What to Do for Back Pain
If you’ve been suffering from upper back pain or lower back pain, you’ll know how frustrating it can be. it can limit your ability to sleep comfortably, walk properly and even wash your face without agony.
As with most other people in your situation, undergoing surgery for back pain treatment would be the last thing you would want to do. That is when you should consider natural remedies for back pain and inflammation to get your life back on track.
Exercises for Back Pain
When movement becomes painful, the last thing you would imagine doing is any kind of exercise. Yet, you’d be surprised at how much exercise can help ease back pain. Avoiding moving as much as possible can actually make the pain worse. It can increase the stiffness that happens as a result of the pain.
These exercises will help to support the muscles as well as strengthen them. They ease away the stiffness that is associated with back pain; your body will also release endorphins, which are your body’s natural pain inhibitors.
In this video you will discover 3 easy tips for fixing lower back pain:
Stretches for Lower Back Pain
You can begin with stretching exercises that will loosen up the muscles in your lower back:
- Begin by lying on your back with your legs extended. Bend one knee and bring it as close as possible to your chest. Hold that position for about 30 seconds, then lower your leg. Repeat the process with your other leg.
You can do this exercise as described or with both legs simultaneously.
A variation of this exercise is to lie on your back but, instead of bringing your knee up to your chest, cross your leg over to the opposite side of your body. Repeat with your other leg.
- Go down on your hands and knees. Carefully arch your back as a cat would, hold that position for 20 seconds, then relax. You can repeat this stretch several times.
- A very simple stretching exercise to relieve lower back pain is one I found very effective in bringing quick relief. For this, a chinning bar would be ideal. Alternatively, anything else from which you will be able to hang with your feet off the ground will do – even a tree branch can work.
Here’s how to do this stretch: step onto a low stool or bench that you have placed beneath your chinning bar (or whatever you will be hanging from). Reach up and grip the bar. Carefully lift your feet off the stool until you are hanging free while you grip the bar.
Gradually relax the muscles of your legs and lower back as you are hanging; you might actually feel a slight joint re-alignment taking place in your lumbar area. Hold this “relaxed” hanging position for several seconds or as long as is comfortable, then step back onto your stool and release your grip on the bar.
This stretching exercise often brings immediate relief, e.g., after having slept in an awkward position.
Strengthening Exercises for the Lower Back
Back pain is often associated with weak muscles, especially in the lower back. You can easily perform lower back exercises at home. For example, back extensions are excellent for strengthening the lower back and glute muscles. Watch this demonstration:
Other back-strengthening exercises you can perform are lat pull-downs, high-rowing and low-rowing exercises. You will need some home-gym equipment for these if you do not have a gym membership.
One of the most common reasons why people end up with back pain is that they sit for long periods at a time. For example, prolonged sitting at a desk in a badly-designed office chair puts stress on your back muscles. This is known as postural pain that results from inactivity. If you have to sit a lot, take a break now and then, stretch those back muscles and walk around for a bit.
Watch this video demonstration on how to fix lower-back pain:
Can Overweight Cause Back Pain?
If you’re overweight and are experiencing back pain, it could be because of those extra pounds you’re carrying around. Even being just a few pounds overweight can lead to nagging back pain.
You could bring an end to the pain if you lost that extra weight. The way you carry that weight, and where it is located on your body, can also exacerbate the problem. People who tend to carry their extra pounds in the abdominal area can more easily develop back pain than those who have excess weight in other areas.
The excess weight carried on the abdomen pulls forward, putting strain on your back muscles. When this happens, it throws out your postural balance. You would then have to adjust your spinal position in order to compensate (i.e., your spinal arch will deepen).
Once you eliminate the extra burden in your abdominal area, it takes the pressure off your spine. The result is that you will feel less back pain.
Excess weight puts unnecessary strain on the muscles supporting your back. You could also develop leg or knee pain from that excess weight. You end up adjusting your gait in order to minimize the pain, which in turn results in continued back pain.
If you do suffer from back pain as a result of being overweight, a good nutrition and exercise program can ease your back pain and ultimately eliminate it. Your entire body will benefit.
Ice or Heat for Lower Back Pain
One of the easiest natural ways to treat back pain – and the inflammation that often accompanies it – is to use ice and heat therapy. Irrespective of what part of your back is affected, you can use this therapy.
When you apply heat to the painful areas, it stimulates blood flow and relaxes the muscles. This brings swift relief. Applying an ice pack after the heat treatment will cause the muscles to contract; while the heat treatment relaxes the muscle, the ice treatment gently works it.
(If you don’t have an ice pack, you can use a bag of frozen peas instead. Wrap the ice pack or bag in a cloth so it’s not directly against the skin.)
The ice also takes down the swelling; there is often inflammation involved in back pain, the ice treatment will target that. By combining the heat and ice method, you should become pain-free much more rapidly than if you just used one or the other.
If you decide to go with this treatment method, you should begin with the ice. This will enable the muscle to respond better to the heat treatment and deliver more satisfying results. You might find that your back feels better even after just one session. However, you should continue the treatment for a few days.
To get the maximum benefit out of the heat and ice therapy, you should use it 3 times a day: in the morning, afternoon and evening for between 8 and 15 minutes.
For heat therapy you can use a heating pad. There are various kinds of heating pad, including those that work with moisture. Where appropriate, place a cloth between the heating pad and your skin or follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Back Pain at Night While Sleeping
How to Relieve Lower Back Pain While Sleeping
There are a number of things that can cause back pain, it isn’t necessarily caused by an injury. It can be caused by the way you sit, the way you walk or even the way you sleep. Sleeping on a badly-designed mattress can be the cause of your back pain. Simply getting the right mattress can easily eliminate this issue.
If your mattress is too firm, your body won’t be able to fully relax. This can cause joint pain in various parts of your body. You might decide to adjust your body to relieve that discomfort and end up sleeping in a compromising position.
Sleeping on a too-hard mattress with your body out of alignment is a recipe for back pain. A mattress that is too soft can deliver a similar result. You need a mattress that can give you proper support and keep you in alignment.
As far as your back is concerned, your pillow is as important as your mattress. Your neck should be properly supported if you want to avoid the misery of back pain.
Using Hypnosis for Pain Relief
Did you know that you can use self-hypnosis for pain relief? Hypnotherapy can produce incredible results where other treatments have been disappointing. It is totally safe and there is no need to visit a hypnotherapist. All you have to do is lie down in a comfortable position and listen to a professional recording. Try it now for only $14.99.
Using Electrotherapy for Back Pain
Besides going the natural routes mentioned above, there are other methods you can choose in order to avoid invasive procedures. Some are easy to use and relatively inexpensive – and you can do them at home.
One such method that is popular amongst back pain sufferers is electrotherapy. It is completely safe and can be used to relieve pain anywhere in the body. It involves using an electrotherapy device that sends a low electric current through the body to get rid of the pain.
You place the electrodes on your body’s problem area to conduct the current. This current interrupts the pain signal so it does not get through to your brain. Click the image below to learn more:
These electrotherapy devices are light-weight and portable so you can be pain-free wherever you go.
Back pain can be emotionally stressful as well as physically debilitating. Before rushing off to your MD for a pain prescription, try some of these natural remedies for back pain and inflammation at home. You might be surprised how well you can take care of the problem on your own.
Top photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash