Back pain can be a tough thing to tolerate. If you’ve already been to the doctor, but can’t seem to get your pain under control, here are some things you can do to help.

First, don’t rest in bed for more than a day or two. Resting for longer periods makes things worse because the muscles in your back will start to weaken, which could set you up for even more pain. Try to keep moving even if your back hurts a little, stay somewhat active with mild exercises like walking. However, if there is any exercise or activity that makes your pain worse, stop immediately.

Avoid strain as long as your back hurts don’t do any bending, twisting, or heavy lifting. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen to help relieve pain. However, don’t make it part of your daily routine without a doctor’s approval. Apply ice to your sore area several times a day for 20 minutes at a time. Once your back begins to feel better, replace your ice pack with a heating pad. A heating pad can boost blood flow to your back and loosen tight muscles. 

If you smoke then stop. Studies have shown that smokers can be more vulnerable to back pain and may take longer to recover from back surgery. Lose weight if necessary. Extra pounds can strain your back. Do your best to stay relaxed, make sure you have good posture, and when it comes to sleeping, find the right mattress and position that makes your back feel best. Regular massages can be helpful and keep a close eye on your emotional health. Studies have shown that chronic back pain is linked to tension and stress that could be brought on by repressed anxiety or anger. If the pain persists, talk to your physician, specialist, or chiropractor about what options are right for you.

So give these methods a try and hopefully you will notice a difference. If you have questions, ask a National Park Pharmacist. We’re here to help.