Back pain can develop for a number of reasons but we are especially prone if we spend a large proportion of our time sitting at a desk hunched over a computer. If you’re working from home and not even taking the time away from your screen to walk to the coffee machine or chat to a colleague, the chance that you’ll develop tight muscles and back pain is even greater.
The good news is there are a number of home remedies for neck and back pain including stretches, massage, dietary adjustments and taking the right supplements .
In this article we zero-in on some of the best working from home stretches and massage techniques for relieving back pain, and will share a few tips on how to capitalise on their respective benefits.
Hop on your yoga mat and stretch it out
Yoga is one of the easiest, and for many of us one of the most convenient, ways to tackle back pain when working from home. A quick Cobra Pose, Downward-Facing Dog or Dangle can do wonders to open up the back, stretch out the muscles and create space between the vertebrae where before there was none.
Some of the best stretches for tight back muscles, in addition to those mentioned above, are: Cat-Cow, Extended Triangle, Sphinx Pose, Locust Pose and Bridge Pose.
Receiving, or giving yourself, a gentle massage can work wonders in relieving neck and back pain. Not only can massage help to soften the tissues of the back and loosen the muscles by directing blood flow to the area, it can also increase the endorphins circulating in your body and boost your mood. Try pinching along the muscles that connect your neck to your outer shoulder bones for instant stress relief. Massage has been shown to have pretty impressive anti-inflammatory properties too, meaning that you may experience increased immunity and a greater overall sense of wellbeing if you indulge often enough!
Some massage techniques are favoured by practitioners intent on releasing tension in the back and neck including trigger point myotherapy, swedish massage and deep tissue massage.
Add oils to your massage routine
Smart use of oils and ointments can increase the efficacy of a massage. Oils work by penetrating the epidermis to act directly on the muscle itself. Some ointments and herb-based oils work by blocking pain receptors and application can have an almost immediate effect in relieving sore or tense muscles. Brazilian Arnica, cayenne and comfrey are some examples of herbs that you might wish to incorporate into your massage routine. And don’t overlook that Tiger Balm in the bathroom cabinet: it might be an oldie, but it’s certainly a goodie when it comes to fighting back pain and loosening tight muscles.
Discover the benefits of epsom salts in your bath
Epsom salt, also known as magnesium sulfate, is a powerful muscle relaxant. When added into bath water, epsom salts are able to penetrate through the skin and sink directly into sore muscles. A 20-minute soak in an epsom salt-laced bath has been shown to relieve tightness and tenderness in the back, and in the rest of the body as well. Giving yourself a light massage (if you can reach the affected area) while you soak can intensify the benefits.
Watch your diet and start supplementing
Whilst stretching and massage are great interventions when it comes to back pain, they are even more effective when combined with dietary and other remedial interventions.
As it does with most aspects of health and wellbeing, what you eat can have a profound impact on muscle tightness and overall resilience to physical strain and stress. If you’re looking to relieve sore muscles and feel more supple all over, you’ll want to look at increasing your intake of anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric, fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel, nuts and nut butter, leafy green vegetables, healthy fats and legumes. You should consider cutting down on sugar, caffeine, alcohol and unhealthy and processed oils and fats and over-consumption of these foods can lead to increased inflammation and lowered immunity.
Taking an anti-inflammatory supplement can further help to speed up the muscle, joints and bones recovery process. LYMA contains a potent anti-inflammatory combination of HydroCurc® and KSM-66® Ashwagandha, both of which can contribute to a reduction in your experience of back pain. When supplementing daily with LYMA you’ll also see additional benefits in the form of boosted immunity, reduced anxiety, better quality sleep and enhanced productivity and focus. LYMA has been designed with you in mind; when your health needs it most, trust LYMA.
Originally published Sep 15, 2020.