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Backaches, Back Pains, Spine Problems, and how to alleviate the pain.

First rule: Don't try to lift what looks too heavy.
Second rule: Don't lift what you know is too heavy.

Even with our common sense in tact, we somehow or other manage to break the simplest of rules: We try to lift whatever is in our way, and what do we end up with? Yes, you've guessed it.

Well, now that we've got ourselves a nasty backache, we need to know if it's an acute back pain or a chronic one. An acute back pain can be caused by ignoring rules one and two. It can hurt like hell when the back muscles are overly pulled or strained. The pain may last anything from one day to several days. Good news is, the pain can be chased away by following some self-help tips below.

1) A no brainer -- Don't walk about. Get bed rest. Let your pain determine how much rest you need. Resting more than necessary is not necessary. (acute)

2) For daily back pain sufferers with varying degree of pain, exercise is the best. But please get the green light from your doctor before begriming any form of exercise. (chronic)

3) Another acute pain relieve is massaging the pain area with an ice pack for several minutes at a time. Do this treatment for two days.

4) After two days of ice treatment, if the pain still persists, switch to heat treatment. Soak a towel in very warm water. Wring the towel well. Lie chest down, place pillows under your hips and ankles. Place the warm folded towel on the pain area. Put a plastic wrap over the wet towel and place a heating pad over them. Heat on medium. If possible apply pressure on the area with a telephone book. This treatment should be very relieving.

5) For chronic or acute pains, stretching your back can enhance healing. Lie on your back on the bed. Bent your knees and bring them to you chest. Hug your knees and pull them gently closer to your chest. You will feel your back st reaching. Relax, then do the stretch again several times.

6) Getting out of bed can be painful if you do not know how to do it right. Try sliding yourself to the edge of the bed. Keep your back rigid, let your legs swing out of bed first. This motion itself should pull you up smoothly and painlessly.

Below are some recommended exercise:

  • Curl-ups. Lie on your stomach, on the floor or rug. Push your shoulders up away from the floor, but keep your pelvis touching the floor. Your back should be curved. Do this once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Like anything else, if it hurts, stop. This exercise is meant to strengthen your lower back.
  • Crunches. Lie flat on your back. Your feet should be flat on the floor with your knees bent. Cross your arms and grab your shoulders. Raise your head and shoulders off the floor as high as you can. Only your lower back and feet should be touching the floor. Hold the position for at least a couple of seconds then lie back. Rest for five seconds, and repeat.
  • Dry swim. Lie flat on your stomach. Lift your left arm and right leg, as if swimming. Do the same with your right arm and left leg, alternating them repeatedly. This exercise also helps to strengthen your lower back.
  • Swimming. For acute back pains, swimming in warm water is a very good form of exercise to relieve the pains.
  • Cycling. Go to the gym and ride the stationary bike. Check in the mirror on your posture. Do not slouch.

What ever you do, do not carry on the exercises if doing so causes more pain.

If exercise is simply something you can't do, due to further pain or against doctor's orders, you may want to take these tips below.

  • If you have a mattress that sags in the middle, place a plywood under it.
  • A modern adjustable waterbed that does not create much waves is perfect for a comfortable and pain free sleep.
  • Don't sleep on your stomach. Instead lie flat on your back. Place a pillow under your head and upper neck. Another, under your knees. With the pillow under your knees, your hamstring muscles will slack, and take pressure off your back.
  • Adopt a fetal position with a pillow between your knees. The pillow will ensure your knees remain parallel to each other keeping your spine untwisted.
  • If you observe inflammation around the pain area, over-the-counter drugs like Aspirin or Ibuprofen can help lessen the inflammation.

There are probably many ways to relieve back pains as there are many ways to get back pains, so I could go on and on. However, the stated tips should be of great help for starters. Should your pain persist for long periods of time or worsen, please have a doctor check you out.