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What are Home Remedies for a Back Ache?

Heat therapy, like a hot bath, may help to relieve back aches.
Individuals suffering from back ache may find anti-inflammatory medication helpful.
An electric heating pad can be wrapped around an aching back to provide pain relief.
An illustration of a healthy spine and one with spinal osteoarthritis, a common cause of back pain.
Bed rest might help a back ache.
There are several home remedies for a back ache.
Back aches are often caused by injuries to the muscles.
A massage may be helpful for a back ache.
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  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2014
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Considering the intricate muscular, neural and skeletal structure of the human back, it's surprising that more people don't suffer from a daily back ache. The muscles of the back and the bones of the spine are responsible for maintaining an upright posture regardless of activity or weight-bearing demand. Whenever a back muscle is strained, a nerve becomes pinched or a disk in the vertebrae slips, the result can be serious back pain. Fortunately, there are a number of home remedies, including heat therapy, analgesics and bed rest.

One of the best home remedies for back pain is complete bed rest. Whenever a back muscle is strained from overwork or becomes spasmodic, it needs time to recover. A back ache sufferer should be encouraged to lie comfortably on a firm mattress for several hours before resuming light duties. A careful massage of the affected area might also prove helpful, but not if it causes significant pain. Sometimes, the affected muscles must realign themselves before the pain can subside completely.

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Another home remedy for a minor back ache is heat therapy. Suffers can spend time in a heated bathtub or jacuzzi to allow strained muscles to loosen and relax. This application of heat can also be effective for pain caused by weight training or other physical activities. An alternative to water therapy may be an electric heating pad placed on the affected area of the back. Even an application of heat-generating sport or analgesic cream can be beneficial for a minor to moderate pain.

The pain of a muscular back ache is often caused by an inflammation of the muscle tissue. This is why many sufferers do not find much relief from standard pain relievers, which do not always address inflammation. Over-the-counter pain relievers that specifically use the term "anti-inflammatory" on the label may help. Some drug companies offer products specially formulated for back pain, so sufferers can ask a pharmacist for a list of available analgesics designed for this purpose.

Recently, a new form of relief for back pain has become popular. Sufferers from a variety of muscular and joint pains can apply a self-heating patch over the affected area. The heat is generated through controlled oxidation, essentially rusting, of a metallic pad covered with an adhesive bandage. As outside air enters the patch, the metal pad delivers a steady supply of heat to the injured area. For minor pain, these over-the-counter heat patches provide the same benefit as an electric heating pad or sports cream.

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Discuss this Article

anon953934
Post 17

For many years I suffered from intense back pain which sometimes could not move. I practiced judo for more than 15 years of my life and at the end, back pain took me to all kinds of physical activity. A year ago my pains have disappeared thanks to this all-natural treatment I found on internet which anyone can do at home. At least this treatment cured me completely.

anon942554
Post 16

The spinal cord is divided into four parts. Pain occurs in the trunk region, which bears maximum weight. Whenever there is pressure or stiffness in the spinal cord, there is a possibility of disk prolapse. This will affect the nerves, which control our movements and connect brain. The stiffness in the nerves is responsible for back pain.

cardsfan27
Post 15

Having a lower back ache is the worst. I had heard a lot of people complain about how bad they were, but I never quite believed them until it happened to me.

We were redoing the landscaping around our new house, and the old owners had a bunch of ugly, rotting railroad ties around the flower beds that we were going to replace. Between trying to remove the railroad ties and bending over to pull up all the old plants and volunteer trees, I threw out my back.

Whenever I turned in certain positions, it felt like sometime was stabbing me with a knife. I ended up having to take a few days off of work to just lay around the house until it got a little better. After reading this, I'll try some of the recommended techniques next time.

stl156
Post 14

@honeybees - I have used the patches a few times for back ache treatment, because I don't have access to a hot tub or anything like that.

I think they work about the same as the cream alternatives like Icy Hot. I wouldn't say they give "deep muscle relaxing" or whatever the ads always say. I guess whichever you use depends on what you like.

The pads are more expensive than the creams, but they don't smell, and you don't have to worry about getting the stuff on your clothes. My only complaint is that sometimes the pads can get too hot to where it kind of hurts.

matthewc23
Post 13

@SarahSon - I agree. When I was growing up, I always liked soft mattresses, and I never had a problem with them. Once I got to college and moved into my first apartment, the mattress they gave me was more firm.

I never noticed a difference until I went back home and slept on the soft mattress and woke up with a back ache. Now I have to have a mattress that is fairly firm.

kentuckycat
Post 12

@LisaLou - I am curious what your experience with chiropractors is. I have always heard from other people that once you see one, you'll be stuck going to them for the rest of your life. I don't know if it's true, or if people just think they do something to you to keep you coming back.

I have one friend who got whiplash from a car accident and had to see a chiropractor. He's the one that came up with this theory. He says that now doing any sort of strenuous work puts his back out of alignment and makes it start hurting.

I tend to believe him, because I also have a friend whose whole family sees the chiropractor for everything. They are always talking about regular things hurting their back that never bother me or anyone else I know.

honeybees
Post 11

My first choice for a lower back ache is to have a massage, but that isn't always practical. We have a jacuzzi tub that I will soak in and let the jets work on my back at the same time. This helps relax and soothe my sore muscles and is the next best thing to getting a massage.

Has anyone tried the new self-heating patch? I am wondering how effective it is and think I would like something like this as opposed to an electric heating pad.

SarahSon
Post 10

I have read that many people suffer from chronic back ache pain and sometimes it is as simple as changing the mattress you are sleeping on. Both my husband and I used to wake up every morning with a back ache that would stay with us most of the morning.

When we got rid of our old mattress and bought one where we could control the setting on each side, we were able to get rid of the back pain. It wasn't cheap to buy a new mattress, but it is something that we should have done a long time ago.

LisaLou
Post 9

If you have a severe back ache that won't go away with the typical home remedies it is probably best if you see a doctor or chiropractor.

I will put my back out when I do too much gardening or work around the house. Usually if I give my back a chance to rest, and apply some heat either in the form of a heating pad or a warm bath, I can get rid of my back ache.

If this doesn't work and the pain stays with me I usually need to have some kind of adjustment made. I always try the home remedies first, but don't want to stay in pain any longer than I have to.

sunshined
Post 8

@anon55892-- I have a rice pack I made from a piece of fleece fabric. All I did was cut out a small piece of fabric, filled it with rice (not minute rice) and sewed it up.

Whenever I have a back ache I heat this up in the microwave for few minutes and lie down with this hot pack on my back. If the area if covered with a blanket the rice pack will stay warm for several hours.

I prefer this type of heat over an electric heating pad. I will use this for just about any ache or pain I have, not just a back ache.

anon138061
Post 7

eat aamla with hot milk.

anon91787
Post 6

I had a nasty rolling fall down a steep hill and luckily stopped by hitting a tree.

This happened a couple of days ago and I was hoping the pain would go away.

I did a search and ended up here.

I did the Sun Salutation Yoga sequence and heard a adjustment in my back and feel much better now.

Thank you for your webpage. It really made a difference -- especially the post reminding us the healing power of Hatha Yoga poses!

anon82204
Post 5

Informative and well researched writeup. Thanks.

anon75093
Post 4

i'll try it out. thanks.

anon55892
Post 3

Drink milk. Make a rice hot pack using a sock. Swim. Lose weight. Do not lie down. Do yoga poses.

Have a positive attitude. Eat ginger root. Drink chamomile tea. Drink everything in sight.

anon52616
Post 2

I have a back ache and a muscle cramp and

cannot walk.

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