It's been a little quiet around the blog this past month, and if you follow me on social media you'll know why; at the end of December I was in a bit of a car crash and am currently still off work with Whiplash problems, mainly on my neck. I thought this guest post about back/neck pain was particularly relevant at the moment..
If you suffer from a back related condition, it’s likely you’re familiar with taking painkillers when the pain is too much to handle. While medicines such as paracetamol and ibuprofen can help ease an aching back, it’s important to note that there are other options available. Here are three alternative methods that could help banish your back woes.
A TENS machine
A transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) machine is a small, battery-operated device that can be used to reduce discomfort caused by a number of conditions, including back pain. This gadget features electrode pads that are applied directly to the skin at the affected area. These electrodes link back to the device via connected leads. When the machine is switched on, small electrical impulses are transferred to the painful area of your body. This usually feels like a tingling sensation. The impulses reduce pain signals from being delivered to the spinal cord and brain, helping relieve your discomfort and relax your muscles. Using a TENS machine can also trigger the production of endorphins - the body’s natural painkillers.
If you’re looking to try out a TENS machine, you might want to speak to a medical professional to ensure it’s suitable for you. You can loan a machine for short-term use, or you could choose to buy your own as they are fairly inexpensive. There are many different brands and models available. For example, the TENS machines for back pain from Lloyds Pharmacy are available in a wireless design, meaning you can take advantage of this pain relief at any time without having to worry about visible wires.
Hot and cold treatments
You might find that applying a hot or cold treatment to the affected area can help ease the pain. For example, having a hot bath or placing a hot water bottle on your back could reduce your discomfort. Moreover, you may discover that using something cold, such as an ice pack, helps soothe the area. There are many products available that have been specially designed to treat back pain, such as hot and cold compression packs. These are readily accessible from most pharmacies.
If your back is hurting, it’s likely that exercise is the last thing on your mind. However, moving your body could reduce your discomfort. Regular exercise will help keep your back strong and healthy while also improving your posture. To keep your aches and pains at bay, you could take part in some light activity such as walking, swimming or yoga.
Next time your back is causing you discomfort, you could try out one of these alternatives before you reach for the painkillers.