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Back pain can be both mentally and physically debilitating. It can affect everything that you do from work and exercise to simple everyday tasks. Back pain can be short term, or quickly become a lifelong struggle due to injury or illness.
Thankfully, there are natural ways you can alleviate back pain without having to resort to medication.
To start, back pain can come in many forms. Some deal with persistent lower back pain and regular occurring spasms while some people suffer from sciatic nerve pain that travels down your legs and into your arms.
These chronic conditions have a prominent possibility of sidelining your life.
And it’s not uncommon.
Eight out of every ten people suffer from some sort of back pain during their lifetime.
Over two million emergency room visits each year are due to lower back pain, which also happens to be the leading cause of disability in the world. Unfortunately, treatment for back pain is still not as efficient as it should be.
Many back-pain sufferers find themselves the center of a myriad of tests, are given instructions to stay sedentary despite research showing the effectiveness of continuing everyday activities and are often prescribed powerful painkillers.
While painkillers can help the pain short term, they also can cause multiple health issues and even addiction problems. Sedentary lifestyles tend to stiffen the muscles, making the body prone to future injury.
Luckily, there is a multitude of alternative treatments for back pain, and most of them are easily accessible and low cost or even free.
These treatments don’t require a physician’s prescription, though it is best to discuss all new supplements and exercise routines with your doctor before you begin.
In the following report, we will discuss ten tips and strategies you can follow to help relieve back pain by taking a natural and holistic approach.
Tip No 1: Anti-Inflammatory Drinks
Inflammation is a natural response by the body. When your body senses harm, infection, injury, or toxin, it attempts to heal itself. In these instances, cellular destruction then triggers your immune system.
The immune system releases antibodies and proteins while increasing blood flow to the affected area.
For acute inflammation, the process lasts just a few hours or days. However, for those with chronic inflammation, the body gets so used to the response it stays in a steady state of alert. Research has shown this state can play a role in multiple different conditions, from asthma to cancer.
To help reduce the inflammation in your back, keeping an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce the response and the pain.
We will discuss anti-inflammatory foods later in the report, but similar drinks also play a vital role and are easily consumed daily.
Below are several anti-inflammatory drinks you can drink to stave off pain and inflammation.
The positive effects of Turmeric are utilized across the world, and there is a reason for that. The Asian spice contains an abundance of antioxidants that help to reduce inflammation and ease arthritic pain.
Turmeric is available at just about any grocery store in the spice section. To make the milk, simply pour ½ teaspoon of Turmeric into a glass of warm milk. Sweeten to taste or drink as is. If dairy milk increases inflammation for you, try adding the spice to warm almond milk instead.
It is best to drink this at night before bed, to allow the antioxidants to work in your body as it rests.
A very accessible and antioxidant-rich drink is cherry juice. When you look for the juice at the grocery store, make sure it is low or free of added sugars and includes Tart Cherry Extract. The extract holds the bounty of anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Green Ginger Tea
Both green tea and ginger are known to decrease inflammation in the body after prolonged consumption.
You can purchase both green tea and ginger tea separately but also combined for convenience. Try making a cup of tea an everyday addition to your lifestyle to help ease your discomfort.
Anti-inflammatory drinks should be free of chemicals and added sugars.
Always attempt to eat and drink clean ingredients to keep harmful chemicals from the body. These chemicals can have adverse effects on both inflammation and mental health.
Tip No 2: Sleep and How to Get It
Sleep and rest can be a hard thing to come by in our busy daily lives, and acute or chronic pain only adds to the difficulty. Lying down with a sore back or neck can often feel unbearable.
How many times have you been ready for bed, laid down, and the pain wakes you, keeping you from relaxing and healing the body during those vital sleeping hours?
Getting the correct amount of deep sleep and rest is incredibly crucial for, not just your back, but your entire body.
As your mind rests, your body goes to work, healing, and repairing the damage done during your day. When you don’t get the rest your body needs, inflammation, and pain increases.
Helping your body relax quickly and sink into a deep and restful sleep can be tricky without the aid of sleep medications, but the side effects can be harmful.
