When you're dealing with back pain, your life can come to a stop.
It's hard to do just about anything when your back hurts. Even the simple act of standing up or lying down can lead to excruciating pain.
Luckily, even if you can't bear to leave the house, relief is in sight.
Here are four remedies you can try at home to relieve your upper back pain.
Strap On a Heating Pad
When you're dealing with pain and stiffness in your upper back or neck, a heating pad can quickly become your new best friend.
If your upper back just won't relax, the dry relief of a heating pad can be just what you need to feel like yourself again. Set it to warm (not too hot), and position wherever you need it.
Humans have been using heat as a therapeutic resource since the ancient Greeks and Egyptians used sunlight medically. Luckily, you don't need to soak up harmful rays for the sake of relief -- you can find everything you need at your local pharmacy.
Take a Hot Bath
If your heating pad doesn't cut it, you may need a moist heat to relieve your upper back pain.
A moister heat will penetrate deeper into your muscles, and provide almost instant relief. The best part: all you need is your bathtub. Settling in for a good soak is a great at-home remedy to soothe that aching upper back.
Take your bath to the next level by sprinkling in a handful of Epsom salts. Though the therapeutic benefits have yet to be verified by science, Epsom salts have been long thought to soothe sore muscles. Opt for lavender-scented salts -- the aromatherapy benefits will promote relaxation so your muscles can begin to heal.
Practice Good Posture
If you spend most of your time with a crumpled neck or slouched shoulders, a change in posture can go a long way in relieving upper back pain.
Bad posture is a leading cause of back pain. When we don't stand up straight, we don't our spines do their job of keeping us balanced. Instead, our ligaments and muscles are forced to keep us upright. This is what causes the pain and stiffness commonly associated with poor posture.
There are a couple of quick ways to fix your upper back posture. First, check the positioning of your ear in reference to your shoulder. If it's past the midpoint of your shoulder, your head is too far forward. Next, roll your shoulders up and back -- that's where they belong.
Be aware of how you're holding your body, and you may find that bad posture was the culprit of your pain all along.
Stretch Out Your Upper Back Pain
Sometimes a good stretch is all it takes to relieve pent-up tension in your upper back and shoulder muscles.
Start with neck rolls. Tilt your head to one side, and roll it in a U-shape until it reaches the other side. Repeat a few times.
Next, cross your arm across your body and hug it toward your chest. Repeat on the other side. This will stretch out your upper back muscles and relieve stiffness.
For a deeper stretch, try a yoga flow designed specifically for upper back pain.
Back pain is a bummer, but these remedies can get you on the road to feeling better in no time.
Check out our blog for more information on back and neck pain relief.