➟ Fresh air & bein' active: People are so oblivious to the easiest ways of deminishing pain. Good mood & cheerful environment will not only stop you from self-pity & Twitter moaning, but it will also release the hormone of happiness into your body which is one of the best medicines. Sitting at your laptop with slouched shoulders and crooked spine are very good friends with pain and usually come hand in hand, trust me, I've been there.
➟ Rest, but no more lie ins until 12: The most common step in treating any boo boo that comes our way is to curle up in a ball & rest. This might help you for a few hours, but in a long term, this will just make everything worse. Do rest when you're feeling your worst, and do curle up in that little poorly ball, but don't make this your standard practice. Lie ins until 12 every other day will make you ache even more!
➟ Exercise: The good ol' exercise preach. Keep fit, go to gym, go for a run (or a walk) but always talk to a specialist before trying an exercise to banish any particular consistent pain. My pain comes from the neck part of my spine so I have a few exercises that a specialist recommended - your pain might be coming from somewhere else, which means my exercise techniques would do nothing for you, if not make you feel even worse.
➟ Posture: Another totally obvious point. Not only that walking with your chin up and square shoulders will help your body ditribute weight properly, but it will also give you more confidence and less time to think about your sore back.
➟ Thermal bags: Never heard of these? They come in all different shapes & sizes and are filled with various materials - mine is filled with wheat & lavender *sniff sniff*. You put it in the microwave (or oven) for a minute or so & then slap in onto your back/neck/any ache-y place of yours... and then most likely fall asleep, because it's the most comforting thing ever. Pretty much a hot water bottle which you can use for your neck & back. You can buy one in all sorts of places, I got mine from Wilko's.
➟ Massage: Now, I always believed that a brief massage can't hurt anyone. Until my sports educated boyfriend told me the opposite. Oops! If you still fancy one though, then make sure that your beloved ones use little force & avoid squashing your spine. You can use any body oil or body butter from your stash, or special massage products such as Deep Heat Muscle Rescue* range. The cream contains rosemary oil & vanilla extract and creates warmth on your skin that can penetrate into your muscle & sooth it. Just be careful - you only need a pea sized amount for your whole back to achieve a nice soothing effect. Using more can result in I-just-set-my-back-on-fire pain. True story. Also - wash your hands as soon as possible after using the cream, unless you're a fan of painful burning sensation, that is.
➟ Mattress & bed: Apart from keeping a good posture throughout the day, you need to keep it over night too. Yes, I do mean you need to invest in a decent bed & mattress. As crazy as it sounds, I spent almost 2 years sleepin' on a sofa bed - a bad, bad mistake. Someone should have slapped me with my bank card & sent me to IKEA.
➟ Be brave: Do not give up on your pain - back & neck pain can literally ruin your day (or even days!) so try to find the reason behind your pain, and try to resolve it. It might be as simple as gettin' a new pillow or keepin' your chin high!
What are your tricks for back & neck pain?
*I'm no doctor or physiotherapist, these are just things that help me and are based mostly on common sense, personal doctor advice & years of trial and error. Your pain can have a number of causes and therefore the best thing to do is to always look for a specialist!