According to the American Chiropractic Association, there are 31 million Americans experiencing lower-back pain at any given time. Eighty percent of the population will experience back pain at some time, and these issues result in the spending of at least $50 billion every year. While medical treatment for back pain can be useful in some circumstances, these statistics attest to the fact that many people do not find relief through the traditional channels. That is where natural back pain relief comes in. If you want to try easing your backache without going to a doctor, there are things you can try.
Part of the difficulty in treating back pain comes from the fact that there are many different causes for the soreness. It can result from ruptured disks, skeletal irregularities, arthritis, sciatica, and any number of other structural problems. It can also result from poor posture, repetitive motion, heavy listing, and awkward movement. In addition, there are a number of risk factors for back pain, including:
- Old age
- Sedentary work
- Physically strenuous work
- Poor workout practices
Whatever the cause of your back pain, here are some natural back pain remedies to try:
- Move around: Doctors traditionally recommended that people suffering from back pain take a few days to rest in bed. However, more recent research has shown that the better remedy is actually to stand up. If you have a job that requires you to be at a desk most of the time, take a standing vacation during which you sit as little as possible and lie down only to sleep.
- Ice and heat: If you have injured your back, apply an icepack within 24 hours. Apply it periodically throughout the day. Then, take a warm bath at night. These measures taken together can improve muscle elasticity and relieve any pain.
- Get more exercise: Stretching out and strengthening the muscles in your back can work wonders for easing back stiffness and soreness. In fact, if your exercise regime has been flagging while your back pain has increased, do not think of it as a coincidence. These things are often related. Most types of exercise are beneficial for the back, but swimming and yoga are best.
- Get better sleep: When your muscles are strained, it is important to get more rest. Also, carefully consider your sleeping position. Back specialists recommend sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees. If this is difficult for you, consider strategic pillow placement to make sure your spine settles into a natural and relaxed position while you are sleeping.
- Work on your posture: Fixing poor posture takes a lot of effort and focused attention, but it can work wonders for a back. Rather than simply trying to make your back straight, hold it in a natural position. The lower back should be slightly bent and your shoulders should be aligned with your hips.
- Foods and drinks : There are a few foods and beverages that are thought to provide natural pain relief. Chamomile, for example, is a natural muscle relaxant. Meanwhile, ginger root is an anti-inflammatory, and milk provides much-needed calcium that strengthens any weak bones in your back.
By Marc Courtiol