4 ways to relieve back pain

Medibank member Brit shares her cost friendly strategies for easing desk-related back pain

According the Medical Journal of Australia, up to 80% of Australians will experience back pain at some point in their lives, and 10% will experience significant disability as a result.

While everyone’s pain management is individual and requires a personalised treatment plan overseen by professional medical staff, there are a number of simple tools that, when used properly and regularly, can help relieve back pain in the comfort of home at little or no cost. Here are a few I couldn’t live without.

Foam roller

Basically, foam rollers allow you to massage just about any part of your body for as long as you want. My pilates teacher encouraged me to use the foam roller to massage my iliotibial (IT) band – the muscle that runs up the side of your thigh from hip to knee. Doing it is uncomfortable, but think of it like the feeling you get while stretching – it should be uncomfortable, but not unbearable, and when you are done it should feel better.

I’ve found that doing this twice a day has helped loosen tight muscles in my legs that contribute to lower back and hip pain. It helps relieve my back pain and contributes to faster recovery after exercise or long periods of immobility stuck behind my desk.

Spiky ball

Another recommendation from my pilates instructor that has become part of my daily routine is the spiky ball. The hard rubber spiky ball can be used on the floor or up against the wall, to massage tightly knotted muscles and trigger points.

It is particularly good for relieving tight glutes and hips by placing it under your buttocks while lying on the floor and rolling around on sore spots. I also use it against the wall to get into the pectoral muscles under my arms and the muscles in my upper back and shoulders.

Pocket Physio

The Pocket Physio looks like a miniature hard plastic mountain. It is designed to be used on trigger points – specific areas within muscles that tend to knot up and cause increased muscle tightness and referred pain.

It’s simple to use: you simply find a tight spot (or trigger point) and use the Pocket Physio to apply pressure, breathing deeply and concentrating on trying to allow the muscle to relax.

Its size means the Pocket Physio is portable and you can use it wherever – on a plane or in the office – to quickly and effectively target your trigger points to instantly release tight muscles.

Theraband

For under $10 you can grab yourself a theraband – otherwise known as resistance or yoga bands. These little beauties weigh nothing and take up virtually no space, so they are ideal for travel.

The number of different stretches and exercises therabands can be used for is huge, but I use mine simply for stretching my hamstrings. Tight hamstrings are a major contributor to lower back pain. Some people, like me, have naturally shorter, tighter hamstrings that tend to become even more so after exercise, and regular stretching is one of the simplest and most effective ways to alleviate the associated back aches.

If you experience back pain, consult a qualified medical practitioner to discuss your own pain management treatment plan. 

Recommended reading - Warm up recipe guide

Recipes

Chai spiced almond milk recipe

A soothing wintry beverage, with just the right blend of spices

Read more
Recipes

Baked Pumpkin, Chickpea and Brown Rice Salad with Crispy Pumpkin Seeds recipe

A comforting winter salad, with an invigorating blend of textures and flavours

Read more
Recipes

Pink snapper and potato cakes with salsa verde recipe

Deliciously light and full of succulent flavour – this is not your average fish and chip shop feast

Read more
Recipes

Coconut roasted pumpkin and apple soup recipe

A hearty, belly-warming soup to rejuvenate and nourish

Read more
Recipes

Quinoa, berry and yoghurt porridge recipe

Blend up a revitalising morning feast – this porridge is bursting with flavour and goodness

Read more
Recipes

Stuffed breakfast mushrooms recipe

Start your day out right with this filling, flavoursome breakfast

Read more
Recipes

Pear crumble tea cake recipe

The classic tea cake gets a fresh makeover from Thoroughly Nourished Life

Read more
Recipes

Pecan, buckwheat, coconut and date granola recipe

Superfoods ahoy! This refreshing, crunchy blend is one sure way to get your morning fired up

Read more
Recipes

Vegetarian laksa recipe

Fill up on colourful winter veggies in a light, creamy laksa

Read more
Recipes

Porcini mushroom and kale buckwheat risotto recipe

A creamy, comforting risotto, full of the flavoursome goodness of mushrooms

Read more
Recipes

Warm coconut and caramel pudding recipe

A soft, wholesome pudding overflowing with natural caramel – now that's our kind of dessert

Read more
Recipes

Chipotle sweet potato soup with black bean salsa

This spicy, fragrant sweet potato soup will banish any thought of the winter chills

Read more
Recipes

Minty lemon and banana hot cakes recipe

What Sunday mornings were made for – luscious, wholesome pancakes, with the perfect amount of zest

Read more
Recipes

Ultimate roasted vegetables recipe

Roast those root veggies with the perfect infusion of herbs and spices

Read more
Recipes

Peach cobbler recipe

Savour the sweetness of this scrumptious, fruity treat

Read more
Recipes

Goji and coconut bliss balls recipe

Bliss out on the super-goodness of these delectable treats

Read more
Recipes

Mushrooms and feta on toast recipe

Wake up to the succulent flavours of crumbly feta, fresh greens, and sautéed mushrooms

Read more
Recipes

Aromatic and spicy Indian lamb curry recipe

Fragrant spices, succulent lamb, and slow cooking at its most nourishing

Read more
Recipes

Quinoa chocolate cake recipe

Soft and succulent, this cake is a decadent delight. Trust us, nobody will guess it's quinoa

Read more
Recipes

Apple and oat pancakes recipe

Warm, oaty pancakes served with rich stewed apples – the perfect way to brighten up your weekend

Read more
Recipes

Shakshuka baked eggs recipe

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, this invigorating, spice-infused dish is a warming feast

Read more
Recipes

Ginger coconut black rice pudding with roasted rhubarb recipe

A vibrant, fruity dessert with a twist of Indonesian flavour

Read more
Recipes

Curried cauliflower soup with toasted chickpeas recipe

The nutty goodness of chickpeas takes this creamy soup to delicious new levels

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.