Wellness Wednesday: How To Beat Back Pain

by Sara Vavra
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(Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

(Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Chances are you or someone you love has had a back ache. Not the garden variety “fell asleep on the couch with the kids” kind of ache but the chair- gripping, stomach-wrenching kind that causes you to swig ibuprofen straight from the bottle.

You want to blame the pain on your marathon session with the weed-whacker last weekend, but that’s probably not really why you’re hurting.

You’re in pain because you’ve been abusing that back for a long time, and the weed-whacker was just the straw the broke the camel’s…well you know. So when your back is aching, try these drug-free ways to feel better fast.

1. Ice Ice Baby. Actually it’s ice-heat-ice baby. Therapists call it contrast therapy and it helps to turn off the pain sensations for a while and give your body a chance to heal. First, apply an ice pack to the painful area. Let it sit there for a couple of minutes. Then, apply a heat pack to the area for a few minutes. Then ice. Then heat. Repeat several more times in a session. Always start and end with Ice. This works great the first three days after a sudden injury or strain.

2. Massage. Find a reputable therapist who can help release the knots built up in the tissue around the injury. Your massage therapist can help your body heal more quickly and repair the injury site by applying particular types of pressure and flushing out toxins and accumulations of waste that build up when the body is injured, speeding your road to recovery.

3. Epsom salt baths. Yep, the same kind grandma used to have. Just put a cup or more in your bath tub and ease yourself in. Epsom salts contain magnesium and the combination of the salts and the water help relax and soothe achy muscles. Good to remember next time you decide to tackle the back forty!

Back aches can be a sign of a serious health problem so if you suspect something else is going on, or you don’t get better in a couple of days, talk to your doctor. When you feel better you can explore how to strengthen your back so you don’t get yourself into trouble again. But for right now, keep moving gently and, for heaven’s sake, don’t sit! Motion is lotion for all the joints, tendons and ligaments in our body.

Sara Vavra is a wellness educator, massage and bodywork therapist, yoga teacher, and consulting hypnotist in a private practice in Charlotte, NC. Contact her at 704-517-4021 or sara@everybodyva.com

Wellness Wednesday is sponsored by Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry

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