11 Secrets to Get Rid of Back Pain Fast and Naturally
For those who suffer from low back pain, or any type of back pain to be honest, it might seem as if life is passing you by.
A great many people spend the majority of their days sitting. You sit during your commute, you sit all day at the office, you sit to eat lunch, you sit for the commute back home, sit during dinner, and then sit watching Netflix.
All this sitting sounds like a dream, right? But what it is doing to your back is a nightmare. Sitting puts so much pressure on your lower back and spine that it’s no wonder it ends up hurting!
The Worst Part? The worst part about back pain is that once it rears up, it seems so difficult to get rid of! You try changing chairs, you adjust your posture, you rub it, you stand up and stretch, you might even try walking around. Walking feels good for a few minutes, but then it’s back.
How can you get rid of lower back pain? It’s a frustrating problem!
Secret #1: Home Remedies
Back pain has been around as long as mankind has been walking upright. Before doctors, chiropractors, and MRI’s, people relied on home remedies to stop the pain. What is the home remedy for back pain? There are multiple folk remedies, some of which work better than others.
Some of the best natural remedies for back pain and inflammation include:
- Pain cremes that contain Capsaicin can help stop pain. Capsaicin comes to us from hot peppers and deadens the nerves for hours of pain relief, according to studies.
- Arnica is an ancient remedy that has been used to stop pain for centuries. You can find arnica creams, lotions, and gels in almost every pharmacy.
- Menthol based cremes and lotions have been shown in studies to desensitize pain receptors. Don’t use this one too often, however, as overuse can cause you to become more sensitive to pain.
- Herbal supplements such as Devil’s Claw or Willow Bark can help to reduce pain
- Soaking in a warm bath with Epsom Salts. These aren’t salt, but magnesium flakes, which relax sore muscles and reduce inflammation.
- Limited bed rest. If you’ve been injured spending 48 hours using ice packs can help reduce swelling and inflammation, but any more than that and you are increasing your chances of causing yourself even more pain due to lack of use
- Try bromelain supplements. Taking 500 milligrams of bromelain three or four times each day can help to reduce swelling and causes the body to reabsorb the byproducts of inflammation.
- Drink chamomile or valerian tea. To relax muscles spasms, chamomile or valerian tea can help tremendously. Drink no more than two cups a day.
If you are in serious pain, don’t wait to see your doctor or chiropractor.
Secret #2: Heat/Ice Therapy and Your Feet
Heat and ice therapy work wonders when you have back pain for two different reasons. Ice will reduce swelling and limit inflammation. Heat will relax the muscles and bring healing nutrients to damaged tissues through improved circulation.
If you have injured your back or had some sort of accident, apply ice for the first 48 hours. Even if your back has been hurting you for a while, try ice first to see if it will stop the pain. However, after 48 hours, you should switch to moist heat.
Remember to never place ice directly on the skin as you can actually burn your skin or give yourself frostbite! Wrap ice or ice packs in a cloth or towel first. Give your skin a break in between ice sessions, generally using it for 10-15 on, then 10-15 minutes off.
It’s important to note that, occasionally, back pain isn’t caused by problems in your back. Sometimes, other conditions, such as peritonitis, which is an inflammation of the very thin layer that covers your abdomen and the internal organs. Applying heat, even to your back, will cause the inflammation to increase substantially.
If you think you might have peritonitis, you can feel better by applying heat to your feet or your bottom and see your doctor ASAP.
Secret #3: Yoga
When you have back pain, the last thing you want to think about is doing exercise or stretching it, but while this sounds painful, the truth is that it will help improve back pain, as well as prevent it from coming back.
What exercises is good for low back pain? There are several, but yoga and Tai Chi are two that are well-known and easy for almost everyone to do.
Yoga is one of the best ways to help stop back pain, especially lower back pain. Some of the best lower back pain exercises for back pain include the following yoga poses:
- The Supine Twist- this offers terrific tension relief for both the back and neck.
- The Sphinx Pose- this pose stretching the sacral-lumbar arch, which is flattened by too much sitting. This pose will restore the natural curve and tone the entire spine.
