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How to deal with backache during Covid-19 pandemic?
I am frequently bombarded with this question (How to deal with my backache during Covid-19 pandemic?) by my patients and relatives almost daily. So I decided to write it for everyone who also has the same question.
For causes of backache Read this Lower Back pain – Causes
As we know we are currently in the coronavirus era which means we are following strict home quarantine protocol. But that deprives us of the long walks in the park which we all are very fond of, Right?
Although staying at home is protecting us from covid-19, this is causing a very annoying issue to everyone – Backache. It makes everyone uncomfortable. With all that sitting and laying on the bed for the whole day is doing nothing for the good health of our back.
Well, let’s jump to the solutions which we can use to relieve this annoying back ache.
- Move your body – That’s right. Muscles start aching when we don’t use them for a long time like people are doing these days. Some kind of physical activity is important for your overall health as well. As you will move your muscles by doing some activity or just taking a brisk walk for 20-30 mins, the blood flow will increase to your muscles. That will not only provide the nourishment but also will remove the accumulated lactic acid and other waste products which are causing dull ache in your back. For safety, take walk inside your home.
- Stretch those muscles – Staying at bed or sitting at the chair for a long time will cause your back muscles to spasm (that’s a prolonged and sustained contraction of your back muscles). To relieve that spasm you should do some stretching. But make sure to warm up your body before doing any stretching otherwise you will pull your other muscles. You can do some simple yoga or pilates. Don’t overdo it. Keep it simple and slow. Our goal is to stretch the muscles, not to become experts in yoga.
- Straighten up your back – Most of the time your backache is due to the bad posture while sitting on a chair. Keep your back in good posture. For those working from home on their chair in from of screen, Getting a chair with good back support is equally beneficial. Properly support your arm on the desk too as this will help in proper distribution of weight from axial (your neck, back and thorax muscles to appendicular muscles (arm and leg muscles).
- Lose some weight – More weight means more work for your muscles and bones. Losing a few pounds will do wonder on your back problems, trust me.
- Time to throw your cigarettes – Nicotine is known to speed up the damage process of your disc and spine. It might be the right time to quit smoking. If can’t quit, reduce the number of packs you smoke per day.
- Use ice or heat pads – Ice pack will reduce the inflammation/soreness of muscles. Heat pads are usually helpful in relieving muscle spasms. So it might be the best option for you right now as it’s a winter season now. Take precautions while applying pads. Don’t use it for a long time, 20-30 mins maximum. Make sure you don’t burn your skin.
- Over the counter medicines – Good old strategy for every problem. If above-stated methods don’t work for you, get OTC pain killers which will include NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin) and acetaminophen. Don’t overuse pain killers, they might damage your kidneys.
- Ointments – Local anaesthetic containing ointments often come handy when pain is not relieved by other methods. They will also provide relief like OTC pain medicines.
- Healthy Diet – Make sure you are getting enough nutrients. Ultimately your diet will help you recover from every ailment, who else will provide nutrients for building and repairing of damaged tissue.
- Health supplements – If your diet is lacking vital nutrients like vitamins and minerals, consider taking your supplements, like calcium, vitamin D supplements. They will protect you against Covid-19 also as some latest studies suggest.