Is your back pain ruining your quality of life? Are you finding it hard to stand, sit or walk for long periods of time? Are you tired of taking pain killers every time you experience an ache? You can finally have peace of mind knowing that there are natural and long lasting solutions available to help with this debilitating condition.
As a Chiropractor, I see many people everyday who suffer from an ache in the back. For many of them, an accident, injury, poor posture or repetitive strain has been the cause. Some have been suffering for weeks or months, and others for many years. While in most cases, the pain will disappear within a month, for some, back discomfort just becomes part of their ‘normal’ life. With back pain affecting 85% of people, it’s no wonder it is the main reason why people entre my office seeking help. In this article I have included a number of natural remedies and long term solutions which have enabled many back pain sufferers to enjoy a more comfortable life. Some of these tips may provide you with short term pain relief, while others will minimise the onset of future episodes of back discomfort.
Let’s now have a look at some natural ways of alleviating the pain in your back.
1. Regular Chiropractic care is an excellent form of back pain treatment. It is effective in helping you overcome your back ache, and can also prevent the onset this discomfort in the future.
One of the causes of back pain is a spinal subluxation (misalignment). The effects of these subluxations include muscle strain, disc problems, joint discomfort and nerve pressure – all of which lead to back pain. Chiropractors check for and correct these subluxations. Adjustments to the spine restores the proper mobility to the spinal joints.
Once your back problem is resolved, a good Chiropractor will give you exercises and self help tips to maintain a healthy back.
There have been many studies conducted which support the effectiveness of Chiropractic for back pain sufferers. Some studies have shown Chiropractic to be more effective than medication and surgery. Others made mention that Chiropractic care cost 10 times less than medical treatment when it comes to resolving back problems, and that pain sufferers where able to return to work much sooner when seeing a Chiropractor than any other physician.
Someone once said, and I completely agree, ‘Try Chiropractic first, medication second, and surgery third’.
If you are looking for a long term solution to your back problem, consider Chiropractic as your number one choice. It is safe, gentle, and really works!
2. Participate in low impact activities such as swimming, walking or bike riding. These exercises keep your spine moving, and low for toning and strengthening of your back muscles.
3. When sitting ensure your feet can touch the ground. It is ideal to have your knees level with or higher than your hips. If your seat is too high and your legs dangle, this can cause more stress on your spine.
4. Mattresses can play a part in back pain. A soft, sagging mattress may contribute to the development of back problems or make existing problems worse. Likewise, mattresses that are too firm may also cause problems. If any part of you feels tense when lying on your mattress, chances are, it is not suitable for you.
5. Lifting – don’t lift objects that are too heavy for you. If you attempt to lift something, ensure you keep the object close to your body, bend your knees, keep your back straight, and look ahead. When lifting, lift with your knees and not your back. Keep your abdominal muscles nice and tight. Never twist while lifting, as this can lead to back injury.
6. Avoid the prolonged use of lumbar support belts – these belts have been shown to weaken your back muscles and consequently lead to back injury.
7. Tone up your abdominal muscles – these muscles help to support a strong lower back. Weak abdominals can lead to weak back muscles.
8. Vitamin B12 has been found to relieve low back pain. (which foods are ideal?)
9. Magnesium helps to maintain normal muscle and nerve function. Low magnesium levels can lead to pain and muscle tightness. (which foods are ideal?)
10. Yoga creates balance in your body by developing strength and flexibility. Perhaps yoga may be more beneficial once you have commenced Chiropractic care, as Chiropractors can correct problems with the spine which may limit you from being able to perform some yoga poses.
11. Massage the affected area using herbal oils (which ones?). this gets rid of tension and relaxes the muscles in the area
12. Do not recline or lie on a lounge chair (couch) as they do not provide our bodies with adequate support. This can bring on back discomfort, and worsen your symptoms.
13. Avoid prolonged bed rest. While some of us resort to lying in bed in times of back pain, research shows that lying in bed for extended periods of time may prolong recovery and even make symptoms worse. Any more than 3 days of bed rest could weaken your muscles and make them more prone to strain.
14. Take a hot bath as this may help to relieve muscle tension. If you are pregnant, avoid sitting in a hot bath for too long as this may cause birth defects.
15. When sleeping it is best to lie on your back or on your side. If you lie on your side, comfortably bend your knees and place a pillow between your legs. If lying on your back, place a pillow under your knees.
16. Listen to relaxing music and practice deep breathing exercises. Back pain can be the result of tight muscles due to emotional stress. By taking slow deep breathes and listening to relaxing music, you may soon find yourself feeling more relaxed and free from pain.
17. Invest in a lumbar support when sitting. This will ensure you maintain the correct sitting posture and prevent possible back strain.
18. If your work requires you to sit for long periods of time get up and walk around for 2 minutes every hour. This will keep your spine moving, and prevent it from stiffening up.
19. Avoid physical activity when tired. When exercising or participating in physical activity, fatigue and tiredness can contribute to injury.
20. Watch your weight. being overweight can alter the proper curvature of the spine and cause a considerable amount of stress on your lower back.
21. Eat a variety healthy foods. A poor diet can lead to inflammation of your joints and hence lead to pain. (one of the newsletters tells you why)
As you can see, there are a number of different remedies that can help you overcome discomforts in your back. Remember, your back ache may be due to a problem with your spine. While many of these remedies help relieve you of pain and minimise back pain, only Chiropractic care can correct your back problem which is causing you your pain.