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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: Water Support
Water therapy is one of the best forms of exercise and therapeutic support for those with back problems.
The buoyancy of the water allows for extended movements with increased support for muscles and joints and less strain on the rest of the body.
While this form of exercise is excellent for those who struggle to maintain a land-based therapy due to restraint, it is suitable for any type of back pain.
Beyond the gentle resistance, pain tends to stiffen the body due to the mental expectation of pain. That expectation keeps you from fully completing the stretches and therapy.
Water therapy allows those pains to reside, and fuller movement helps to get the most out of treatment. That relaxation also reduces the pressure on joints and can lead to a prolonged reduction of pain.
But water does not have to be used just for exercise and therapy.
It can also be used as the primary source of relaxation for the back.
Using warm soaking pools creates a therapeutic effect on the muscles and joints.
Tip No 2: Heat
Heat therapy is used on a plethora of injuries and is still one of the central effective pain remedies for back and necks.
Using heat on injured areas to reduce pain causes multiple processes to begin. The heat dilates blood vessels in the muscles that surround your lumbar spine.
The dilation allows for a more significant flow of nutrients and oxygen, which in turn heal any damaged tissue that maybe there.
Heat also stimulates receptors in the skin. The effect on the sensory receptors decreases the transmission of pain signals to the brain and allows for relief.
The pain relief isn’t permanent but is very helpful when the intensity of discomfort is high. The comfort can sometimes be instantaneous.
The other primary effect of heat therapy is the facilitation of stretching for the soft tissue that surrounds the spine. This also includes muscles and adhesions.
The stretching reduces stiffness and the threat of injury. Flexibility is ultimately increased, which plays a significant role in decreasing back pain.
Heat therapies are often very inexpensive to implement and can be administered almost anywhere.
When at home, a hot bath or shower can be used, and while out, portable heating pads can be activated. Often, just turning on your heated seats in the car can help with the pain.
Always make sure to administer heat therapy safely and watch the temperature to avoid burning of the skin.
Tip No 3: Vitamin D3
Just like Calcium, Vitamin D is essential to the body. But what exactly does Vitamin D do?
Vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin that assists the body in absorbing calcium and phosphorus. Getting enough Vitamin D helps to build and maintain strong bones.
Vitamin D is naturally made by the body when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Many different things can cause a deficiency, including limited exposure to sunlight, sunblock, protective clothing, and age.
A recent peer-reviewed report from Pain Treatment Topics found that the administration of Vitamin D may provide relief for up to 95% of patients suffering from back pain.
Stewart B. Leavitt, MA, Ph.D., and author of the report stated, “our examination of the research, which included 22 clinical investigations of patients with pain, found that those with chronic back pain almost always had inadequate levels of vitamin D.
When sufficient vitamin D supplementation was provided, their pain either vanished or was at least helped to a significant extent.”
The study stated that inadequate vitamin D intake could result in a softening of bone surfaces, or osteomalacia, which causes pain.
The lower back is a focal point for this pain. In one study of 360 back pain sufferers, 95% were found to be deficient in the vitamin.
As far as the dose of vitamin D that should be taken to help relieve the pain, it is recommended that up to 2000 IU or more be taken. The current recommended dose is only 600 IU. Make sure to check with your doctor for your personal recommended treatment and the safety of starting the supplement.
Tip No 4: Anti-inflammatory Diets
What we put into our bodies is just as important, and often more important, than what we treat the outside. A healthy diet doesn’t just help maintain a healthy weight, but it also affects the mind and the tolerance for pain.
Obesity can cause or exacerbate back issues by putting pressure and strain on joints and muscles.
The foods that are eaten, and how much, can prevent and even reverse a myriad of health conditions. This includes different types of back pains.
We discussed inflammation and its effect on back pain earlier in this report. One crucial way to eliminate the inflammation is through an anti-inflammatory diet.
Several studies have shown that the power of this diet can be just as effective at treating back pain as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen.
The anti-inflammatory diet is not hard to implement, and you’ll be surprised how many foods you probably already eat within the diet’s guidelines.
Here is a list of some of the main anti-inflammatory foods suggested for the diet:
Brightly-colored fruits and vegetables like carrots, beets, blueberries, and oranges
Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel
Seeds like chia, pumpkin, and sunflower
Leafy, green vegetables like spinach, collards, broccoli, and kale
Nuts like almonds and walnuts
Monosaturated healthy fats like avocado, canola oil, and olive oil
But its not just about what you put in your body, but what you also avoid. Stay away from inflammation-promoting foods like fast food, processed foods, and high saturated fat and refined carbs.
If you focus on a clean and whole food diet, your body will thank you.
Tip No 5 Calcium
Everyone knows that our bodies need calcium to build strong bones, but what does calcium do for back pain?
Beyond being the key to strong teeth and bones, getting the right dose of calcium, paired with Vitamin D, can relieve the pain caused by conditions affecting the bone mass and strength.
The amount of calcium recommended varies depending on age, but the average mg for an adult should be between 1,000 and 2,000.
Most people should not take more than 2,000mg per day because too much calcium can cause heart problems and increase the risk of bone fractures.
Calcium can be taken orally through supplements but also can be consumed in everyday foods. Some of the best Calcium-rich foods are:
Salmon and canned sardines
Dairies, such as non-processed cheeses, milk, and plain yogurt
Leafy, green vegetables like broccoli and kale
Soybeans and tofu
Your physician can also prescribe you a calcium supplement or refer you to a dietician.
The dietician will be able to make more thorough nutritional recommendations based on your diet, age, weight, and health condition.
Back pain, though incredibly common, can be debilitating. Your life may be interrupted temporarily or long term, taking away the enjoyment you find in everyday activities.
The pain can also disrupt essential daily activities like working and exercising.
But thankfully, it doesn’t have to.
Choosing to remedy the pain from back injuries through holistic and all-natural approaches will not only help in the short term but also create a healthier and stronger body for the long run.
Eating healthy, exercising, learning to be mindful of your body, and understanding the science behind the remedies will help you better manage your pain so you can get back to living the life you deserve.
Don’t feel trapped in pain medications and a sedentary lifestyle.
Make sure to talk to your doctor before implementing any type of pain management regimen and always trust your body.