Question: Is there anything for back pain relief that I can do myself? I have chronic pain in my middle and upper back what can I do? Have to keep cracking my back is this recommended? Can also not sit down for long periods of time comfortably.

Advice for back pain relief:

Personally I wouldn't recommend forcing your back to ‘crack'. While it can give some instant relief it will soon return and you can hurt yourself is you do it too severely. Ideally working on spine flexibility and articulation will help prevent the problem and reduce back pain. Also incorporate ways to release tension prior to exercising as certain types of exercising on tension can bring another set of problems.

1.  Flexibility

To improve your spine flexibility, Yoga is a fantastic way or Pilates, always go for recognised and recommended teachers. Make sure you explain to your teacher about your back pain as with any exercise class. For me I love to dance, the movement of dance is a great way to release tension in the body. If it is a fluid type of dance like say salsa and is great fun and exercise too.

2.  Relaxation

Body awareness and relaxation techniques are another way to get the body to release and give back pain relief. You will find if you get the body to relax and let go of tension on a regular basis your back may release and you will feel come small ‘clicks’ on your back but there is no fear of damage with the spine as it releases on own.

3.  Warm Epsom Salts bath

You will find using things to get muscles to relax will be more effective over time. Even an Epsom salts bath, not too hot is great for the muscles, the magnesium is really beneficial for muscle soreness and for me, a super easy way for back pain relief.

4.  Correct Sitting Posture

When sitting, make sure you aren’t stooped over a laptop, make sure the spine is straight and supported. Your feet should be comfortably on the ground (use a foot rest or box) and wrists straight. It is only recommend you sit for no more than 45min before moving position. It could be useful to put a funny image on your desktop to remind you to stretch too. Here is a blog on some ways to exercise at your desk to keep you moving.

5.  Foam Roller

One last handy device for when you have overdone it and your back aches (let’s face it we all do it trying to hit a deadline, even me) is a foam roller. You can place it horizontally or vertically along the spine, lie on it looking at the ceiling and simply roll over it and give yourself a quick fix massage 🙂

Of course if your pain and tension has built up over a period, or say stress has exacerbated it, trying to release tension on your own is difficult. Some sort of treatment to help you get ahead again can be the simplest way and then follow on yourself so much as possible.