Back pain can be debilitating and affect your daily routine. It’s also a surprisingly common problem, with up to 80% of adults suffering from lower back pain at some stage in their life.
There is a wide variety of natural remedies you can use to help soothe away your pain. These methods may provide additional health benefits that can work in harmony with any medication you might have on prescription.
If you are one of the 80% of the population that suffers, consider trying one of the following home remedies to alleviate your pain.
Sometimes it can be a considerable effort to move around if back pain strikes; however, some exercise can reduce the pain. A supportive exercise such as swimming boasts a host of benefits. Low impact activities such as yoga or walking can also be beneficial.
Exercise loosens your tight muscles and releases endorphins, your body’s natural pain killer. Starting a regular exercise program through cardiovascular and strength training will keep your muscles flexible and strong, which will help you support your back.
2. Hot and Cold
Hot and cold compresses are a well-known technique to obtain relief from pain. Numerous clinical trials have shown that the hot and cold method can help with lower back pain.
A heat pad or hot water bottle can relieve the pain of stiff or achy muscles. Heat boosts the flow of blood and nutrients to the area of the body that it is applied. It’s often beneficial when you want to warm up your muscles before activity or ease morning stiffness.
A cold compress slows the blood flow and reduces swelling and pain from a sprain or strain injury. Ideally, you should wrap the ice in a towel to prevent ice-burn and apply it to the painful area using a little pressure. Ice may cause a numbing effect for intense back pain. It’s recommended that you don’t use an icepack for any longer than 20 minutes at a time.
Stretching can help alleviate back pain by reducing the tension in the muscles that support the spine. When you suffer from back pain, your muscles naturally tighten to self-aid pain.
Remember to ease yourself into the stretches; you don’t want to add to your back pain by causing a strain. Consider standing backbends, yoga’s cobra pose, and gentle press-ups to help you loosen up.
There are some innovative devices to help you stretch out your back muscles and get some pain relief. The best orthopedic back stretchers concentrate on passive stretching techniques to relax your muscles. A back stretcher is designed to offer therapeutic comfort while naturally elongating and stretching your fully relaxed muscles and spine by creating space between your vertebrae.
A gentle massage is a surprisingly effective form of pain relief. Massage can also be coupled with more traditional treatments to alleviate back pain and improve moveability function.
Undoing’ knots’ in your back will lead you to take fewer pain killers and anti-inflammatory medication. You can even ask your therapist to use a medicated ointment that may also lessen your pain.
Some pain relief creams contain capsaicin, a compound found in hot pepper, which may also help relieve pain. It’s thought that the cream can also help with osteoarthritis pain. Arnica is also a natural homeopathic remedy that can help treat muscle pain, swelling, bruising, and other minor injuries.
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D increases calcium absorption into your body, which is essential for your immune system, neuromuscular and healthy bones. Without enough vitamin D, your bones can weaken and potentially lead to bone, joint, and musculoskeletal pain.
You can ask your doctor to perform a 25-hydroxy vitamin D test to measure your vitamin D levels. If your levels are low, you may be prescribed a vitamin D supplement.
6. A Good Night’s Sleep
We all understand how important sleep is for our general wellbeing. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need seven hours or more of sleep each night.
It’s important that you have proper alignment and that your mattress and pillows provide you with enough support to keep your back and neck in a straight line. For those who sleep on your side, try placing an extra pillow between your knees to maintain the correct spine alignment; if you feel any discomfort, this will compound your pain the next day. Lack of sleep also affects the amount of pain a person can tolerate.
7. Managing Stress
Stress is not good for your overall state of happiness. It’s also known to trigger tension in our muscles, leading to painful contractions. There are various ways that we can naturally reduce stress levels.
Mindfulness meditation increases body awareness. Using these meditation techniques, you can ease your stress levels and decreases back pain. Breathing slowly and deeply for a few minutes allows your body’s natural receptors to reduce its response to stress.
You might want to combine this with a guided meditation, which involves focussing on specific mental images to bring you a sense of relaxation. Progressive muscle relaxation allows you to target individual muscle groups by tensing and releasing them through your body.
Hatha yoga is a gentle and very well-practiced form of yoga made up of a series of poses called Asanas controlled by your breath, known as Pranayama. By practicing these Asanas, the body will benefit from both mental and physical benefits. Your yoga practice will strengthen specific muscles and muscle groups, including the back.
The back and abdominal muscles are essential components of the spine’s muscular network, ensuring your body maintains a healthy upright posture and movement. Stretching is also a significant part of your yoga practice because it increases blood flow and allows nutrients to flow in and toxins to flow out, giving balanced nourishment of muscles and soft tissues.
One of the most important prevention techniques is to keep moving and avoid excessive sitting. Learn how to listen to your body and move your body in natural ways. If you are already suffering from pain, finding the right pain relief might involve trial and error. Try natural pain relief strategies first, but if the pain continues, do seek advice from a healthcare professional.