If youve ever uttered the words, Oh, my aching back, youre not alone. Approximately one in four adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives.

And, to make matters worse that pain often comes on suddenly.

One minute youre fine, and the next, its a back attack. It may be sparked by lifting something the wrong way, it could be the result of weak back and abdominal muscles, or it could just be the wear and tear of daily life.

Unless you experience a severe injury, there may be steps you can take at home to relieve some of the pain or at least keep it from getting worse.

1. Ice then heat: Heat may feel better, but for the first 24-48 hours, ice is your friend. The cold will help to reduce the inflammation thats partly responsible for the pain.

Its recommended that you put ice on the painful area for about 20 minutes then remove it to give your skin a break from the cold. Bring it back after an hour and repeat as needed for the first 48, then you can switch to heat.

2. Keep moving: When your back hurts, moving may be the last thing you want to do, but unless youve severely injured yourself movement can help. By keeping the body and spine moving, youll increase blood flow and lubrication which helps with the healing.

If youre in extreme pain, you may need to wait 48 hours, but after that, youll be happier in the long run if you get up and around.

3. Stretch: Stretching may help to relieve the pressure on the nerves that are causing the pain. Depending on where your aches exist, you may find relief by bending forward or lying down and lifting your legs even if the movement is done with the help for a loved one.

4. Think ergonomically: Despite the temptation to sink into a soft couch, keeping your body ergonomically correct will help with the healing. This means dont sit so youre slumped forward. Sit in a chair that supports your back.

If you need additional lumbar support, a rolled up towel by your lower back may do the trick.

5. Roll it out: If your pain is being caused by a muscle spasm, a foam roller may help you find relief. The roller relies on your own body weight to work through the tightness.

Lying on the floor, move the roller to different areas of your back, hamstrings and hips until you find a sensitive spot. Hold the roller there or take very small movements with it until you feel a release from the tightness.

6. Supplements: Looking for a natural form of relief? Some supplements may be able to do the trick. Glucosamine, flaxseed oil, calcium and magnesium along with zinc and vitamin C are all recommended as ways to ease back pain. You may also want to try a topical like arnica cream which may ease the aggravation thats causing your pain.

Keep in mind, if your pain is extreme, if you suffered an injury, or if the pain does not subside in a few days, you may need to go see a doctor.

And, if youre able to find relief from a back attack, do yourself a favor and be proactive. Start exercising and stretching regularly to prevent a recurrence. Yoga is a great way to keep the body strong, limber, and pain-free.

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