Back pain sufferers number into the millions of people everyday. A sore back not only affects your ability to perform physical activities, it sometimes makes it uncomfortable to complete even the simplest of tasks.
Most commonly, back pain is lower back pain. Common causes include muscle (strain) or ligament (sprain) injury resulting from poor posture, improper lifting and/or obesity. The pain may include soreness or stiffness, or result in muscle spasms. Other causes of back pain can be more serious – a herniated disk, osteoporosis (porous bones often resulting from calcium loss), osteoarthritis (breakdown of joint cartilage), and fibromyalgia.
A doctor should treat long-term back pain, but there is no need to go running to the hospital for every little ache in your back. The most common form of back pain is localized to a specific region of your back, and can often be treated with medicines or other home remedies.
One of the most common remedies for acute back pain is the use of heat therapy. Heat therapy generally comes in two variations – moist and continuous low-level heat. Moist heat therapy provides a short-term infusion of heat by using warm water, such as a whirlpool or warm bath. The effectiveness of moist heat therapy lies in the fact that it is able to cover a large area of the back. If your back pain is a general dull ache, covering a large portion of your back with moist heat therapy should be your first course of treatment.
Low-level continuous heat therapy is advised for acute back pain found in a specific region of the back. This type of treatment consists of using a wrap or heating pad and applying four to six hours of continuous low-level heat to the specific area of the back causing the pain. By isolating the area causing your back pain, the low-level heat therapy is able to provide the muscles with the heat they need to relax over a period of time, while providing the additional blood flow needed to help assist your body in recovering from its woes.
Back pain is a serious problem for many people. An aching back can limit your ability to play your favorite sports, sit upright for long periods, or even enjoy the outdoors with your children. If you suffer from acute back pain, the treatments offered above may provide you the relief you need to enjoy your life again. As always, if your pain does not subside, or worsens, you should seek treatment with a medical professional.
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