How to Deal With Back Pain the Natural Way
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, 75%-85% of Americans will experience some back pain in their lives. If you already suffer from lower or upper back pain, you realize how debilitating it can be. It can slow you down and cause you to change the way you live your life.
If you go see a doctor, there is a good chance they could recommend surgery and/or narcotic pain medications. The problem with both of these is that they are invasive and dangerous. Back surgery can take months to heal up from and costs a lot of money. Pain meds are potentially addictive and only mask the underlying cause.
Here are a few ways you can try to naturally manage your back pain:
Sometimes, all it takes is for you to strengthen your back muscles. In the morning or after work, take a few minutes to gently perform some stretching exercises. Of course, check with your doctor prior to make sure you won’t be aggravating a prior condition by stretching. The stronger your back muscles are, the more stress they can handle.
Chiropractors are a godsend to many people who suffer from back pain. If you have never been to a chiropractor, it is much more than cracking your back. They are trained in locating sources of pain, and then applying hands on techniques to alleviate the pain. A benefit is that a visit to a chiropractor can cost a lot less money than a visit to a doctor’s office.
- Correct Bad Posture
For some people, bad posture is the cause of their lower back pain. The human body was not meant to sit in a chair for 8-10 hours a day. You should take a break every 30 minutes while at work. Get up, go to the water cooler or just walk around the office. Barring that you can ask your manager to buy you an ergonomic chair which could also wind up making you more efficient because poor posture isn’t slowing you down.
- Cold/Hot Packs
Don’t discount the remedies that Grandma once used for her back pain. There’s a reason why she had a cold or hot pack in her medicine cabinet (because it worked). Cold packs work because they reduce inflammation which is usually the cause of your back pain. It also acts like a local anesthetic and slows down nerve impulses that carry pain messages to your brain.
Hot packs on the other hand stimulate blood flow and that brings healing nutrients to the areas of your lower back that need it most. It also prevents pain messages from being sent to your brain. Best of all, cold/hot packs can be found at your local drug store for very cheap.
- Adjust Your Sleeping Position
If you are a side sleeper, try sleeping on your back for one night. See how much better you feel in the morning. Sleeping on your back provides support for your spine and you will wake up feeling refreshed. You can also try sleeping with a pillow under your feet. Or if you absolutely have to sleep on your side, try putting a pillow between your knees. This will help your back muscles relax overnight.