What Are Some Inexpensive Home Remedies for Back Pain and Neck Pain?
While almost every human will experience neck, back pain, or even sciatica at some point in their life, there is seemingly an endless number of “miracle cures”. Which ones work? Which ones don’t? How do we separate fact from fiction?
First, let’s list some of the more common causes of back or neck pain: postural issues, excessive computer or phone use (aka “tech neck”), tight muscles, sleeping wrong, sports injuries, and car accidents.
- Ice - If you need short term pain relief until you can get in to see your chiropractor, the simplest, most commonly used approach is ice. You can either use an ice pack that is pre-made and sold online or at any pharmacy or make your own by putting 10-12 ice cubes in a ziplock bag and applying them to the sore area as needed. You apply it over the sore spots for 15-20 minutes, as often as needed. The ice can help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, and even break up muscle spasms resulting from the injury.
- Heat - A heat pack can also provide relief from neck and back pain. Moist heat is preferred, and you can make your own “heat pack” by dipping a small towel in hot water and applying it to the sore spot. Apply to the sore spots for 15-20 minutes, as often as necessary.
- Gentle Stretching - Sometimes back and neck pain can occur due to muscle stiffness and tightness, so gentle stretching can relieve tightness and improve range of motion.
- Deep Breathing - Sit in a dark, quiet room and take deep breaths in, for 6-10 seconds on the IN phase, and another 6-10 seconds on the OUT phase. Repeat for 15-20 minutes.
- Natural Anti-Inflammatories - Turmeric, green tea, bromelain, and magnesium, can all be used as natural pain relievers
- Creams - Capsaicin and Arnica creams can be used safely, and also can provide some much-needed relief from neck and back pain.
- TENS Units (aka “electrostim”) - Small, battery-operated devices that deliver electrical impulses that flood the nervous system and block pain signals. They are inexpensive, safe, and user-friendly, and can be a great source of pain relief as an alternative to drugs.
Of course, these are only temporary forms of pain relief. Make sure to visit your chiropractor for a complete evaluation to pinpoint the exact cause of your neck and back pain, and to provide a permanent solution that will not only relieve your pain but prevent it from becoming a recurring problem.