Chronic back pain plagues millions of Americans. If you’re one of us who is suffering through daily aches, be assured there is hope. Before beginning any drastic treatments or immediately consuming pills, try some of these natural remedies to prevent and ease back pain.
The twelve tips can be divided into four categories:
- Natural Corrective Measures
For most people, a bad back does not happen overnight. Remember when you were little and your mother said “Sit up straight!” Good upright posture can effect your mood, productivity, appearance, and even reduce chronic back pain. Your body’s framework was designed to be upright, tall and proud. Unfortunately, our modern world keeps us sedentary for long periods of time, which can wear on your body. Slouching will create a sore neck and lower back pain, but sitting up straight puts all your bones in alignment and prepares you to master the challenges of your day.
If a particular activity is causing you strife, pay attention to the way your body moves whil it works. Are you moving smoothly? Are you landing too hard on your heels when you walk? Are you lifting correctly? Stand with your knees at shoulder-distance apart, bend at the knees and not with your back, center the load near your core, and use your leg muscles to carry the burden. Do not twist or turn while lifting the load. Do not reach beyond your body’s natural center and try to pull a heavy load toward you; that is the fastest way to injure your body. Simply lifting correctly can save your spine.
3. Reduce Stress
Yes, stress causes pain. When your body feels like it’s under psychological attack, it tightens and remains strained, which can leave it prone to injury. To reduce stress, consider what you can do to fix your immediate worries, and don’t worry in advance. Simply being proactive about your concerns can erase huge quantities of anxiety. Reduce your intake of stressful agents like caffeine and alcohol, both of which will exacerbate your body’s tension.
Simply taking a daily walk will improve your overall health. The American Heart Association praises the lifelong benefits of walking, as it increases circulation while normalizing blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart disease, and promotes healthier weight. Try taking an evening walk, a minimum of a half hour, every day and you’re on track for a better lifestyle.
Unfortunately, obesity can contribute to back pain. If the frame of your body (the bones) has to bear extra pounds all day long, it can take a toll. Eating healthier and getting even a small bit of exercise can help you lose weight and feel better about yourself, and your improved lifestyle cause have considerably less pain.
5. Build Muscle
Good exercise benefits your heart, mind, and spirit. How does that prevent back pain? By adding activity into your lifestyle, you begin to fortify your body against the sort of atrophy that comes with disuse. If your muscles aren’t being engaged regularly, your body is prime for injury.
If you are suffering to stop lower back pain, strengthen your core. If your abdominal muscles aren’t doing their job, your back will compensate by working harder than it should to keep you upright. Share your body’s burden with appropriate muscle groups and offer back pain relief. You don’t have to join a gym, there are plenty of exercises you can do at home to develop your supporting muscles.
6. Increase dexterity
Focused stretching and bending, like the postures commonly used in yoga, can help your body prime for everyday movement. At first, teetering and tottering in even the simple warrior pose might make you feel intimidated. Don’t give up; like anything, it gets better with practice. You”ll begin to notice differences in your balance and flexibility.
Strengthening your body takes work, but it doesn’t have to be the most exhausting endeavor you’ve ever pursued. Do a little every day, and you’ll feel better while reaping long term results.
7. Hot Soaks
Applying heat to a surface encourages blood flow and assists the healing process. Stimulating your sore muscles with heat, perhaps from a hot bath, can relax you as well as decrease your recovery time. Using Epsom salt and lavender oil in the bath will further relax you, indulge the senses, and ease those aching muscles.
8. Cold Packs
Cold packs, on the other hand, will reduce blood flow to the area. If your body is already swollen and inflamed, cold may be the way to go. Also, applying a cold pack will desensitize the nerve endings, reducing pain.
9. Low Impact Activity
This means a form of exercise that doesn’t agitate your joints or harass your frame. Swimming is the most common low impact activity, which allows your body to work in a fluid, relaxing manner, stretching muscles without adding stress. Plus, swimming is fun, and fun eases pain!
Natural Corrective Measures
10. Deep Massage
Massage is fun and relaxing, but it can also be used to reduce back pain. Deep tissue massage can relax constricted and strained muscles, removing pockets of soreness and offering temporary relief.
11. Foam Rollers
If you don’t have someone to massage you and you don’t want to pay for a professional massage, there is a solution. Foam rollers have become extremely popular as a way of easing muscle soreness. Quite simply, it is a long roll of foam about six inches in diameter that can be used on your own.
Capsaicin is a topical creme sold over the counter. It contains peppery oils that stimulate your skin, penetrate to the muscle, and draw heat to the pained area. A cousin to capsaicin is the Chinese dit da jow, a cream that uses both cooling and heating to draw chi toward the injury. Unfortunately, it’s rare and you may have to visit an herbalist. Both ointments are invigorating, offering immediate relief and a prolonged healing benefit.
These natural remedies may sound like simple common sense, but your beautiful body will respond to consistent activity, stress reduction, and strengthening.
You’ll notice that most of these solutions require work on your behalf. That’s because significant long term benefits require an investment on your part. If you want lasting solutions with real effects, you must make the effort. Remember, a pain-free life is possible if you work for it.
And as mother always says, sit up straight!