back pain than bed rest and drugs. This is ironic,
because when a person's back hurts, just the thought of exercise is
painful. In truth, drugs only mask pain symptoms. Exercise, on the
other hand, is like oil for joints in the spine. In addition to improving
blood flow to discs, joints and muscles, exercise makes muscles more
flexible, stronger and resistant to future strain.
When you feel the onset
of back or neck pain, there are a few rules of thumb to follow
to help relieve the pain at home:
Hot and Cold Packs
First, be sure to put ice on the injured area, then alternate
with heat. The ice helps reduce inflammation by constricting
the surrounding blood vessels and reducing blood flow and swelling.
Never apply ice for more than five minutes at a time, because
it could freeze the skin and soft tissue. After two days, heat
should be applied to the area to increase blood flow.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) such as Advil, Nuprin
or Ibuprofen have an advantage over other painkillers, because they
also reduce swelling. People who are allergic to ibuprofen should
try Aleve, Tylenol or Aspirin to reduce pain.
If you experience an attack of back pain, start taking
NSAIDs for the next few days, as instructed on the bottle. They are
much more effective if you can maintain a constant level of the drugs
in your body. Try to avoid taking the pills and letting them wear off,
before taking another dose the next day.
When you hurt, your body is telling you to stop doing the activity
that is causing the pain. Back or neck pain can cause almost any
activity to hurt. Lying down for a few days can seem like the most
logical solution. However, more than two days of bed rest can cause
the muscles in the back to weaken, making activity more painful and
recovery slower. After one or two days, get up and move around. Take
a slow walk to get moving again.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Walking around the neighborhood is a great way to alleviate back pain.
Walking helps stretch out muscles and get the blood flowing. Stiff
muscles will start to relax. An alternative to walking outside is
to walk in a pool. This alleviates pressure from the spine, joints
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