Back pain is a condition that will become a concern for almost everyone at some point in their lives. It is the leading cause of disability worldwide and one of the most common reasons for missed work days and doctor’s visits.
Your back is made up of bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments that must all work smoothly together so that you remain pain-free and functioning optimally. Sometimes back pain is simple and explainable by a specific injury such as a sports accident. In other cases, back pain can be complex and occur without obvious cause.
When your back is troubling you, it can get in the way of performing your normal daily activities. It can make simple tasks like tying your shoes, bathing, or driving a car difficult or even impossible. The good news is that pain relief doesn’t always have to come from a pill or an invasive procedure. Thankfully, there are lifestyle changes within your control and natural ways to get a leg up on back pain.
Ten Natural Back Pain Relievers
1. Get outside
Getting outside for a walk and exposing your skin to natural sunlight can do wonders for back pain. In recent research, vitamin D deficiency has been liked to chronic pain conditions that don’t respond to the usual relief care. Not only will getting outside help you to get good exercise (which helps with back pain), but it can elevate vitamin D levels with sun exposure to help you experience less pain.
2. Try back pain essential oils
Essential oils, when applied topically to painful areas or used for aromatherapy, can help bring relief naturally. Some oils to try that might be particularly helpful for back pain sufferers include peppermint (also known for helping headaches), lavender, and rosemary.
3. Treat yourself to a warm bath
Soaking in warm water can be beneficial for back pain sufferers who deal with muscle pain, spasm, and even some types of arthritis. You might even try adding Epsom salts or essential oils to the tub for extra muscle-relaxing benefits. A warm bath is also a great way to unwind at the end of a long day and prepare your body for a restful night of sleep, another important factor in combatting back pain.
4. Get a massage
If the muscles of your back are tight and tender, then massage therapy can help you work on problem areas within the soft tissues. Massage can help to address muscular imbalance and can also be very relaxing, which can help with chronic back pain.
5. Fight inflammation
There are many ways to combat inflammation, which plays a big role in most forms of chronic pain and disease. Applying an ice pack to your back in the area where it’s painful can reduce the inflammatory process and help to dull pain signals. Systemically, avoiding known inflammatory foods such as high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats, refined carbohydrates, and aspartame can help keep back pain at bay.
6. Practice yoga
Yoga is great for back pain sufferers for two reasons – physically it can help to loosen or strengthen problem areas, and it can also increase mental health and wellbeing as well. Yoga encourages balance within the body when it comes to strength and flexibility. Instructors can give you specific guidance for poses that can access the parts of your back that are prone to causing pain and discomfort.
If you’ve ever heard the phrase “mind over matter”, there’s actually something to it. Harnessing the power of your thoughts can help you to feel better in both mind and body. There are classes you can take (both in person and online) to develop meditation skills. There are many different approaches towards meditation, so finding one that works for you and getting into a routine can help you cope with back pain naturally.
8. Get those endorphins flowing
Endorphins are hormones produced by your body that act as natural pain relievers – they’re your brain’s “feel good” chemicals. They bind to opiate receptors to hinder the transmission of pain signals. Endorphins can be produced as a response to exercise, certain scents (I.e. vanilla or lavender), laughter, listening to music, and eating spicy foods.
9. Stay hydrated
Drinking adequate water on a daily basis is one of the best ways to reduce back pain. Good hydration can reduce muscle stiffness, help to flush out toxins from cells and tissues, encourage proper blood flow, nutrient, and oxygen exchange, and keep your intervertebral discs healthy. There is no hard and fast rule about how much to drink each day, but many experts agree that eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily is a good starting point and easy to remember.
10. Take care of your spine
There is nothing more intimately related to back pain than the health of your spine. The spine is the anchor for your back, and problems with the bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments can all arise because of issues that have their root cause in abnormal spinal alignment.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care and the Root Cause of Back Pain
If you think of the vertebrae of your spinal column as links in a chain, it’s easy to see that the positioning of one link influences all of the others. When it comes to your spine, the most freely movable link in the chain sits at the very top of the neck where it forms a junction with the base of the head. The vertebra at this critical junction is called the atlas (C1), and if it shifts out of alignment, your head will no longer be carried in its neutral position. As a result, the rest of the spine and back is forced to compensate, resulting in back pain and discomfort that can arise in any area.
Upper cervical chiropractic care is focused on restoring normal atlas alignment so that the rest of the back can feel and function better. When the head is balanced in its normal, neutral position, the rest of the spine can also function normally. This essentially addresses back pain at its root cause rather than just making painful areas feel better temporarily without dealing with the reason why they’re hurting. At Balanced Living Chiropractic, we offer a complimentary consultation so that we can help you determine if you could benefit from upper cervical care.
To schedule a complimentary NUCCA consultation, call 248-831-0729 or just click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.