Here are several all-natural supplements you can try one at a time, to help reach that crucial deep sleep state.
Melatonin- Melatonin is a chemical naturally produced in the pineal gland in the center of your brain.
Melatonin is responsible for helping your body regulate when to go to sleep and when to wake up.
Melatonin is taken when natural sleep patterns are disrupted, including those associated with pain management. Melatonin works with your body’s natural rhythm but does have the occasional negative side effect such as daytime sleepiness, headaches, and short term depression.
Valerian- Valerian is an herb that grows in Asia and North America. The oils from the herb are encapsulated and taken orally.
Valerian has shown to calm the mind and sedate the brain. The sedation allows the body to relax and inflammation to recede. Valerian can also have a positive effect on anxiety and depression.
L-theanine- L-theanine is an amino acid most commonly found in green and black tea leaves.
The effects of L-theanine are bountiful and include helping to relax the mind and the body when taken in doses of 200-400mg, resulting in a deeper and more restful sleep.
This amino acid can be found in small doses in tea, and in larger doses via capsules and tablets.
As always, check with your physician before starting any type of supplement. Some supplements, though all-natural, can react to certain types of medications.
Tip No 3: Static Posture
Static posture is simply holding one specific movement, stance, or bodily posture for a prolonged period. The muscles in your back and neck often take on the excess pressure when joints in your legs and hips become overtired or stressed.
Keeping one stance, rotation, or posture puts pressure on those joints.
Movement is key. Whether it’s small or more exerting, this shift in pressure points can help keep the back and neck from taking on the overflow of stress on other joints.
It is vital to pay attention to your hips and joints, sensing for these pressures and strains, so you know when to move. Get in the habit of shifting and changing your position regularly.
Posture If you’ve ever been standing in one spot for a prolonged period, and then rolled your shoulders back, then you’ve felt that release of tension in your back.
Posture affects so many aspects of your body, especially your neck and spine. Make a concerted effort to notice your shoulders and adjust them back to keep a tall, straight posture.
Rotation of Activity- Many people have jobs where they either stand making one motion for multiple hours or sit and do the same. If you are able, try rotating your activities or position numerous times a day, if not more.
Changing from standing to sitting, turning to bending, and even the level you hold your chin can help to reduce the stress on joints and tightness and pressure on your back and neck.
Sitting Too Long Staying in a seated position for large amounts of time compresses the discs in the back. The compression puts a strain on muscles from your lower back to the base of your neck. It can also affect your posture.
Try taking a two-minute break every hour and simply walking around the house or office.
Tip No 4: Yoga
Yoga is one of the best ways to stretch and strengthen your body. The effects of a properly executed yoga routine can help with everything from digestion and weight loss to mental health and pain.
But did you know that while yoga is an excellent way to stretch your back, it also strengthens the muscles in your back as well?
More specifically, the right yoga poses can strengthen the paraspinal muscles that help to bend the spine, the multifidus muscles that stabilize vertebrae, and the transverse abdominis in your abdomen.
These muscles help to support the weaker areas of your back and reduce the stress on your spine.
The key to strengthening and stretching these muscles is through proper form during poses. Proper form is especially important when it comes to poses focused on your back. The Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine reported that injuries such as sprains and strains have dramatically increased in those 65 and older due to poor form during yoga sessions.
So, if you are new to yoga, or the poses, make sure to learn from a professionally trained yoga instructor. They will not only be able to help you perfect the movement for the most favorable outcome but also will be there to help if an injury occurs.
Tip No 5: Meditation
Meditation is not just for Yogis. The practice of meditation can be used anywhere at any time to help relax the body.
Meditating can lower anxiety and stress, relax the body, and release endorphins, those remarkable chemicals that make us feel happy and joyful.
Mindfulness is one of the critical components of meditation and the easiest to practice multiple times a day. Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on you, your body, and the current moment.
When you are in tune with what your body is feeling, you will be able to train how your mind perceives pain. This shift in perception can increase your tolerance and lower the stress impact of pain on your body.