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FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Backache: 5 Pain-Free Ideas
from The Doctors Book of Home Remedies
Trying to move the suddenly immovable is the number one cause of back problems in the United States. It causes you to push, twist, bend, lift, punch, pull, and strain in ways you never thought possible. Here are some things you can do to get you back from a painful attack.
- Get off your feet.. Your back will thank you for it. For an acute problem, the first thing you should do is get some bed rest. In fact, it may be the only thing you’ll want to do. Any physical act, even getting up to go to the bathroom, may bring you pain. So, for the first day or two, keep activity to a minimum.
- Don’t lounge too long. How long you stay in bed depends on the severity of your pain. If you are still in pain after two days, for example, an extra day in bed won’t hurt. It’s best, however, to get out of bed as quickly as possible. Let pain be your guide. Most people think that a week of bed rest will take away the pain. But that’s not so. For every week of bed rest, it takes two weeks to rehabilitate.
- Put your pain on ice. The best way to cool down an acute flare-up is with ice. It will reduce swelling and the strain on your back muscles. For best results, try ice massage. Put an ice pack on the site of the pain and massage the spot for 7 or 8 minutes. Do this for a day or two.
- Try some heat relief. After the first day or two of ice, physicians recommend that you switch to heat. Take a soft towel and put it in a bowl of very warm water. Wring it well and flatten it so that there are no creases in it. Lie chest down with pillows under your hips and ankles and fold the towel across the painful part of your back. Put some plastic wrap over that, then put a heating pad turned on medium on top of the plastic. If possible, place something on top that will create pressure, like a telephone book. This creates moist heat and will help reduce muscle spasms.
- Stretch to smooth a spasm. Stretching a sore back will actually enhance the healing process. One good stretch for lower back pain is to gently bring your knees up from the bed and to your chest. Once there, put a little pressure on your knees. Stretch, then relax. Repeat. Stretching will help the muscle calm down sooner than just waiting for it to calm down on its own.
RECIPES OF THE WEEK
Recipes to go along with the coming week’s list of Weekly Specials:
Gimme Some Oven
Savings Said Simply
Back to Her Roots
Peas and Crayons
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