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Monday, April 18, 2016
Warning: the following is not meant as medical advise because I am not a doctor. However, I have been dealing with lower back problems for several decades and the following things help me tremendously when I go through a flare-up:
- Over-the-counter pain medications such as Ibuprofen and Advil. You want to choose something that is anti-inflammatory and easy on your stomach.
- Tiger Balm is a great ointment that relieves discomfort.
- A good TENS machine: this is the same technology used by many chiropractors and physical therapists, but you can get it at home. My recommendation: a model 7000 unit from tenspros.com. This unit comes with everything you will need to get relief. I am so sold on it that I have one in my car and one at home. Wherever I am, I can get relief. It takes me two to four 30-minute sessions to feel better when my muscles get so wound up that I end up with back pain. Please note that the electrode patches are re-usable. There are several types of electrode patches and today I finally used one designed for lower back treatment; I bought these several years ago but I had not needed them until now.
- Get regular (monthly or more often) chiropractic treatments. This will help keep you be properly aligned, and that is critical to your pain-free health. I have been visiting my chiropractor (Dr. Greg Bonham, in West Columbia, SC) since 1989. He has helped me through two ruptured discs and many instances of misalignments. I am now taking my kids to see him and they are experiencing the benefits of his treatments. My wife and my mom were both patients of Dr. Bonham.
- Stretching and Yoga: many times, lower back pain can be caused by tight leg muscles. Stretching several times per day helps me stay pain-free or gets me back from that point when pain flares up. I found this page at Simple Organic Life that has the stretching exercises that help me the most. Add a "Cat-Cow," "Cobra" and "Child's Pose" from Yoga and you will benefit from great preventive stretching (or a quick fix when things get tight).
- A hot bath with Epsom Salts (perhaps adding a few drops of essential oils such as lavender or rosemary or peppermint or all of those).
- A massage!
I hope these suggestions help you be pain-free, active and happy!