If you suffer acute back pain, a short period of bed rest may help, but more than a couple of days will do more harm than good. Gentle exercise, such as cycling or swimming, improves circulation and helps prevent further problems.
• Apply heat to a sore back. Good choices include compresses made with rosemary or thyme tea; heat packs (from pharmacies); or infrared light treatment.
• Take hot oil baths with rosemary or thyme extracts to soothe pain, followed by massages with hand warmed massage oil. Oils that contain lavender, rosemary and ginger are found to be particularly effective.
• Ease soreness with a hot bath to which you have added 1 cup (250 g) Epsom salts. These magnesium rich salts promote relaxation, relieve pain and have a mild sedative and antispasmodic effect.
• Place a thick cushion under your legs at night so that your thighs point straight up and your knees are bent at a right angle in order to take strain off your spinal column.