Natural First, Drugs Second, Surgery Last
Whether it’s tension in the shoulder blades or a stabbing sensation in the lower back, we all experience back pain from time to time. It can be quite debilitating, often preventing us from being able to walk or even get out of bed. In lieu of constantly eating aspirin like it’s going out of style or risking addiction to prescription pain pills, many people are opting for natural therapies to treat back pain. Whether we have acute pain due to an accident or lifelong chronic pain, there are several great treatments available that are completely healthy and have no side effects.
Stretch It Out
There are lots of stretching exercises for helping with pulled muscles, muscle “knots”, and general aches and pain from poor posture, too much sitting, sleeping poorly…the list goes on and on. You can work with a physical therapist on a personalized plan for you or check out some videos online and stretch at home. Yoga, which employs stretching and breathing exercises, is also a great option because it’s low-impact and can be customized precisely to individual needs and abilities. Attending a yoga class provides both instruction and support for beginners and seasoned individuals.
Let Yourself Be Manipulated
This is advice we don’t hear too often! When dealing with pain management, however, this is absolutely true. Back pain is difficult to handle on your own simply because we can’t really reach back there very well – so don’t hesitate to find a good massage therapist or chiropractor. Many times you can find both professionals at the same office and you can get a package deal. A massage followed by chiropractic adjustment, for example, can be very effective in dealing with pain.
Back pain is often indicative of weak muscles. That’s not to say one doesn’t have a strong back, but a particular muscle or set of muscles may not be used as frequently as they should be, which results in pain. Exercising with five-pound weights for just a few minutes every day can help in building up strength in muscles that don’t get used much. This often pertains to those of us with desk jobs. Many people have had much success in combining small weights with a low-impact exercise program that’s designed specifically for reducing back pain.
Swim With the Fishes
Okay, fish are not literally required for this activity, but swimming is great for reducing back pain. It’s a wonderful way to exercise without straining muscles and because of the body’s buoyancy in water, the “weightlessness” you feel makes it feel effortless. Ideally, the water temperature should be warm. Cold water will tense muscles and feed pain; in temperatures between 88-94°, however, the water has a soothing effect, relaxing muscles and letting tension and pain simply float away.
Supplement Your Life
Believe it or not, there are all-natural herbal supplements and even vitamins that can help prevent and control back pain. Using a topical analgesic with capsaicin, which is the element in cayenne peppers that give them their heat, can help diffuse pain and lessen the amount of pain medication or anti-inflammatory medications you may need. Many people also take vitamin B12 and D3 in addition to their regular diets. You can also try a natural muscle relaxant such as Relax Already, which is a combination of several calming herbs and magnesium.
For almost all causes of your back pain there are many ways to treat it naturally and without medication. Try a few different therapies and see what works best for you personally. You might find that one thing doesn’t do much but another thing or two may work wonders. Back pain can cause some pretty serious problems though so whatever you do, don’t suffer in silence.