From a pinched nerve that only hurts when you bend a certain way, to sudden, crippling bouts that keep you in bed for days, back pain can be exhaustingly frustrating and frightening to deal with. However, as bad as the pain itself is, finding a permanent fix can be all the more frustrating. Chiropractors charge a lot of money for sessions and pain medications often keep you in a fuzzy state of mind, ridding you of pain for only short periods at a time. Surgery is an extreme option that is not only invasive and expensive, but is never truly guaranteed to work.
What if there were ways to treat your back pain steadily and naturally, without the use of invasive procedures and ineffective pills or spending loads of money?
Before you throw in the towel, try these all-natural remedies for back pain relief. A combination of these strategies may be just what you need to get you back in tip top shape.
- Happy You = Happy Back
When you do things that make you happy—like indulge in dark chocolate or meditate—your body releases feel-good hormones called endorphins. When these endorphins are released, they block pain signals from registering in your brain, helping alleviate anxiety, stress, depression, and, yes, even those chronic back pangs. Start doing more things that make you happy. Try aerobic exercise, massage therapy, meditation, or a relaxing hot sauna. Make sure to get enough sleep and plenty of sunshine to keep you feeling good and happy!
- Work your Core
For those with back pain, exercise can be excruciating. This creates a vicious cycle: you don’t exercise because your back hurts, and your back hurts because you don’t exercise. But exercising your core is crucial to recovery; the muscles in your back, abs, and hamstrings support your lower spine and the stronger they are, the stronger your back will be. Engage those muscles by exercising for 20 to 30 minutes each day. Start by sitting up straight on an exercise ball to work your core and bend straight forward at the waist, reaching for your toes to stretch your hamstrings. Then lie straight on the ground, bending each of your knees up toward your chest to gently stretch your lower back.
- Try Hot and Cold Treatments
Cold packs and hot packs can make a world of difference when it comes to relieving backaches and pains. Try each and see which helps you the most. Cold packs, like ice packs or towels soaked in an ice bath, can help reduce inflammation and slow down nerve impulses, alleviating spasms. Heat applications, like heating pads or towels soaked in hot water, can stimulate blood flow and inhibit the pain messages sent to the brain.
- Adjust the Way You Sleep
Limit bed rest when your back is bothering you. Stiff joints often aggravate the situation, and a lot of back injuries stem from incorrect sleeping positions or bed firmness. Back sleepers should put pillows under their knees, side sleepers should put pillows between their knees, and stomach sleepers should stop sleeping on their stomachs, which strains the back and causes the neck to twist.
- Try Relaxation Therapy
Tai chi, yoga, breathing exercises, and hot stone massages can help put your mind at rest, which has been shown to dramatically ease back discomfort. Even good old-fashioned talk therapy can help with issues that may be causing your back pain, like anxiety and depression.
A bonus point: try practicing good posture! Years of bad posture can wreak havoc on the back, so make sure you sit up straight and don’t lean in too far when brushing your teeth. The little things make all the difference!
Always remember to consult with a specialist to see what methods can best help you relieve your back pain.