I treat so many people with muscular skeletal pain; mainly affecting the lower back, neck and shoulders but also knees, hips, hands and feet. I have episodes of debilitating lower back pain myself and this is a summary of the tried and tested tips I find helpful. Please share with anyone you think may benefit, and for more read lower back pain and acupuncture.
Medications: When the pain is acute and severe take anti inflammatory medication and take it regularly (see dosage instructions on the pack) as it has a cumulative effect. Your pharmacist can advise if in doubt. A GP can prescribe higher dosage meds, and if your pain is unbearable and/or prolonged, you must seek medical advice.
Heat: It eases muscles and feels comforting. Take a hot bath with a mugful of Epsom salts added and soak for at least ten minutes, daily if it helps. Microwaveable heat packs, hot water bottles and heated pads are invaluable to relax specific areas. Sit with them around your back or use a scarf to tie them around your hips! Adhesive heat patches can be great; I found some last all day.
Support: You can buy pelvic bracing belts (similar to those used in pregnancy). I find them very supportive to give me confidence when moving around. Some clothing is more supportive too so experiment.
Movement: If you can walk it will help you feel better to get out and about. Gentle movement loosens up muscles and helps bathe your joints with synovial fluid. As I walk I loosen up (it may take a while…)! When you feel more mobile and to stretch and strengthen your back do remedial exercises daily. A Pilates class, physiotherapist recommended exercises or yoga are most popular.
Aloe: I drink aloe Vera juice daily. It’s a natural anti inflammatory and the one I have has added glucosamine and chondroitin which keeps my massage weary hands stay flexible.
Massage: Self massage with heat lotion, tiger balm, pain relieving gel or an oil containing warming ginger and black pepper soothes beautifully.
Professional help: Acupuncture helps me. To some extent osteopathy, Bowen Technique and massage have all helped me but I rate acupuncture the highest. Needles and moxa (heat) can be used in the clinic and magnets or ‘ear seeds’ can be stuck on to continue the therapeutic effects at home. Here are a couple of patient testimonials:
“Wonderful massage! The tension in my back has now eased. Thank you.”
“I could feel stress in my muscles – all gone now. An old lower back injury was playing up – not any longer! Extremely relaxing and beneficial.”