elderly man leaning over with back pain

Drug-Free Relief for Back Pain

We’re a nation in pain. And a lot of it settles in our backs! On any given day, 15 million Americans suffer from back pain, making it the country’s most common pain problem after headaches and arthritis.

Acute or chronic pain?

When back pain strikes, it’s hard to know whether it’s acute or chronic pain. The two conditions are equally painful, but from a medical standpoint they are different problems. Here are some tips to help you figure out which one you’ve got…

Acute Back Pain is usually caused by a mild trauma to the lower back. It can result from a minor sports injury, heavy housework or gardening, lifting, or a sudden jolt to the spine from a car accident. Acute back pain is generally short-term, lasting between a few days and a few weeks. Symptoms can range from nagging muscle ache to sharp knife-like pain, loss of flexibility, impaired range of motion, and difficulty standing up straight.

Chronic Back Pain feels much the same way but it persists. Some doctors say that if your back continues to hurt for 3 months, you’re dealing with a chronic condition. Other practitioners say it must have lasted for 6 months. And a few won’t diagnose chronic back pain until you’ve suffered for a full year. Interestingly, chronic pain can go away (sometimes for as long as a few months) but then return suddenly, intensely and for no apparent reason.

Is back pain “a forever thing”?

Most back pain does go away with nothing more than time and a little common sense. Nevertheless, depending on your individual pain tolerance, recuperation can feel like just a short-term inconvenience all the way to a long, drawn-out nightmare. In any case, remember these simple guidelines as you heal.

Keep moving. Research finds that bed rest only makes the problem worse. The newest data even suggests that light activity will help you heal faster.

Alternate between hot & cold therapy. Heat relaxes muscles and cold reduces pain. So go back and forth between a hot compress (or heating pad) for 15 minutes and a cold compress for 15 minutes. (Frozen vegetable bags make great cold packs because they mold to your back.)

Watch your posture. If you slouch into the pain, you’ll only prolong your misery. Stand as straight as you can. And if you return to a job where you sit for long periods, be sure to use a straight-back chair and sit up against it for support.

Do low-impact exercise daily. The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends walking. Many doctors say you get as much benefit from stretching or swimming. Avoid running, jogging and twisting until you feel better.

Try a complementary therapy. Studies verify the benefit of treatments such as yoga, chiropractic care, therapeutic massage, reflexology, and acupuncture. Always check with your insurance provider because some policies cover these services.

Don’t smoke. It definitely increases your risk of back injury and worsens back pain once it happens. Doctors suspect that’s because smoking reduces oxygen flow to your muscular-skeletal system and that weakens your back.

Lose a few pounds. Being overweight definitely ups your chances of back injury and pain.

Avoid aspirin. If an injury occurs, go easy on grocery store pain relievers because there are serious health risks associated with their overuse.

Seek a natural solution

Luckily, a number of effective herbal remedies for back pain have entered the market. They work quickly and without causing harmful side effects. Premiere’s Pain Spray Mist and Pain Spray Roll-On are perfect natural treatments for back pain. Whether you’re dealing with a one-time sports mishap or persistent arthritis pain, these all-natural formulas have been giving powerful relief for over 20 years. Benefits last for hours. Safe for adults and children over age 5.

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