How do you alleviate tight back muscles?


Quick Answer

Alleviate tight back muscles by resting the muscles, using over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, and applying heat or ice therapy. If the pain does not improve, a doctor can prescribe muscle relaxants or pain medication.

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Full Answer

  1. Rest the back

    During the initial recovery phase after the injury, rest is appropriate. Victims should avoid any heavy lifting that can further aggravate the injury. However, prolonged inactivity slows the healing process. Limit rest to a couple of days before returning to normal activity.

  2. Use over-the-counter medication

    Anti-inflammatory medications, including acetaminophen or ibuprofen, help to reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Use these medications according to label directions and avoid exceeding the recommended dosage.

  3. Make appropriate use of ice and heat

    Use cold packs the first 24 to 48 hours after the injury to control swelling and pain. After 48 hours, begin using heat to increase blood circulation for faster healing. Do not place cold packs or heating pads directly on the skin.

  4. See your doctor

    If the pain does not improve with self-help measures, see your doctor. He can prescribe muscle relaxants that allow injured tissues to heal and pain medication to help relieve the pain so you can rest. In some cases, the doctor may also prescribe physical therapy to alleviate the injury.

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