Chronic back pain? It has a very high prevalence rate, especially among those 40 and older. Quite a few of those who suffer from it, are not aware of how best to treat their back pain even for temporary relief, let alone permanently cure it. This is a very complex topic and depends on your body build and a lot more, but the following article provides tips, treatments and methods for effectively treating your back pain naturally.
One thing you may have experienced is waiting for an appointment when your back is killing you, and waiting in an emergency room may have put you off because it is not exactly ranked high compared to heart attacks and trauma from car accidents. It may be difficult to get an immediate doctor’s appointment for an acute back injury, but obviously you’d like to remain comfortable. Of course there are pain meds, on up to and including narcotics. This may be necessary if you have a severe injury, but what else can you do?
Many sufferers find that back pain from ruptured discs and similar issues is relieved by lying on their back and bending their knees, with feet flat on the floor. This helps to release tension in the back, as it allows muscles and tendons to relax. Although it is more expensive, you can also look into zero gravity “chairs”.
Don’t pretend that your back pain isn’t there. A lot of people ignore the pain signals from their bodies entirely. They think they can just walk off, or ignore the pain. A great deal of movement with back pain risks worsening the ache. If the injury is relatively minor, the pain will resolve itself sooner if you rest, relax and treat the pain.
Back Pain Chiropractic & Yoga
If you know that you are prone to back problems based on genetics or family history, make sure you start seeing a chiropractor. Adjustments to your back that are made by a chiropractor can correct mis-alignments before they create a major problem. It is not a one stop fix though. Usually a program for a healthy spine is required with regular adjustments. You may be thinking that chiropractic is dark ages or “voo-doo”, but it is decidedly not for many conditions, of which back pain is high on the list. Usually a program will include physical therapy and other modalities like ultrasound and exercise therapy which you can find at mainstream physical therapy offices.
Other physical methods to help include Yoga, acupuncture and acupressure. These have been scientifically tested in chronic back pain patients and found to be helpful. Having said that, pain is a difficult thing to study for many reasons. So, while the science in this area is not exact, the downside is very low. So, it is worth a good look.
Start eating in a healthy way and drink a lot of water, about eight cups a day. A good diet can help ease back pain. Not only can it help you stay thin, which prevents back pain complications, but it can also release other anti-inflammatory nutrients and biochemicals that reduce your risk of making the pain worse. This is a long term strategy as you won’t cure back issues or any inflammatory conditions overnight with food. But with a solid anti-inflammatory diet plan, like the Mediterranean Diet, you will be helping yourself significantly.
If you have back pain, you need to avoid lifting boxes that have unknown contents. The box could be very heavy, and this could hurt your back. Do not just look at the outside of the box, but actually check inside it to see what is in there or try to determine how heavy it is before lifting. Furthermore, lift with your legs, not your back as the main fulcrum point.
Back Pain Medications
There is a wide variety of both prescription and non-prescription medications that help with back pain. As always, you should be having a conversation with your doctor prior to any decisions you make. Sometimes non-prescription medicine works fine, and sometimes prescribed medication is absolutely necessary. Often the best non-prescription medications are “non-steroidal anti-inflammatories” which include meds like Motrin. These not only relieve pain but also reduce the inflammation and thus help you. Others include muscle relaxants and narcotics. However, this is not a long term solution as any drug will have side effects, some of which can be severe. For example, taking too much non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can cause stomach ulcers and kidney damage. Think of it as a short term solution to get to back to health using more natural approaches.
If you’re 10 pounds more than your desired weight, you need to get on a diet. Carrying additional weight, especially in your abdominal area, can shift your body’s center of gravity. This can cause the lower back to become strained, and can eventually turn into chronic pain in your lower back. At the very least, while you are losing weight, look at your posture and improve it while walking or sitting.
Be mindful of the position you sleep in. Sleeping flat on your back not only prevents you from straining it during the night, but also allows you to position a heating pad under you. Make sure that you do not sleep on your stomach.
Distance yourself from activities or situations that are known to create spasms in your back. Stress and caffeine are triggers that you can control, as are lack of sleep, low sodium levels in your body, and anxiety. If you do suffer a spasm, ice the affected area as quickly as possible, and avoid straining your back to prevent the problem from getting worse. Heating can increase inflammation, while icing will reduce inflammation. Again, this is a temporary solution as you have to ask yourself what you can do to prevent the spasms in the first place.
Back Pain Herbals and Supplements
Visit health food stores and other places that sell herbal remedies and other alternative medications for back pain. You can compile a list of items you may see fit, but it is difficult as all stores carry different items. Ask a professional as to what they recommend for back pain. Here is a short list of those that have some science behind them. These will not fix the cause of the back pain, but will keep you comfortable: Willow bark (natural aspirin) and Devil’s claw (Harpagophytum procumbens).
You do not have to simply just suffer through back pain. A lot of people suffer from back pains, but do not know what to do about it. Now that you have read this article, managing or preventing back pain should be much easier with these introductory tips. Also, if you suffer from chronic back pain and none of the above basic solutions are helping, please make sure you visit a doctor. Back pain is certainly not something that has a “once size fits all” solution. You may have problems that require more aggressive solutions, including injections and surgery. Educate yourself, seek professional help and determine what is right for your based on the risk vs. benefit of the solutions offered.
Find out more at the Cureology Back & Spine Pain Information Center