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Back pain can be a nightmare. People suffering from chronic back pain are usually

willing to try anything just to make the pain go away. They may try acupuncture, and

if that doesn’t work, they may try hydrotherapy, and if that fails too, it’ll be the next

method or another.

In most cases, it’s not just one method that helps. A combination of methods to treat

the problem on different fronts may be the only option. Acute back pain is usually

treated initially with a few holistic measures which could include –


This is the best short-term solution, but I stress the short-term solution. If you have a

bad back, rest is essential for the healing process. You’ll need to lie down, but you

shouldn’t lie down for too long because it increases pressure on the spinal discs.

Intermittent rest Is what you’re aiming for. If the pain is bad, lie down for about 15

minutes and get up soon as you can and move around slowly.


You want to use a firm mattress that provides sufficient support. Do not lie on the

floor because this can exacerbate your condition. Place a pillow under your knees

when lying flat. This will ‘flatten’ your spine and ease the pressure. If you’re lying on

your side, place a pillow between your legs to reduce pressure.


If the pain is bad due to inflamed spine tissues, you’ll need to use non-steroidal anti-

inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) to help relieve your pain. Some of these

medications are strong and may have side effects such as gastric pain. So always check

with your doctor before taking any.


This is a natural remedy and while it will not work overnight, in the long run it can be

very helpful for protecting your cartilage. You can get a bottle of glucosamine at most

supermarkets, Boots or health shop.


This may seem to be the last thing on most people’s minds, but light exercise can

work wonders. Choose low impact activities like Pilates and yoga. The goal will be to

strengthen your core and back muscles. Thousands of people have watched their back

pain diminish and disappear once they started doing Pilates and yoga. These exercises

will make your body more limber and stronger at the same time.

Any imbalances in your body will also be corrected. For example, if your abs are weak

and your midsection is protruding and placing stress on your back muscles, Pilates

will strengthen your core. With a strong core, you’ll be able to hold your belly in

without your back propping you up. You’ll also lose weight because of the exercise,

and this too will ease your back pain.


Depending on the severity of the pain, the doctor may either give you medication to

to take orally, or you’ll be given an injection in the affected area. These are temporary

measures to relieve the pain, but can last a few weeks to a few months. However it’s a

post code lottery if you can have the injections so try not to become to reliant on them

like I did. You’ll still need to find other methods to help improve the situation.

These are some of the common remedies for acute back pain. Of course, there are

other methods such as nerve pills, muscle relaxant pills, multivitamins, etc. However,

these merely treat the symptoms. A good physiotherapist/ chiropractor/ osteopath or

pain clinic are a great place to start your treatment.




How do you cope with chronic pain? I think everyone in chronic pain has there own way of managing it but help from your GP and hospital pain services can lessen the pain, improve your independence and help you cope in general.

Often, chronic pain is an illness in its own right, due to a fault or malfunction in the body’s pain system.

My first episode of real pain was in my late 20’s when I just simply slipped while cleaning the bath. and my back went out. An easy thing to do and a common enough occurrence for people with back problems. I was treated at first with pain killers then physiotherapy but ended up needing to see an Orthopaedic consultant.

At that time I was quite bent with the pain, looking 20 years older than my age. Pain at the end of the day is introspective; it doesn’t give a dam about the rest of the world. Fortunately after my stunt in hospital on traction for a week it seemed to cure the disc problem for the short term. However I was left with another problem which was that part of my left calf was completely numb, which they said was from the traction.

That was over 30 years ago, and I must admit that when I look back I am amazed at how I managed to cope with the pain I was in and also look after a young child. I guess we all go through some form of pain at some point in our lives so nature must play a big part in the coping mechanism.

‘Thinking happy thoughts’ and ‘Being positive’ is part of cognitive therapy which is supposed to help our brains turn on the endorphins to help us cope with pain. However back in the 70’s none of this was available to us which does make you wonder sometimes about how we managed to deal with it.
Pain management programmes are a series of sessions, for groups of 6-8 people, aimed at teaching you how to live with your pain. Instead of treating your pain, you learn to cope with it and, research shows, can expect to enjoy a better quality of life, sleep and mobility afterwards. There are also around 300 pain clinics available in the UK.

But, at the end of the day its up to each individual who is suffering from chronic pain to manage it the best they can.




The BackCare Association have a new app to help people who experience back pain. Its a free package of advice, help, and videos for people to download onto their iphone, itouch or ipad.

At the moment the app is being downloaded at a rate of about 100 a day. It is available to download free from Apple iTunes Store or from http://www.backcare.org.uk