11 Secrets for Getting 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: Chiropractic Care/Adjustment
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. When 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 addictive 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/nose/throat specialist, so it makes sense to see a chiropractor for problems involving the joints, muscles, and spine.
There are several studies, like this one, which show that chiropractic care helps those with back pain, especially low back pain and those with chronic back pain.
One study detailed the treatment of 741 patients to determine whether outpatient hospital care was more or less effective than chiropractic care. The results showed that chiropractic care was more effective in treating low back pain than outpatient hospital care. The biggest differences were seen among those with chronic and severe low back pain.
The two studies listed above are only a drop in the bucket compared to the evidence that continues to show how effective chiropractic care is for back pain. But it seems that chiropractic care is even more effective when combined with chiropractic massage (secret #2) and physical therapy (secret #3).
We use the Alaska Back Pain Protocol method; a unique three-step treatment plan that has been hugely successful for thousands of people. Our science-based protocol combines chiropractic care, massage therapy, and physical therapy to provide quick and lasting treatment for those with back pain. This combination has allowed us at Better Health Chiropractic in Juneau to successfully treat thousands of Alaska patients with low back pain over our 20 years in the city.
Secret #2: 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
One study, a randomized control trial, found that massage therapy provided significant back pain relief for up to six months.
Another study, detailing the massage treatment of a 63-year-old man with chronic low back pain, found massage to be beneficial. The man reported improvements in 9 out of 10 criteria, allowing him to perform many daily activities that he hadn’t enjoyed without pain for years!
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, has 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 #3: 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 or low-power laser therapy
- TENS device therapy
- Heat and ice therapy
One study looked at the effect of ultrasound, traction, and low-power laser therapy in the treatment of back pain caused by lumbar disc herniation. These disc herniations were found using MRIs and the results of the study were confirmed with further MRIs. The study found that all three physical therapy modalities had significant effects on the herniations, providing relief to the patients.
When combined with chiropractic care and massage therapy, such as in our Alaska Back Pain Protocol, physical therapy has an even bigger impact on back pain. We’ve found that this combination is the best way to relieve back pain fast.
So the sooner you seek professional treatment, the sooner you can start healing!
Secret #4: 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 ongoing 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 #5: Heat/Ice Therapy and Your Feet
Heat and ice therapy work wonder 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.
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Secret #6: DRS System/Spinal Decompression
Unless you’ve been to a chiropractor before, you probably haven’t heard about spinal decompression. It’s important to note that there’s two types of spinal decompression: surgical and nonsurgical. Chiropractors never perform surgical decompression, as chiropractic care is non-invasive and extremely low-risk. Since surgery of any kind always carries a risk, it’s important to exhaust all nonsurgical options before you decide for spinal surgery for back pain.
Luckily, most people don’t need surgery for their back pain. Especially when nonsurgical spinal decompression is so effective.
One small study of 30 patients with disc herniation and back pain found that nonsurgical spinal decompression was associated with a significant decrease in pain (from a six to a one). The study also found that this decompression provided an increase in disc height, which is exactly what you want when undergoing spinal decompression. Compressed discs press on nerves, which can cause severe pain.
At Better Health Chiropractic and Physical Rehab, we use the DRS system for spinal decompression. This is a safe and proven system that causes no pain and gently works to decompress the spine to take the pressure off the discs. We’ve been using this protocol successfully for years, and we’ve been able to help several thousand Alaskans with this DRS system.
Secret #7: Clinical Nutrition
The more we learn about how nutrition affects the body, the more it becomes apparent that it’s a powerful way to prevent certain causes of pain. And while changing your diet won’t magically make your back pain go away, it can be a major help — especially if you suffer from inflammation, as many back pain sufferers do.
However, one thing is clear: a diet composed of anti-inflammatory whole foods can do nothing but good.
Studies show that a poor diet can contribute to the expression of osteoarthritis, musculoskeletal pain, and other issues associated with low-grade chronic inflammation. It has also been shown that obese individuals are more likely to suffer from back pain than those with a lower body mass index.
For this reason, it’s highly beneficial for back pain and overall health to stick with an anti-inflammatory diet. Here are some staples that help reduce chronic inflammation in the body:
- Skinless chicken, omega-3 eggs, fish.
- Olive oil and coconut oil
- Sweet potatoes
- Ginger and turmeric
Secret #8: Pain-Relief Cream
Most people have heard of pain relief creams. They’re no secret. What many people don’t realize is what pain-relief creams are most effective. Not all creams are created equal. However, there have been studies that have identified the best pain-relief creams out there, and you can use them to relieve back pain fast.
- Five double-blind clinical control trials found capsaicin to be useful at relieving mild to moderate pain for up to 20 weeks. It’s important to realize that this isn’t a cure-all, but that it can help relieve your pain so you can get on with your day.
- Menthol is also a good choice for mild to moderate back pain. It has been used for centuries and continues to provide relief when applied topically to the affected area.
Although safe, these pain-relief creams are best used with other solutions on this list, such as chiropractic care, physical therapy, and massage.
Secret #9: Ergonomic Workplace Changes
While some back pain is caused by injury, most back pain isn’t — meaning that we can’t point to a specific cause. Since this is usually the case, it can be easy for us to shrug it off as something that will go away if given enough time. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for most people.
In fact, poor workplace ergonomics are one of the major causes of back pain. If you think about it, this makes sense. We spend most of our time at work, so if we’re doing something there that is compounding or causing our back pain, it needs to be changed.
One study found that ergonomic workplace changes made a significant difference among 549 nurses’ aides. So whether you work at a desk or you have a more physically demanding job, you may want to evaluate your workplace to determine changes that will be beneficial for your back.
These changes may include:
- Raising your computer screen to eye level.
- Getting a new chair with lumbar support.
- Setting a timer so you can get up and walk around for 5 minutes every hour.
- Stretch and limber up before physical activity.
- Body awareness and posture exercises.
- Proper bending and lifting techniques.
- Regular exercise to increase strength and prevent sprains and strains.
Secret #10: Biofeedback
Biofeedback is a little-known practice that has been shown to help low back pain. It’s a way to measure body functions, such as muscle tension, which can give you important information on how to control them.
The American College of Physicians lists electromyography biofeedback as one of the ways to treat chronic low back pain in the short term. Biofeedback has been deemed safe, with no serious adverse events linked to the therapy.
Like everything else on this list, this option is non-invasive. It’s also a method that works best for pain originating in the muscles of the back, such as spasms, sprains, strains, and overly tight muscles.
Secret #11: Mindfulness-Based Protocols
Mindfulness is a term that’s used a lot these days. But it means many different things to people. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), however, is a specific system for teaching individuals mindfulness protocols, which can help them deal more productively with pain and other clinical and non-clinical issues.
Studies have shown that there is some evidence that MBSR is useful for those with pain. Although it doesn’t necessarily do anything to make the pain go away, it does allow people to better deal with their pain through acceptance and stress reduction.
MBSR alone will not eliminate your pain, but it can help how you deal with it while you seek other treatments. People have found these protocols to be beneficial in many other parts of their lives, as well, increasing their overall quality of life.
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
We hope you found this article helpful.
You don’t have to live with debilitating back pain any longer. Contact us today to benefit from 20+ years of experience helping thousands of Alaskans like you with back pain! Take your life back. Call Better Health Chiropractic and Physical Rehab today to relieve your back pain fast.
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