5 Natural Back Pain Remedies That Provide An Alternative To Pain Medication
Does your back hurt?
If so that’s not surprising as back pain is an increasingly common problem today with an estimated 80% of Americans expected to experience it at some point in their lives. But when that pain becomes persistent it can have a massive impact on your health and well-being, and really affect both your home and work life.
This causes millions of people each day to rely on pain medication to get them through the day. However, while these drugs can temporarily numb the pain, they may also carry multiple side-effects such as addictive qualities (opioids especially), drowsiness, nausea, and kidney and liver damage. And when used over the long-term they can become hazardous for your health.
So, if you suffer from persistent back pain it makes sense to learn some natural ways of finding relief that will allow you to step away from the painkillers for good. And the following 5 things will all help you to do just that.
Living a sedentary lifestyle is a major cause of back pain and is one reason why it’s becoming more of an issue in the modern age. This is because over time a lack of physical activity causes your muscles to shrink, weaken and tighten, meaning you lose strength and flexibility and your back comes under strain and receives less support as a result.
This is such a big problem that increasing physical activity is in the international guidelines for treating chronic back pain. And the good news is that exercising to a moderate intensity for 30 minutes 3-4 times per week has been shown to help reduce people’s levels of back pain.
Activities such as:
- and cycling
can all be great ways to exercise for people with back pain.
So, pick the ones you enjoy doing and try to make them a regular part of your routine.
And exercising will also release endorphins into your system which are the body’s natural painkiller. So staying active is a win-win in the fight against back pain.
Stretching your body out on a regular basis is one of the best things you can do to prevent and get rid of persistent back pain. And it can also help to speed up the whole rehabilitation process helping you get back to full health quickly.
This is because when you stretch your body you are lengthening and strengthening your muscles. This leads to a more flexible and balanced body that can relieve pressure on your back and offer better support. And it’ll also improve your posture too which will take the strain away from your lower back.
So, try to make regular stretching a part of your daily routine. Personally I have a stretch after breakfast and one before bed every day without fail and it has made a massive difference to how my back feels during the day.
Getting A Massage
Another cause of back pain is the development of muscle knots within your body, as these tight areas of tension are not just painful by themselves, they also cause blockages that mean your muscles become starved of the blood, oxygen and nutrients they need to stay healthy.
So, you need to release these tight knots if you’re going to free yourself from back pain and one of the best ways to do this is by getting a massage. As by kneading your muscles an experienced masseuse can relax and work out these knots and get everything flowing again.
This is great for lowering pain levels, and the results have been found to last for up to 6 months. And there are knock on benefits from massage that will also help to keep your back healthy such as helping you to sleep better, making you less stressed, and improving your balance and posture.
However, if getting regular professional massages is going to prove too expensive then you can achieve similar results by learning how to massage your back at home yourself using self-massage tools such as foam rollers, massage canes, acupressure mats, and handheld electric massagers.
Learning To Relax
When we are stressed out or anxious we tend to hold tension within our bodies. And this doesn’t just mean we develop tighter muscles in our backs which are painful. It’s also a cause of pain as it can force us to adopt a hunched posture that adds more pressure and strain onto our backs too.
So, a nice and natural way to relieve back pain is to learn how to relax. As getting yourself into a relaxed state will really help to relieve stress and muscle tension, as well as improving your sleep quality, circulation, mental health and overall well-being. Which is all good news for the health of your back.
Now relaxing isn’t always the easiest thing to do when you’re feeling uncomfortable and in pain, but by calming your mind and body you will be doing yourself the world of good.
And you can do this in whatever way works for you.
A few effective relaxation techniques to give you some ideas include:
- deep breathing
- listening to soothing music,
- and taking a soak in a nice hot bath.
So, try not to stress about pain and take a deep breath instead.
Distraction – Take Up A Hobby You Love
Now this last one may seem surprising but it can also be extremely effective. Because distracting your brain away from the pain you are feeling can greatly reduce its power and hold over you.
This works as our brains only have a limited capacity to take in information around us, with pain signals usually getting a priority pass to the front of the queue. However, by moving your attention away from the pain and onto something else instead you can fill this space and block these pain signals from reaching your brain. And this can greatly reduce any pain you feel.
Now the best way to distract yourself is by becoming absorbed in activities you love. Which means pursuing your hobbies is a great idea, as they put you into a flow state where feelings of pain are the last thing on your mind. So, find what you love doing and go for it. This could be anything such as painting, reading, knitting, cooking, playing an instrument or losing yourself in a movie or video game.
And another great distraction technique is to schedule in time to socialize with your friends. As this will really help to take your mind off things and has the added benefit that laughter (which will hopefully occur among gatherings of friends!) has been shown to be another way of lowering pain levels.
So, while persistent back pain is a familiar problem for many people, it doesn’t mean you have to become a slave to painkillers. Because there are many natural remedies you can try instead that can have just as great an effect on your pain levels and will help you to live a life free from back pain.
About The Author
Daniel Singleton is the founder of Back On Site, a website designed to help people fight back against persistent back pain using his own personal experiences with the condition and the latest medical and scientific advice.