If you are reading this with back pain, then you are one of the 65 million people in the United States that are affected by back pain every year.
Fortunately, most back pain won't require surgery, and most cases go away on their own over time.
That doesn't change the fact that while you have it, back pain can be extremely painful, and even debilitating.
And the painkillers available to ease back pain don't treat the source of the pain, they only mask the symptoms, and they come with a host of unwanted side effects.
As we age back pain will only become more and more common, as muscle elasticity and bone density decrease, leaving your back vulnerable to strain and injury.
When lower back pain persists, no matter how old you are, and interferes with the quality of your life, you are going to be willing to try anything to find relief.
In the article below, we will talk about six natural back pain treatments that are often overlooked and underused.
Table of Contents
- Release Endorphins
- Get Enough Sleep
- Lose Excess Weight
- Engage Your Brain
- Practice Yoga
1. Release Endorphins
Your endorphins are hormones made naturally in your body.
Endorphins are produced as a response to certain stimuli, especially stress, fear, or pain.
They can originate in various parts of your body, including the pituitary gland, your spinal cord, and other parts of your brain and nervous system.
Your endorphins interact mainly with the receptors in cells found in regions of the brain responsible for blocking pain and controlling emotion.
Endorphins are useful when you have back pain because they can block pain signals for registering in your brain.
They can also alleviate anxiety, stress, and depression, all of which can make back pain worse.
Various activities will boost your endorphin levels, like exercise, massage therapy, or meditation.
Most people's first thought when they have back pain is to stay in bed or as sedentary as possible until the pain goes away.
However, exercise and activity can actually help you heal faster and reduce your pain.
A study of 240 men and women found that regular exercise reduced pain by 28% and disability by 36%.
Low impact, low to moderate-intensity exercise is the safest option when you have back pain.
You want to avoid exercises that involve excessive jumping, or exercises that put added stress on your spine like squatting that can make your injuries worse.
And, as always, check with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Pain is one of the most common causes of insomnia, which is the inability to fall asleep and/or stay asleep.
Not getting enough sleep can also make your back pain worse.
It's a vicious cycle that makes it more difficult for you to get restorative sleep, and more difficult to get relief from your back pain.
You need to get enough restorative sleep in order for the tissues in your body to heal and to recharge your energy levels.
If you have trouble sleeping, you need to address the pain or any other factors that could be causing it.
If you see your doctor about your sleeping issues, they will likely recommend lifestyle changes or other treatments depending on what is causing your lack of sleep.
4. Lose Excess Weight
As we put on extra weight, we increase the stress and pressure on our lower spine and back muscles.
The added weight at the front of our bodies can cause an increased arch in the spine and could lead to injury and compression of the discs and nerves in our backs.
If you lose the extra weight you will reduce the stress on your lower back, and reduce the tendency to arch your back.
5. Engage Your Brain
It's been widely accepted that pain is much more complicated than just a sensation.
The way your brain interprets and processes pain signals plays an important role in how your pain is perceived.
The good news is that you can develop skills for your brain that will allow it to reduce or even ignore some pain signals.
A couple of those strategies are:
- Mindful pain management: Mindfulness and meditation, which involves slow, controlled breathing and focusing the mind, may help reduce the pain sensation.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: This type of therapy can help you think about your pain differently and learn new strategies to manage it.
Developing skills in mind-body techniques could go a long way to help you achieve a little control over your pain.
6. Practice Yoga
Several yoga poses were designed to ease back pain.
For example, holding downward dog for five to ten seconds will help stretch your back muscles.
Downward dog reduces the pressure that can build up in the lower spine, causing you pain.
Pigeon pose is another great pose for backaches.
Your hip muscles can become tight, and that can put added strain on your back.
Stretching out hip flexors and extensors with pigeon pose can alleviate back pressure and pain.
BONUS: Visit Your Chiropractor
Believe it or not, even though chiropractic care is known for its ability to heal the back, it is still often overlooked.
Chiropractic care is a holistic, all-natural approach to healthcare that uses adjustments to the spine to allow your body to heal itself.
Most people that visit the chiropractor visit because they have pain in their back.
During your first appointment, your chiropractor will conduct a physical exam as well as go over your medical history to work out a treatment plan to treat your back pain.
Many patients claim to feel relief from their back pain after just one visit.
If you're experiencing back pain, and you'd like to visit a chiropractor, contact the experts at the Arrowhead Clinic today.
They will have you on your road to recovery in no time.