Back pain is very disabling in everyday life. To relieve it, a few precautions must be taken and certain gentle methods can be used while waiting for a doctor's consultation.

Back pain

Do not lie down

Contrary to the old recommendations, it is better not to lie down when you have back pain, whatever the ailment, except if it is sciatica. Complete rest would only increase the problem.

It is therefore preferable to go about one's business as usual, but avoid postures that may cause pain. Sitting should also be avoided.

Take an anti-pain medication

Without being systematic, taking an analgesic can alleviate the pain if it is too severe. In general, a simple intake of paracetamol is enough to reduce the pain. More powerful analgesics, based on codeine, or even morphine derivatives can be taken if the pain does not go away, but the doctor's opinion is necessary and these drugs require a medical prescription.
In addition, this does not exempt you from medical examinations, because an analgesic reduces the pain but does not treat the cause of the pain.

An anti-inflammatory medication may also be prescribed in case of severe inflammation, as it will be more effective than an analgesic in some people.

Consult an osteopath

In case of low back pain, a session with an osteopath can be beneficial. With the help of manipulations, he will put the lumbar and vertebrae back in place to rebalance the body.
Often only one session is enough. Sometimes a second or even a third session will be necessary.

In any case, the sessions should be at least three weeks apart and not be followed by a sports session or intense physical activity, as this may result in the loss of all the benefits.

Apply a hot water bottle

It is a proven grandmother's remedy: applying a hot water bottle to a painful area provides immediate relief.

If you don't have a hot water bottle, you can use a heated blanket or take a hot bath: its relaxing effect will relax your muscles and the pain will subside.

You can add arnica-based bath salts to the water to reinforce its beneficial effects on your back.
However, the effect is not very long-lasting and does not dispense with a visit to the doctor.

Massaging or getting a massage

Provided it is well done, otherwise it does worse than better, massage can relieve back pain. If you don't want to learn how to massage, the best thing to do is to have someone massage you...

If you are alone, you can nevertheless massage yourself, the relaxation will not be maximal but the advantage is that you can do it at any time of the day and anytime (in the shower for example). Concentrate on the muscles on each side of the spine and make small rotating movements of slow friction, more or less pressed. If it hurts even more, stop immediately.

Moving on a big ball

Gentle and slow, the movement of the body on a ball mobilizes the pelvis and relaxes the paravertebral muscles. This is why its use is particularly recommended in childbirth preparation classes and in the post-delivery rehabilitation phase.

They can be found in all sports stores at an affordable price.

Sit on the ball, keeping your back straight and then make a slight rotating movement on the floor with your feet, leaning well on the soles of your feet. Your feet should be flat and immobile, only your pelvis is mobile.

Using harpagophytum

 The harpagophytum, or "devil's claw", has anti-inflammatory properties and is particularly recommended in case of back pain.
The results of several clinical trials, with or without a placebo group, indicate that Devil's Claw root can reduce back pain. In one of these trials, the plant was shown to be as effective in reducing pain as rofecoxib, an anti-inflammatory molecule that was withdrawn from the market in 2004 because of its side effects. The authors of several systematic reviews conclude that, in the form of an aqueous extract, Devil's Claw can relieve acute low back pain.

Treating oneself with homeopathy

Homeopathy can relieve back pain if used correctly and regularly.

Each back pain will receive a different treatment and dilution. Among the most frequent ones :

- Trauma, shock or accident: Arnica Montana gel or granules.
- Sciatica with improved pain in sitting position: Gnaphalium 5CH
- Back pain aggravated by movement : Bryonia 5 or 7CH
- Back pain improved by movement and aggravated by wet weather: Rhus Toxicodendron 5 or 7CH
- Improved back pain when bending forward : Colocynthis 15 CH
- Improved back pain when stretching backwards: Dioscorea 5Ch
- When you are "full of it" (psychological worries): Staphysagria 9 or 15 CH

Take 2 granules, 3 times a day until symptoms improve.


Acupuncture is particularly recommended in cases of sciatic pain, herniated discs that have not been operated on or postoperatively.

It can also be used in cases of chronic or acute low back pain. A single session is sufficient but sometimes 2 to 3 additional sessions are necessary. Complete rest is recommended after one session.

To multiply the beneficial effects, it can be combined with other complementary treatments such as homeopathy, essential oils, etc.

The essential oil of wintergreen

The wintergreen is a plant anti-pain and anti-inflammatory. The essential oil extracted from its leaves can relieve the lumbago. Having no particular contraindications in adults, it can be used alone or in addition to conventional treatments. On the other hand, it is prohibited in pregnant women because it is toxic to the fetus. Irritating at term, it is also strongly disadvised to use it pure in the duration. 
Pour 3 drops of EO of wintergreen diluted in 3 drops of vegetable oil, apply to the lower back and massage without pressing. 

Variation: Mix 3ml of wintergreen EO + 1ml of noble laurel + 2ml of helichrysum EO, all diluted in 20 ml of vegetable oil (arnica, sweet almond, etc.). Apply locally a few drops of this mixture 3 to 4 times a day for 1 week.

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