Natural Pain Relief For Back Pain
It doesn’t take much to guess that because you opened this article you are one of the many people suffering from back pain. Reports show that 80% of people will experience back pain at some point in their life and many of them will experience chronic back pain.(1.)
Back pain can be a debilitating ailment that interferes with even the simplest things in a person’s life. However, there are certain lifestyle changes that one can make to relieve back pain and get their life back the way they want to again.
Quick Links to Info on this Page
- 1 Diet For Back Pain Relief
- 2 Exercises To Relieve Chronic Back Pain
- 3 Improve Posture To Relieve Back Ache
- 4 How Sleep Can Give You Back Pain Relief
- 5 How Sleep Alignment Can Ease Neck And Back Pain
- 6 Heat Therapy For Instant Back Pain Relief
- 7 Spinal Decompression Benefits For Back Pain Relief
- 8 Conclusion
Diet For Back Pain Relief
In my opinion, a poor diet is one of the main causes of every non genetic condition that affects people today and even if the condition is genetic, a poor diet will make the condition worse. There are a number of reasons how a poor diet can make your back pain worse, some are obvious and some are not. The obvious reasons are that a poor diet will more than likely make you gain weight.
Obesity is linked to many illnesses and back pain is one of them. If you are over weight and especially have a large stomach then you don’t need me to tell you that that extra few pounds around your waist is putting extra strain on your back. Pregnant women feel back pain as the child grows in their stomach, however this pain will only last for a few months until they give birth.
However, people who are obese will more than likely be obese for a long time, making back pain a chronic issue. What is more, obesity leads to other issues like fatigue and apathy towards movement, meaning muscles around the core area that support the spine will become weaker. Extra weight on top of weaker muscles = potential injuries, strains and pain.
They were the obvious reasons to improve your diet. Now is the less obvious and more sinister reason to improve your dietary choices. Back pain could be a warning sign of serious cardio-vascular problems. Just like erectile dysfunction could be a warning sign of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), back pain could also be a canary in the coal mine for more serious issues.
Coal miners brought a canary in a cage down with them to the coal mines because if the canary died in the mine, it was a warning sign of carbon monoxide, the silent killer. What has this got to do with back pain? Chronic back pain could be a sign of atherosclerosis of the arteries that supple blood to the spine.(2.) These arteries are a lot smaller in size than the arteries to your heart, hence that if they are getting blocked and not supplying enough blood to the spine, it is a warning sign of things to come for the larger vessels of the heart.
If you would like to read more on this issue and in more detail, then have a look at my other article dedicated to the best diet for back pain.
Exercises To Relieve Chronic Back Pain
Exercise is the next best thing to diet to improving health, including back health. A healthy diet keeps your weight in check, however, a good quality exercise plan not only keeps your weight in check but also strengthens your muscles to help support your spine.
In modern times we are sitting down for longer periods in a day, compared to our ancestors. We are not as active because either we are lazier or maybe life’s circumstances are making us sit down a lot more, for example, office jobs can lead to long hours sitting down. Weaker muscles = less support, and less support = potential injuries and strains.
Excess weight along with weak core and lower back muscles is a recipe for disaster as the added weight that the spine needs to carry around, along with weaker muscles can only lead to back problems along with other joint issues.
However, exercises that strengthen the core and the lower back can really help support the spine and relieve pressure on the lumbar region. These exercises can be performed in just a few minutes a day but will have lasting benefits for your lower back. Try to make these exercises a part of your daily routine and remember that it only takes 6 weeks of doing something new, to make it become a habit.
I wrote another article on the best back exercises for lower back pain that may give you an idea on which exercises to do to strengthen lower back and core muscles. Also, from the diet section I mentioned the fact that lower back pain can be a warning sign of more serious issues with the heart. It is worth remembering that a whole body exercise plan would be very beneficial to keep your heart healthy, lower cholesterol and improve blood flow to all the areas of the body, including the back.
Improve Posture To Relieve Back Ache
Proper posture while standing and sitting are very important when trying to reduce lower back pain. When standing or sitting it is essential to have the spine in the correct alignment. There are two ways to make sure you have the correct spinal alignment.
The first way is to do this manually, or should I say consciously make sure your posture is correct.
The second way is to use sitting aids to kind of force yourself to sit with the correct alignment. A great accessory to use to not only help you sit with the correct posture but also relieve lower back pain, is a seat cushion. Have a look at this post on my top 3 seat cushions for bad backs and how they will relieve lower back and tailbone pain.
Another tool you can use to relieve lower back pain and force your spine into the correct position is a lumbar pillow. Lumbar pillows are great for keeping the lumbar region in a reverse c shape, which is great for supporting the spine and relieving lower back pain. Have a look this post for the best lumbar pillows for back pain relief.
