Back pain is a general term used to describe pain below the cervical spine (neck). It does not usually indicate any specific underlying disease. Lots of people suffer from it, and the following information will help you to understand better the causes, risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis, prevention methods, and natural remedies for back pain and inflammation.
Being educated about back pain is the best way to prevent it from occurring in the first place and also to treat it effectively.
The back is a network of muscles and vertebrae (individual bones of the spine) that supports the body in every single move it makes. As a result, it is easy to injure the back. However, treating back pain can be done by avoiding certain activities and changing things like posture. These will help to reduce back pain and inflammation naturally, and very rarely will surgery be necessary to relieve the chronic pain if you adopt a better way of looking after your back. In this article, we'll cover the best natural remedies for back pain and inflammation available.
Back Pain Home Remedies
Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen may provide back pain relief in the short term. However, long-term may cause harmful side effects. Prescription medicines, especially opioids, may be addictive with more adverse effects if used for extended periods. So what's the best way to naturally manage back pain?
People have used herbal remedies for back pain relief for hundreds of years. These back pain remedies have very little or no side effects and can be used for extended periods without developing dependence or addiction. Depending on the source and severity of your back pain, you may also try activities that help ease the pain.
Natural remedies mainly exercise activities, managing posture, and nutritional foods and supplements that would fall under the alternative medicine category. Here are some natural remedies for back pain and inflammation you may want to try.
Manage Your Posture
One of the most important things to pay closer attention to is your spine's muscles and joints. It is essential to make adjustments to your posture to prevent stress and fatigue on the joints. Here are some things to do about your posture to relieve yourself of the back of pain and inflammation:
Avoid sitting for long periods. When you sit for too long, the pressure on your spine increases. But by taking walking breaks at intervals, you can relieve your spinal discs of fatigue and stress.
Check your posture frequently and make a conscious effort to adjust your shoulder, neck, and back alignment to reduce your spine's strain. Poor sitting and standing posture can intensify back pain, causing more discomfort.
Ensure a rotation of activities. Try to prevent the same set of joints and muscles from being stressed. For instance, if you've been standing for a while, you can switch to a different activity that can allow you to sit. Once your joints and muscles have had a chance to relax, you can return to your standing activity.
Stretch & Exercise
Stretching includes different activities that help create balance in the body through exercises that improve body strength and flexibility. It is another proven natural remedy for back pain and inflammation. Stretching is a very effective way to relax the muscles in your back, improve your joints' health, ensure the distribution of healing properties in the body, and make the spine more flexible.
Start with slow, easy stretches and progress only when you feel comfortable. Gradually, you can incorporate more stretches into your routine. Ideally, the perfect time to stretch is in the early
hours of the morning.
Hot or Cold Therapy
The recommended treatment for back pain without muscle tightness is a cold treatment. This is simply a cold pack applied to the injury, which acts like a painkiller reducing the inflammation. A cold treatment can be used in any area of inflammation—i.e., spine or joint inflammation and restriction, knee swelling, sprained ankle, etc.
For back pain with muscle tightness, a hot pack is more suitable. Tight muscles are usually tender to touch; you can sometimes feel pea-sized knots and crystals in the muscle; heat relaxes the muscle and improves flexibility. Hot treatment can be used alone over tight muscles when they have contracted due to overuse or ache following being used in a different way.
Leaving a hot pack on the spine for a long time can increase the inflammation and cause the pain to increase. In this case, once relaxation has occurred, a cold pack is placed over the area to help decrease the joint inflammation.
Try and keep active, maneuvering the joint at least every 20 – 30 minutes. Combine this with the hot or cold method of treatment, and you will help relieve the pain resulting in a quicker recovery.
Heat patches come in handy for treating back pain and inflammation, especially the self-activating ones that activate when in contact with the body. A heat patch during a long ride and in your office or at home can provide you with a continuous supply of heat to help ease your back pain. However, it is important to follow the instructions on the package. Moreover, ensure that the patches are not worn for long durations to prevent damage to your skin.
