- 3.Alexander Technique
- 5.Aston patterning
- 7.Devil’s claw
- 8.Feldenkrais Method
- 9.Gentle stretches.
- 14.Manual manipulation
- 19.Proteolytic enzymes
- 23.Svaroopa yoga
- 24.Tai chi
- 26.Traeger Work
- 27.Vitamin B12
- 28.Weight loss
- 29.White willow bark
- 30.Zero balancing
Mention “lower back pain” in a crowd and you will likely see many people nod their heads. If you ask those same people how they get relief from the muscle pain, back spasms, and stiffness, you will receive a variety of answers. One reason is that the triggers differ among people. Reasons for acute or chronic lower back pain can include a herniated disc, pinched nerve, scoliosis, fractured vertebrae or spinal stenosis. Some women experience lower back pain during their period or while pregnant.
In addition, there are dozens of ways to approach treatment of lower back pain (aka lumbar back pain), and most of them do not involve drugs or surgical procedures. In fact, whether you have lower left back pain, lower right back pain, or something in between, there’s a good chance a natural approach will be effective.
This ancient therapy involves applying pressure to certain sites (acupoints) to restore the flow of vital energy. Individuals can learn to do acupressure on themselves by pressing the acupoints related to back pain.
Studies of acupuncture for back pain have yielded mixed results but many of them have been positive. Look for a licensed acupuncturist who is familiar with lower back pain.
This movement therapy helps individuals improve the way they move. Research indicates that Alexander Technique sessions provide “significant long-term reductions in back pain and incapacity caused by chronic back pain.”
Also known as dong quai, angelica is a traditional Chinese herbal fix for back pain. This herb has anti-inflammatory properties and reportedly prevents muscle spasms.
Practitioners of this therapeutic technique re-educate clients on how to move in better ways to improve their posture and movements. Therapists also use soft-tissue work and massage.
Gels that contain this herb may provide back pain relief. A review of topical cayenne formulations revealed “moderate evidence for favorable results against placebo” for low back pain.
Research indicates that devil’s claw beats placebo for pain reduction. In one study, 60 mg of devil’s claw reduced back pain as much as 12.5 mg of the drug Vioxx.
This movement therapy involves learning how to move, stand, sit and breathe in ways that facilitate better posture and pain-free movement. Feldenkrais is taught by certified instructors in either group or individual sessions.
Stretching is one of the best exercises for back pain. A suggested routine is to stretch when you wake up (to warm muscles that contract while sleeping), during the day (even while sitting) and before bedtime.
Use of a heating pad or heat wrap dilates the blood vessels and eases muscle spasms. Heat is sometimes used alternating with ice.
A Hellerwork practitioner helps relieve back pain by using soft tissue manipulation and teaching new ways to move. If you try Hellerwork, plan to attend about a dozen sessions.
The application of a cold pack or a bag of frozen peas helps reduce inflammation. Some people get relief by alternating ice and heat.
This mineral can help people with chronic back pain and nerve involvement. Research suggests that intravenous magnesium followed by oral supplements can improve pain intensity and mobility.
Professionals who can provide this therapy include licensed chiropractors, manual therapy practitioners, physical therapists and osteopaths.
Therapeutic massage by a licensed massage therapist, osteopath or physical therapist can be beneficial. You also can enlist the help of a spouse or friends, but they should get some professional guidance before proceeding.
Research shows that mindfulness meditation can improve a person’s acceptance of back pain. However, whether it can improve pain intensity is inconclusive.
The omega-3 essential fatty acids fight inflammation, which makes them good candidates for back pain. One study reported that omega-3 supplements seemed to be safer than certain drugs for treatment of nonsurgical back pain.
The practice of Pilates can help with chronic back pain according to physiotherapists in a recent study. They recommended supervised Pilates sessions twice a week for 3 to 6 months.
Although proteolytic enzymes are used mainly to aid digestion, they also help reduce inflammation and pain.
The application of finger pressure to specific areas of your soles may provide symptom relief. For lower back pain, those specific reflexology sites are near the heel.
During the first two days following the onset of back pain, baby your back. Then gradually increase your physical activity. A fast return to your normal activities could cause further harm to your back.
Evidence suggests that self-hypnosis can reduce the intensity of pain associated with back pain. Several sessions of self-hypnosis are needed for results.
This form of gentle therapeutic yoga is especially helpful for people with back problems, including severe back pain. Consult a certified Svaroopa yoga instructor for this natural therapy.
The gentle practice of tai chi can help reduce lower back pain. Tai chi can be performed by people of all ages and those with physical limitations.
Studies of transcutaneus electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) for lower back pain have met with mixed results. One study noted that patients experienced pain relief and a significant increase in flexibility after TENS treatment.
This approach was specifically developed to treat chronic back pain. Trained teachers help clients relieve accumulated tension by using rocking movements.
This B vitamin supports the health of the covering that protects the nerves. When nerves are not maintained pain can be the result, so consider taking a B12 supplement.
Being overweight places excessive stress on the lower back. Therefore, losing weight can help relieve back pain. In fact, a recent study notes an association between obesity in children and back pain.
29.White willow bark
This herbal remedy may provide moderate pain relief. White willow bark also has been shown to be as effective as the prescription drug rofecoxib.
During treatment using this mind-body approach, practitioners use gentle traction and light finger pressure on joints, bones and soft tissues to help restore balance to the skeleton. This action improves body alignment and relieves back pain.
You can manage lower back pain without drugs or surgery. Consider these tips and talk to your healthcare provider about your options.