If you are in pain, we always recommend you come in to our clinic and speak with a physio so we can get you diagnosed and on your way to recovery. However, there are occasions when the level of pain or discomfort you may be suffering through won’t allow you to leave your home. For such occasions it is important to know how to manage your condition or pain from home until you are able to come and see us. In this article I will let you know the top tips that work for temporarily easing the two top common forms of pain.
1. Keep Moving
You might not feel like it when you’re in pain. But this is probably the first thing your doctor will recommend. A common misconception in patients with isolated back pain is that you can’t stay active. Try to keep up with your usual level of daily activity and movement. It can be a brisk 30-minute walk or circling the block with your dog. Aim to get on your feet at least three times a week.
2. Stretch and Strengthen
Strong muscles, especially in your abdominal core, help support your back. Strength and flexibility may help both relieve your pain and prevent it.
3. Keep Good Posture
This helps ease the pressure on your lower back. You can use tape, straps, or stretchy bands to help keep your spine in alignment. Aim to keep your head centered over your pelvis. Don’t slouch your shoulders or crane your chin forward.
4. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Shedding extra pounds lightens the load on your lower back.
5. Try Ice and Heat
You may have heard that one is better than the other for relief from back pain. The short answer is that Try both, and you’ll probably find that one is better suited for your relief. Usually, ice is best if your back is bothered by swelling or inflammation. A heating pad may be better if you’re trying to relax stiff or tight muscles.
6. Rub on Medicated Creams
Skin creams, salves, ointments, or patches may help when your back feels stiff, sore, and tense. Many of these products contain ingredients such as menthol, camphor, or lidocaine that can cool, heat, or numb the affected area.
For many more tips on managing back pain from home, check out our free ebook the home page of our site.
Exercise can delay the development of osteoarthritis (OA), one of the most common causes of knee pain. Exercise also strengthens the way the body supports the joints. Strengthening the leg muscles is especially beneficial for the knees.
2. Posture and support
- avoiding low chairs and couches that you “sink” into
- sitting on a pillow to raise your seating level, if necessary
- checking that you have a good sitting posture, without slouching or leaning
- wearing supportive shoes and avoiding those with broken arches, as they can result in abnormal force and wear on the knee
- avoiding prolonged sitting and long periods without moving, as joints may become stiff and painful without movement
4. Weight loss and diet
Similar to back pain, people who have excess weight or obesity have a higher risk of knee pain. Carrying extra weight gives the joints more work to do. Losing it helps to reduce long-term knee pain, including pain caused by arthritis.
If you can’t get to a physio for massage therapy, you are still able to self-massage, which may relieve knee pain. This should be done in a seated position with the knees pointing forward and the feet flat on the floor.
- Loosely closing the hands into fists, tap the upper, lower, and middle thigh 10 times with both hands. Repeat three times.
- Sitting with the feet flat on the floor, place the heel of the hand on the top of the thigh and glide it as far as the knee, then release. Repeat five times. Do the same for the outer and inner sides of the thigh.
- Press four fingers into the knee tissue and move up and down five times. Repeat all around the knee.
- Place the palm of the hand on top of the thigh, glide it down the thigh, over the knee and back up the outer thigh.
6. Heat and cold
Heat and cold can be effective in treating pain in the lower back and also knees.
- Heat relaxes muscles and improves lubrication, leading to a reduction in stiffness. Use a hot water bottle or a warm pad.
- Ice, wrapped in a cloth, can reduce pain, inflammation, and swelling.
For more advice on many other conditions, head to our home page to check out our list of free to download ebooks so we can help you manage your pain from home. Always speak with your physio if you are experiencing pain to receive a diagnosis and work towards recovery, remember these tips are only to help you manage the pain from home.