- Thread the Needle Pose- by stretching the hips and hamstrings, this pose can alleviate pain in minutes while stretching the hips, lower back, outer thighs, and spine.
- Cat and Cow Pose- for stretching the entire spine, as well as the hips, you will prevent future back pain
- Downward Facing Dog- this popular pose does it all! This stretches the hamstrings, lengthens the entire spine, and decompresses the spine, especially the lower portion
Tai Chi is also excellent for improving low back pain. For those who have low back pain when sitting, Tai Chi can offer much-needed relief. You can find many videos for sale that explain how to do it or watch some of the many videos that are online.
If you have never done yoga before, seek out a qualified instructor. Tell the instructor about your back problems so they can modify poses if necessary.
Don’t forget that yoga not only improves the body but calms the mind and relieves stress, which will help not only your back pain but will be beneficial in other parts of your life.
Secret #4: Change Your Lifestyle
The old saying that everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die probably applies to back pain as well. Everyone wants to stop their back pain (or prevent it from returning) but no one wants to do the work to get there.
Some of the best natural remedies for back pain and inflammation are completely within your control and involve nothing more than a few lifestyle changes, including:
- Stop Smoking. Generally speaking, smokers have more back pain than nonsmokers. They also have higher rates of osteoporosis, which is a weakening of the bones. Weak bones can cause back pain. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor or chiropractor.
- Manage Your Stress. Stress causes far more injury to the body than we give it credit for. Stress can cause back pain from overly tight muscles which pull the spine out of alignment. Learn to reduce stress in your life and manage the stress you cannot avoid.
- Step Away from Those Screens. Too much time spent sitting, slouching, or lounging on the sofa looking at tv screens, cell phones, video games, computers, tablets, or whatever type of screen is your favorite, is very bad for your back. Limit your screen time and take frequent breaks when you are in front of any screen.
- Don’t Slouch. Posture is so important, we are certain that your mother told you this, and she was 100% right. Try using chairs that improve posture or consider using devices that set off an alarm when you go into slouch mode.
- Lose Weight. Excess weight puts a strain on your entire spine. For those with low back pain when sitting, losing weight will help, even if you drop just a few pounds. If you need to lose a lot of weight, don’t focus on the big number, try to lose just 5% of your body weight within the next 5-6 months. Then shoot for another 5%.
- Think Ergonomics. Improve your workstation and improve your back pain.
- Improve Your Diet. Eating a typical SAD (Standard American Diet) not only causes many people to put on excess weight, but it encourages inflammation. Eat a diet that is mainly plant-based and is high in anti-inflammatory foods, such as green leafy vegetables and whole fruits.
Your doctor or chiropractor can offer valuable advice in all the above areas. Whether you are interested in losing weight, eating an anti-inflammatory diet, or learning to manage stress, your chiropractor is your friend who can help explain how you can get the most out of the body you have.
Secret #5: Get an Attitude Adjustment
Our minds are far more powerful than we imagine. We aren’t suggesting that back pain is “all in your head”, but we think you should know that your body responds to what you tell it.
Have you ever wanted a day off, so the day before, you spend your time at work telling everyone how lousy you feel, how you think you are coming down with the flu, maybe even coughing a bit, so you can call in sick the following day? If you have done that, have you ever noticed that, by the end of the day, you really DO feel sick and wonder if your own lie is coming true?! This is the power of the mind.
Studies have shown that people who have a positive attitude about their doctor, the healing process, and the treatments they are receiving, heal faster and have less pain than those who have a negative attitude.
Your body is listening to everything you tell it. So why not tell it that the treatment is working wonders, that you will be better in no time, and that your chiropractor is the best ever? It takes just as much energy to be positive as it does to be negative- what do you have to lose?
Secret #6: Chiropractic Care
When your back hurts, unless you are 100% certain that it’s due to an accident or injury of some type, most of us assume that we simply “overdid it.” As we age, we might begin to wonder if our back-pain stems from some age-related issue like arthritis or disc degeneration.
This is because most of our body works this way. We have a sore throat, it’s usually due to overuse or an infection, for example. Our back is different in this way, however. Some people have bulging or herniated discs and never complain about pain while others have no abnormalities that can be seen and yet suffer from chronic back pain.
