Back pain is a common condition that affects most people at some point in their lifetime, according to the NHS.
It could be caused by a minor injury or sleeping in an awkward position, but it usually improves by itself within a few weeks or months.
If you’ve suddenly come down with a flare-up of back pain at home, it can be difficult to find the right treatment to provide immediate pain relief.
The best way to relieve signs of lower back pain is to use a cold compress, followed by a hot-water bottle.
Patients should always aim to use a cold compress or ice pack after the onset of back pain, said Harvard Medical School.
The cold numbs the affected area, and prevents inflammation from making the pain worse.
After a couple of days, swap the cold therapy to warm, heated pads, it added.
The warmth boosts blood flow to the area, and helps it to heal faster.
“It’s best to use cold compresses or an ice pack, not heat, immediately following a back injury, since this can alleviate pain by numbing the area and prevent or reduce swelling,” it said.
“About 48 hours after the onset of back pain, though, applying heating pads or a hot-water bottle to your back may be helpful.
“The warmth soothes and relaxes aching muscles and increases blood flow, which helps the healing process. Keep in mind that heat therapy is only helpful for the first week.”
Patients should also avoid spending prolonged periods of time in bed, added Harvard Medical School.
The best way to get rid of backache is to keep the muscles moving so they don’t become stiff.
While bed rest can be beneficial for short-term pain relief, avoid spending more than a few hours at a time in bed, and for no more than one or two days.
On the contrary, maintaining exercise helps to relieve back pain, and could even prevent it from coming back in the future.
“Exercise helps build strong, flexible muscles that will be less prone to injury,” said Harvard Medical School.
“It can also help the healing process for an aching back, prevent problems in the future, and improve function.”
Back pain should get better by itself within a few weeks or months. For immediately pain relief, try taking anti-inflammatory painkillers, said the NHS.
Speak to a GP if you have back pain and a numbness around the genitals.
A swelling in the back, difficulty passing urine, or chest pain should also been seen by a doctor if it’s accompanied by back pain.