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Natural treatments to help reduce back pain

Natural treatments to help reduce back pain

There are a number of natural remedies for back pain. The good news is that many of them are free or inexpensive. Their effectiveness will depend on the location and cause of the pain, but these should in general work for the upper, middle and lower back.

Self-care

* resting when your back is sore (but do not rest all the time or you will get stiff and could do more damage)

* not sitting for too many hours, which puts a lot of pressure on the spine

* gentle, easy stretching

* gently exercising your core muscles-work out your abs

* yoga for stretching, increasing flexibility, and improving core strength-try plank pose

* cold therapy - ice packs or an Icy-hot patch can help

* heat therapy - a warm bath or shower, heating pad or hot water bottle

* hydrotherapy-a warm bath, shower, hot tub or swim in a warm pool

* getting enough sleep-aim for 8 hours each night of high-quality sleep

* sleeping on a bed that gives your back enough support-the mattress should not be too soft. Look for orthopedic mattresses

* using the right pillows-this will help avoid neck pain

* Medical pillows-some will support the neck. A wedge pillow under your backside when you are sitting will support the spine and hips. You can also get a specially-shaped wedge pillow to put between your thighs to help with sciatic pain when you sleep at night

* Making sure you are walking properly in good shoes, avoiding high heels, and taking care of your feet. Corns, calluses and so on can all lead to sore feet and strange walking habits

* Having a supportive desk chair-if you’re like most people, spending hours at a desk every day can take its toll on your back if you are not careful

* Exercising regularly, choosing low impact work outs such as walking, swimming, cycling, yoga, tai chi, light weights and resistance bands

* Lifting heavy objects, including children and pets, the correct way. (More about this shortly) CAM

There are many CAM that have been proven effective for pain relief. Here are a few suggestions:

Meditation

Meditation allows you to focus your mind, for pain relief and stress relief Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or ‘talk therapy’ CBT can help with stress and pain relief. It can ease muscle tension as well.

Guided relaxation

You will learn to tense and then relax your muscles, for less tension. Tension and stiffness are major contributors to back pain.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

TCM for back pain includes acupuncture-and acupressure. Both stimulate ‘meridians,’ or energy centers in the body, to promote health and healing. Acupuncture uses small thin needles. Acupressure uses fingers.

Massage

Therapeutic massage therapy, either from your loved one, or a professional massage therapist, can ease pain and stress, and release muscle tension

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy uses plant extracts known as essential oils for health and healing. Essential oils can be inhaled, added to bath water, or used as part of a therapeutic massage. Choosing oils that promote calm and relaxation, such as lavender, rose and pine, can relieve back pain.

Physical therapy

A sports clinic or physiotherapist can give you gentle manipulation and an exercise program that can help ease your back pain and prevent future injury Traction/decompression of the spine There are a number of ways to stretch the spine to take the pressure off compressed discs and nerves Spine school Learn more about your posture and body dynamics.

Pain management specialist

A pain management can offer a range of solutions, from natural remedies to medications, to help your back feel better.

If you try all of these self-care and CAM methods and you are still experiencing back pain, it will be time to look at the medications available for lower back pain relief.