This is why chiropractic care is invaluable. When your GP can’t find anything wrong, he might give you some pain pills and send you on your way. Your chiropractor, however, understands that there must be a root cause and by doing a thorough exam and history, they will find and correct the problem.
Your chiropractor is a highly trained specialist who can help you to avoid unnecessary surgery and addicting pain medication. Your treatment plan will be specialized for your exact needs using time-tested, holistic, non-invasive methods that allow your body to heal itself naturally.
This is because your chiropractor is a specialist in the musculoskeletal aspect of the body. If you had problems with your ears or throat, your GP would send you to an ear/now/throat specialist, so it makes sense to see a chiropractor for problems involving the joints, muscles, and spine.
Studies, like this one, show that chiropractic care helps those with back pain, especially low back pain and those with chronic back pain, than those who do not seek chiropractic care and adjustments.
Perhaps one of the best things about chiropractic care is that they can take care of secrets 6,7, and 8, as well as offering you advice on secrets 1,3,4,9, and 11- all in one clinic!
We use the Alaska Back Pain Protocol method; a unique three-step treatment plan that has been hugely successful for thousands of people.
You don’t have to live with back pain. Your local chiropractor can put a stop to that pain, so you can get back to living a full and happy life.
If your back pain is preventing you from driving, we offer the Get-A-Ride Promise for your chiropractic appointment in Juneau! Ask one of our helpful staff members to check your insurance coverage at no cost to you.
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Check out secrets 7 and 8 for more ways your chiropractor can help stop your back pain!
Secret #7: Chiropractic Massage
Who doesn’t love the feelings that a nice massage brings? Did you know that studies have found that, in addition to relieving stress, it can also :
- Greatly reduce back pain
- Improve back functionality and range of movement
- Minimizes the number of days spent resting or off from work
- Offer feelings of support and being cared for
A chiropractic massage differs from a spa massage in that the therapist performs a specific type of massage and does so under the direction of the chiropractor. Your chiropractor can inform the therapist about special areas that need attention, trigger points that need to be released, and areas that should be avoided.
Back pain, especially for those with chronic low back pain, have greatly reduced pain levels with regular massage therapy, according to studies.
Don’t think of chiropractic massage as a special treat. This is a healing therapy that will help stop your back pain and is not your typical spa massage.
Secret #8: Physical Therapy Modalities & Physical Rehabilitation
Did you know that chiropractic care and physical therapy related treatments go hand in hand for stopping back pain? This would explain why so many chiropractic clinics offer physical therapy modalities.
Some of the physical therapy modalities your chiropractor might offer at their clinic include:
- Physical rehabilitation exercises
- Cold laser therapy
- TENS device therapy
- Heat and ice therapy
You will see results quicker and experience far less pain if you see a chiropractor that offers these types of modalities.
Also, the sooner you begin treatment, the sooner your body can start healing!
Secret #9: Acupuncture/Epidurals
If the cause of your back pain is because of an underlying health issue, such as spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease, finding pain relief will be an on-going issue. Research has shown that, for some individuals, acupuncture can reduce pain levels for those suffering from chronic pain.
While we don’t like to recommend any treatment that isn’t necessary, for some people with chronic back pain due to other health issues or from other problems, such as seriously herniated discs, epidurals can be of great help.
Epidurals are steroid injections near the affected nerve. This overstimulates the nerve, causing it to “shut off” and stop sending pain signals. While it usually takes more than one injection, many people find that the nerve will simply turn itself off permanently, offering pain relief.
Have a discussion with your chiropractor if you suffer from serious health problems that cause you chronic pain about epidurals or acupuncture.
Secret #10: Try Meditation
For those who have never tried it, meditation might seem like some New-Age, guru thing, but you can’t deny facts. Studies, such as this one from the University of Manchester, have shown that people who practice meditation have lower pain levels than those who don’t.
The prestigious Mayo Clinic has done studies which found that meditation can lead to other bodily health and mental health benefits, including less stress, reducing hypertension, manage anxiety levels, and even improved sleep patterns.
