10 Natural Remedies for Back Pain
Pain in the back can be excruciating. Oftentimes, you can’t sit straight, lie down properly, or even take a step outside in the crisp autumn weather without feeling discomfort. If this sounds familiar, you are probably looking for ways to relieve the pain and take your life back. However, many traditional pills and painkillers can leave you feeling foggy and sluggish. So why not try to relieve the pain naturally?
If you are looking for a more natural approach to pain relief, here are 10 natural remedies for back pain:
Stretching—just like you did in high school gym class—still works today. Take time out of your day to release tension throughout your entire body. By gently stretching every muscle and tendon, you will slowly release the tension in your back. Be sure to consult with your doctor about which stretches are best for relieving your specific pain. You don’t want to do more damage by stretching incorrectly. Discover some of Dr. Prpa’s recommended stretches to alleviate back pain.
Another way to untangle the knots in your back is to get a massage. Go to a massage therapist or a professional spa for a relaxing and therapeutic experience. A trained masseuse can target specific areas in your back or body where you’re feeling tension or discomfort. To save money, consider trading massages with your partner, taking turns helping one another relax.
Since the turn of the century, yoga has become very popular in the United States. Think of yoga as mindful stretching, where you stretch both your body and your mind at once. Yoga has been proven very effective in relieving back pain and stress, and also provides powerful mental and physical relaxation. You can take a class at a local studio or practice yoga on your own. No matter how you practice yoga, see if yoga can help release some of the tension in your body.
4. Improve Posture
The number one reason our backs hurt is because of our posture. Sitting slouched over our desks staring at a computer screen for eight hours a day is not good for our backs. To improve posture, consider sitting on an exercise ball at work. Another great option is to build a standing desk (which also helps you think better) or build a double-decker desk, where you can both stand and sit if need be. If none of those ideas help, simply work on improving your posture when you sit, focusing on maintaining a strong, straight spine.
5. Strength Training
Lifting heavy weights may seem counterintuitive when talking about back pain, but building muscle in and around your back can actually help reduce pain. Consider joining a gym or signing up for CrossFit. A good trainer will teach you proper lifting postures that will protect your back from further injury, and a good gym is full of non-judgmental members who will encourage you to become stronger and healthier.
If you don’t have enough money for a gym membership, explore some simple, strength-building workouts you can do at home, such as planks, crunches, wall sits, etc. Be sure to consult with your doctor before trying a new strength training routine.
6. Physical Therapy
Even if you find relief from one of these natural methods, you may still want to talk to a physical therapist, especially if your back pain is persistent. A physical therapist can do amazing things for your body and can suggest exercises and stretches that you can do at home to continue the progress you’ve made together.
Another expert on back pain is your local chiropractor. Today, chiropractic visits are often covered by health insurance, so be sure to check with your insurance to see what services are available to you. A good chiropractor can help to straighten your back in no time, while keeping costs low.
Like yoga, acupuncture has evolved over the last few years to become a very popular form of therapy. For those who aren’t scared of needles, this type of therapy releases your body’s natural tension spots. With regular acupuncture treatments, many people report experiencing lasting pain relief.
9. Reduce Stress
Mental stress can easily spill over into physical stress and manifest itself in back pain. By releasing the stress of day-to-day life you can also release some of the tension and stress being held in your body.
A great way to reduce stress is to get physical activity or exercise. Go for a long walk, take a bike ride with a friend, or swim some laps at your local pool. Exercise not only helps to clear your mind, but it also releases endorphins, which act as natural painkillers and mood enhancers.
Another way to release mental stress is through mindfulness meditation. Meditation trains your mind to better handle and release stress, and it also encourages you to practice better posture.
10. Arnica and Natural Remedies
If you live in states where medical marijuana is legal, there are many marijuana-infused balms and creams that can relieve your chronic back pain without the psychoactive, or “high” feeling, of marijuana. Another natural remedy that is legal in all 50 states is arnica. This plant, grown in Europe and the U.S., helps relieve pain and sores through pills or topical gels.
Beyond Natural Remedies for Back Pain
If natural remedies for back pain aren’t providing you with the relief you need from your back pain, please schedule a consultation with Milwaukee spine surgeon and top back specialist Dr. Branko Prpa. We can look more closely at your symptoms, discuss your other treatment options, and help you get back to a pain-free life.