Back problems are one of the most common ailments that affect huge numbers of people every single day. While there are a variety of reasons why people experience back problems, there are just as many ways to help get rid of the pain. These are some of the best natural ways to help improve back problems and get back to living a pain-free life.
How to Help Solve Back Problems Naturally
Whether acute or chronic, millions of people experience back problems and pain every day. They can be caused by:
- Poor posture
- Being overweight or obese
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Osteoporosis or structural problems
- Internal diseases such as kidney stones, various infections, and blood clots
Many acute causes of back problems, like osteoporosis or internal diseases, require medical attention. However, chronic back pain, in some cases, can often be solved with little medical intervention. Here are 6 natural ways to help reduce back pain.
1. Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Acute inflammation is a normal physiological process that our body regularly experiences. Inflammation is a key immune process that allows us to stay healthy, however, when it is when it becomes chronic, it is then that we have a problem. Chronic inflammation underpins the progression of many diseases and can be a cause of undue pain. Removing inflammatory foods while including those that actively fight against inflammation can help reduce pain in many areas of our bodies, including our back. (1)
Dietary considerations to help relieve back problems and pain are:
- Eating plenty of vegetables, particularly colorful, nutrient-packed ones. These include (1):
- Herbs and spices, such as (1):
- Teas (1):
- Healthy fats and those high in Omega-3 fatty acids (1):
- Lean proteins (1):
- Proper amounts of calcium and vitamin D. (1)
At the same time, there are foods that should be avoided. These include:
- Any foods that you have a sensitivity to. You may need to complete an elimination diet or work with a dietitian to figure these out. (1)
- Processed foods, fast foods, and saturated fats, including (1):
- White bread
- Sugary drinks and foods
- Fried foods
- Foods with partially hydrogenated oils as an ingredient
- Caffeine (1)
- Alcohol (1)
Not only can all of these dietary changes help improve your back problems, but they can help improve many other aspects of your health as well. (1)
2. Epsom Salts
Athletes have been using Epsom salt baths for years to help relax tense, sore muscles so they can recover faster and keep training at the intensity they need to. Epsom salts, which are a mixture of magnesium and sulfur, are just as effective for the general population. (2)
A soak in a tub with Epsom salts will help to improve blood circulation, relax your muscles, and relieve tightness, soreness, and pain. (2)
3. Exercise Therapy
Inactivity is one of the most common causes of back problems. Moving is important for your muscles, joints, and bones, and can help you to stay loose, mobile, and feeling good. (3) Exercise therapy for back pain can be (3):
- Yoga, pilates, and stretching
- Incorporating more movement throughout your day
- Going to physical therapy
- Hiring a personal trainer to teach you how to strengthen and lengthen your back muscles, joints, and ligaments.
Essentially, the more you move, the better off your back will be. (3)
4. Cold Therapy
This method involves using cold to reduce blood flow to an area. This in turn reduces swelling and inflammation in that spot, which will then reduce pain. Using a cold pack on the sore area will also temporarily numb the nerves so you will feel less pain. (4)
Forms of cold therapy include (4):
- Ice packs
- Cooling creams and sprays
- Ice massages
- Ice baths
Which one you choose will depend on your situation. Cooling creams and sprays work well for when you have an active day ahead and need pain relief on-the-go. Ice packs work well for area-specific pain relief, especially for above-the-waist pain.
Ice baths are best for below-the-waist muscle pain but require time, a lot of ice, and very cold water. Lastly, ice massages are done by a practitioner and require a higher time and financial investment.
Acupuncture is a practice that originates in and is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it can be used for various conditions including back pain. It involves tapping tiny needles into the area that is experiencing pain to correct energy flow and relieve tight, tense muscles. (5) Acupuncture can be an excellent therapy for chronic back pain. It can be applied either to the lower or upper back. Acupuncture may not be suitable for everyone. Speak with your doctor and acupuncturist to see if it’s right for you.
6. Massage Therapy
Not only is massage therapy relaxing, but it can help to relieve tight, tense muscles that might be causing your back problems. These muscles aren’t just limited to those in your back, and regular full-body massage may just be what you need to relieve the tension that is causing your back problems. (6)
The Bottom Line on Back Problems
Most of the time back problems and pain are highly preventable and may be able to be corrected without pain medications. If at-home remedies aren’t working, visit a professional, such as an osteopath, chiropractor, or physiotherapist, who may be able to address structural issues causing your pain.
If you continue to experience pain, and particularly if that pain is intense, then seek medical attention to ensure something more serious isn’t going on.
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