Secret #11: Tips for Sleeping
One thing almost every person with back pain complains about is their inability to get a good night’s rest. The truth is that, occasionally, a bad mattress is the cause of your back pain. If your mattress is more than 7 years old, you probably need a new one. If you aren’t sure, try sleeping on a different bed or even on the sofa and see if your pain is reduced in the morning.
Once you are sure that your mattress is not the problem, the best position to sleep deeply when you have back pain include:
- Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees
- Sleep on your side in the fetal position, with your knees drawn up to your chest
- If you like sleeping on your stomach, put a pillow under your abdomen. You might want to not use any pillow under your head in this position.
- If you sleep on your back, put a pillow under your knees
- Try sleeping in a reclining chair
- Invest in an adjustable bed
If you notice gaps between your body and the bed, this puts a strain on the spine, which can stop you from sleeping. Put small pillows in these gaps to fill in the space. This might take a bit of experimentation to find what works best for you, but this works for many people.
You might also try a body pillow. These lengthy pillows offer support from ankles to head and can be molded to fit your body.
Other Helpful Tips:
Some other beneficial tips that can stop back pain or prevent it from returning include common, everyday things like:
- Wear low-heeled shoes and save high heels for special occasions
- Use the lumbar support found in most car seats
- Get up and move at least every 30 minutes- set a timer if you must!
- Get plenty of vitamin D for stronger bones and better health in general. It’s free from the sun or take supplements
- Always support your lower back when sitting. Use pillows or buy a chair with lumbar support
- Don’t carry more than 5 pounds on anyone shoulders, such as carrying a heavy purse or briefcase
- Wear your backpack on your back, not on one shoulder
- Bend at the knees and look up when picking up heavy objects
- Give yourself time to heal. Don’t let anyone push you into doing thing or going back to work before you are ready or before you get clearance from your chiropractor. Everyone is different and heals at a different rate. Allow your body all the time it needs.
So Why Is This Happening to Me?
Even if you have never had back pain before, it can seemingly spring out of nowhere and feel as if it will never go away.
Back pain, especially lower back pain, is a very common problem that will affect almost every person on earth at one time or another.
Did you know that it is the #2 reason people go to the emergency room? It’s also the #1 cause of disability claims.
Some people believe that back pain is inevitable as we age, but this isn’t true.
Our backs are both complicated and fascinating, but when they hurt, they really mean business!
Why Does My Lower Back Hurt?
The answer here is a definite “it depends.”
Of course, if you were involved in an accident recently or a slip and fall, even if it was a few days ago, chances are that your back pain is the result of these traumas.
However, other sources of back pain can be spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, a bulging or herniated disc, osteoarthritis, or any number of other health issues.
For many people, back pain, especially low back pain, is the result of poor habits, such as too many hours spent sitting, a lack of exercise, being overweight, poor posture, or a combination of these items.
Determining the root cause is the best way to start fixing your back pain. It makes no sense to treat the symptoms when you don’t know the cause.
Is There Any Good News?
Yes! As much as 95 percent of all back-pain cases do not require surgery. With proper treatment, most people can recover from injuries or learn how they prevent back pain in the future.
When Should I See a Doctor?
If after trying some of the secrets in this article, your back pain becomes worse or if it lasts for more than 3 or 4 days, you should seek out the advice and help of your local chiropractor.
There are some red flags with back pain. You can read about those here.
You should also see your chiropractor if your back pain includes:
- Pain so intense you cannot sleep at night in any position
- Pain that lasts longer than a week
- Back pain that is accompanied by stomach pain
- Back pain that also includes weakness, tingling, or numbness of the arms, buttocks, legs, or feet
You don’t need to live in pain for days, however. You can see your chiropractor anytime you want! When you’ve decided to see a chiropractor, request a chiropractic appointment in Anchorage and receive our free 1-hour massage certificate.
Schedule an Appointment, Receive a One-Hour Massage Certificate!
That’s right! Receive a certificate for a free one-hour massage with one of our highly-trained, professional, and licensed massage therapists for use after your first appointment. You can use it yourself, or give it to one of your family or friends for them to use!
We hope you found this article helpful.
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You don’t have to live in pain and you don’t have to stop living the life you want because of back pain. You just need to know and practice these little secrets along with your chiropractor.