How Sleep Can Give You Back Pain Relief
Along with diet, I believe sleep is the most important function to living a healthy pain free life. When other things are off, sleep also takes a hit, which causes health issues to get worse or new health problems to appear. It is like a vicious cycle of you can’t sleep because of certain health issues and lack of sleep is making these health issues worse.
How can we improve our sleep? Well, first of all a suitable mattress is essential to a comfortable night’s sleep. Many of us are using old mattresses that are long past their sell by date and causing us a lot of back issues.
There are many new designs of mattresses that provide a comfortable surface to sleep on but also help keep the body in the correct alignment. Have a look at this best mattress for back pain relief article to find out more on which mattresses are best for back pain sufferers.
It is not always essential to buy a new mattress when one wants to upgrade a bed. Mattress toppers are a great way to make an older mattress feel like new but also make a soft mattress feel hard or a hard mattress feel soft.
Mattress toppers are a cheaper way to make your current mattress not only more comfortable but also a more back pain friendly mattress. If you would like to see which mattresses are the most suitable for back pain sufferers, have a look at this article I wrote on the best mattress toppers for bad backs and hips.
How Sleep Alignment Can Ease Neck And Back Pain
Similar to the effects bad posture can have on neck and back pain, poor body alignment while sleeping is another source of aggravation for aching necks and backs. We have all woken up in the morning or even in the middle of the night due to that uncomfortable pain in our neck or lower back and a leading cause of this is sleeping with a misaligned spine.
It is very important to have the correct posture when sleeping as it relieves so much pressure on these areas of pain. As not everyone sleeps in the same positions, there are different types of pillows to suit different sleeping styles. The most common sleeping position is side sleeping, therefore, if you are a side sleeper you may be interested in this post on the best pillow for side sleepers with neck and shoulder pain.
However, if it is back pain that is the problem then you might think about investing in a body pillow. Body pillows are over sized pillows that are great for keeping your spine in its natural alignment as you basically hug it to sleep. By wrapping your arms and legs around the body pillow it places the body in the correct alignment and the beauty of a body pillow is that it is so comfortable that you will hold this position for the whole night. To find out more about body pillows and the best ones available, have a look at the best body pillows for back pain in this post.
Heat Therapy For Instant Back Pain Relief
Heat therapy has been used for centuries as a way to ease pain and improve circulation to painful areas. Heat therapy should definitely be a tool you use on a daily basis when you are suffering from chronic back pain.
A hot water bottle is a great cost effective way to add heat to the area of pain, however, the level of heat one can add to the pain is only relevant to the amount of heat the skin can tolerate. However, electric heating pads are accessories that allow heat to penetrate the muscle tissue at a higher degree, targeting the injured area. If you would like to find out more of the benefits of using electric heating pads, then check out my reviews on the best electric heating pads for neck, shoulders and back pain relief.
You may also be interested in the benefits of infrared heat therapy as it takes heat therapy to another level. Infrared heating pads are like regular heating pads on steroids. Apparently, infrared heat penetrates muscle tissue much deeper than regular heat therapy tools. To find out more about the benefits of infrared heat therapy, have a look at this post on the best infrared heating pads for back pain relief.
Spinal Decompression Benefits For Back Pain Relief
Decompressing the spinal area is a wonderful way of stretching the spine, allowing oxygen and fluids to enter between the vertebrae. As we stand and sit for two thirds of the day, all the weight of our upper body is rested upon the spine.
When standing, the legs take some of the pressure, however, the spine does a lot of the donkey work in an average day. With all that weight upon the spine, it is no wonder that it has to endure a lot of pressure and compresses a lot during the day. As years go by this compression can cause damage to vertebrae, e.g. herniated disks.
By decompressing the spine it can give fantastic relief to you and your lower back. Leaning on a counter top relieves this pressure a little, hanging from a tree branch by your hands relieves this pressure a little, however, there are some accessories that can decompress your spine greatly when used on a daily basis.
Inversion tables are wonderful tools that not only stretch the spine but also provide instant pain relief. When in an inverted position on the table, the pressure taken off of the spine is immense and over time will allow the injured area to recover. If you are interested in knowing more about inversion tables, this article I wrote on the best inversion tables for back pain relief, may interest you.
I know there are some people that will not fancy the idea of being upside down when stretching the spine, therefore, I want to mention that there are other accessories that will allow you to semi-suspend , the right way up, which will also decompress the spine and provide great back pain relief. Find out more about this device in this article on the best lower back stretching device to relieve back pain.
Back pain can be a nuisance that affects the quality of life a person lives, however, it is not an issue that you have to put up with. Not only is back pain preventable but it is also treatable with the right changes to lifestyle and a few accessories to add to your daily and nightly routine. By making these changes I recommended in this post I am certain that they will make a difference to your back pain and to the quality of your life.