First aid for your back
If you suddenly feel stiff and achy in your back or neck then the best thing to do is to treat yourself for 24-48 hours using the following tips
- If it is very uncomfortable then take your normal anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen or aspirin (as recommended by the NICE Guidelines for Low Back Pain 2016)
- Try ice (pack of frozen peas, or ice pack wrapped in a tea towel ) on the painful/achy area for 15 minutes once an hour. If you this is too uncomfortable then try a heat pack for 15 mins once an hour. Immediately after (once it’s nice & numb) try some gentle stretching.
- A therapeutic rub such as Biofreeze can be helpful to take the edge off the pain.
- Use a tennis ball or spiky massage ball to help relieve the aches and pains. Have a look here if you need some help with Tennis or Spiky Ball exercises.
- Some Low Back Stretches here.
- Some Neck Stretches here
- Some Shoulder Stretches here
- Some Knee Stretches here
Even though it is sore try to keep your back gently moving so that you don’t stiffen up too much. Intersperse periods of rest with gentle movement such as a short walk round the block or down the garden. Lots of little walks are better than one long one; try to get up and move every half an hour or so.
Many people will find they are uncomfortable at night and stiff first thing in the morning. If the problem is low back pain, putting a pillow between your knees when lying on your side can help. Make sure the pillow supports all the way down to your ankles. If you sleep lying on your back try a pillow under your knees or keep them bent up to avoid strain into the low back.
Whenever you are resting make yourself as comfortable as possible. Use lots of pillows to support you so you can really relax, this is important as it gives your muscles a rest and helps them to heal.
Try to Relax
Try some meditation or your favourite piece of music to help you relax. Some online relaxation to listen to that we like can be found here.