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7 Free Ways to Prevent and Treat Back Pain

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7 Free Ways to Prevent and Treat Back Pain

By Yumi Sakugawa,

As anyone who’s suffered it knows, it sucks to have back pain. But it doesn’t have to suck for your wallet.

Don’t get me wrong; a professional back massage every once in a blue moon is worth every cent and feels A-MAAAZING!  For the rest of the time, though, practice the following 7 tips to relieve your stiff back and neck, and to practice good habits to prevent future back pains in the future.

1. Sleep with more than one pillow to support your back. To minimize future back pain, be mindful of how you sleep. You will need one pillow for your head and neck support, and depending on how you sleep, another pillow to support the bottom half of your body. If you sleep on the side, put a regular-sized pillow or body pillow between your legs. If you sleep on your back, put a small pillow beneath the small of your back. If you sleep on your abdomen, put a small pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen. (Check out a handy slide show of these sleeping positions on

2. Apply heating pads to areas on your neck and back that feel particularly stiff. Heating pads can be easily found at Target, Walmart and nearly all drug stores. Applying heat to a trouble spot helps loosen the muscles and relieve the stiffness.

3. Take a hot bath with epsom salt. Add 1-2 cups of epsom salt in a tub of hot water for a luxurious self-spa treat after a long day of work. Epsom salts are cheap and can be bought at any supermarket or drug store. A hot bath will help relieve stiff muscles and probably remove some of the stress that is causing you back pain in the first place!

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10:13PM PDT on Jun 9, 2013

Thanks for the info!

4:13AM PDT on Oct 31, 2011

Thank you. I'll be keeping hold of these.

6:30PM PST on Dec 30, 2010

Thanks. Sounds good to me. I only have occassional lower back pain, but when it strikes it's awful.

7:26AM PDT on Jul 8, 2010

Also..don't forget to wear the proper shoes, if the heel is worn down it can throw your "gait" off, change shoes often, and watch how you bend and stoop.

5:42PM PDT on Jun 29, 2010

I do use heat with my sciatica. Right now I am going to the gym to strengthen my muscles. That is the best back relief ever. I have to remember to do yoga as well. It is all about creating a habit for me. I was thinking of getting a memory foam mattress but heard that the fumes are not good for you. anyone have a memory foam mattress?

3:18PM PDT on Jun 16, 2010

Thanks! Good article!

12:47PM PDT on Jun 15, 2010

great info.

8:06AM PDT on Jun 15, 2010


9:27PM PDT on Jun 14, 2010


6:18PM PDT on Jun 14, 2010

As a massage therapist, I would just like to say that while all these tips are in fact well and good, there is a lot of benefit to be gained from receiving a monthly massage, whether you have a specific health concern or just want to upkeep healthy tissue. Also, a massage therapist has information regarding a plethora of specific health concerns, and can administer proper homecare for some of the things mentioned in previous comments, such as arthritis and sciatica. Just putting it out there, while there is a lot to be done at home, it's well worth the time and the money (and at least in Canada, massage therapy gets fairly good coverage under certain medical plans) to improve and maintain your holistic health.

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