Take the Right Vitamins
Capsaicin cream, magnesium, essential oils, MSM, fish oil, and turmeric can help with back pain & inflammation in general. Whether you have back pain now or just want to prevent it, taking supplements can help you. Plus, all of the supplements above help to make you healthier in general. Take turmeric as an example; it has anti-inflammatory properties and anti-aging effects and can help to reduce pain. Supplements are a great way of ensuring your diet is as complete as possible and that it is helping you fight back pain as much as possible.
Your back could get a boost with omega-3. Omega-3 is an anti-inflammatory compound found in fish and nuts. It's a key part of an anti-inflammatory diet, which can help keep your back pain under control. Try taking a daily omega-3 supplement to reduce inflammation and boost your immune system.
Take Anti-Inflammatory Drinks
Foods and drinks with anti-inflammatory properties will help build up antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents in your blood. These agents will help in reducing and eliminating inflammation from the body. For instance, Turmeric milk is a good drink with excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is an Asian spice that is popularly known to contain antioxidant, anti-arthritic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
An easy way to consume Tumeric for back pain is to combine a small quantity (1/2 teaspoon) of Tumeric powder in a glass of warm milk. For a sweeter taste, you can add some honey or stevia to the mixture. The drink is best consumed at bedtime so that the anti-inflammatory properties can get to work while you sleep.
In some people, the consumption of dairy products may increase inflammation. In such cases, you can substitute with plant-based milk, such as almond milk.
Also, Ginger Green Tea contains pain-relieving properties. They can be consumed to help alleviate back pain and inflammation. Because both ginger and green tea have pain-relieving properties, you are bound to notice changes over time.
Consuming these drinks will cause a buildup of anti-inflammatory agents in your bloodstream. Therefore, they can be included in your daily diet to reduce existing inflammation and help prevent further pain.
A restful night's sleep will make your back feel a lot less sore during the day. A restorative sleep will provide your body with several benefits that will make you feel rejuvenated, refreshed, and less stressed all through the day.
Another primary consideration is your position while sleeping. It is imperative to keep the proper alignment of your spine when you go to bed. Particular attention should be paid to aligning your ears, shoulders, and hips correctly. If you notice gaps between the mattress and your body that can cause you to strain your spine, it is best to fill the gaps with pillows to ease the stress.
Also, extra care should be taken when turning in bed. It is easy to get out of alignment when twisting and turning. To stay aligned, move your whole body together. That way, your shoulders and hips are in harmony, and you will not feel discomfort in your back on waking.
Holistic Treatments for Back Pain Relief
There are many things we can do to prevent, alleviate, and treat this type of pain. Some remedies, like surgery, are more invasive and riskier than others. For example, surgery can potentially leave a patient with permanent nerve damage, blood clots, lung problems, infections, persistent pain, or tears, among many other pitfalls. No one wants to go through that. So it's beneficial for those of us with back pain to seek a non-surgical and holistic treatment for back pain that carries less risk. Here are some of the holistic alternatives that are available to help alleviate back pain and inflammation.
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicinal technique that releases blocked energy and clears the pathways in the body when the needles are inserted along with them. Acupuncture also releases natural opioids, hormones, and neurochemicals which relieve pain and send soothing signals to the nervous system.
It focuses on Chi, the life force that flows through meridians, or pathways, within the body. In Eastern Medicine, acupuncture is thought to improve the flow of Chi, thereby restoring balance, reducing inflammation, and relieving pain. Acupuncture is now used widely in the United States, and many of our patients report its benefits. It is frequently used in combination with other forms of treatment. The treatment plan typically includes 1-3 visits every week. However, it is customized based on the individual's needs.
Manual therapy is a hands-on approach to treating the body involving a unique set of techniques, approaches, and methodologies to address pain, dysfunction, disease, and disability. It achieves health and healing by taking into account the whole human body and addressing dysfunction at the cellular level. This integrated treatment approach includes many systems of the body, including anatomical, physiological, nutritional, and psychological. Treatment may include myofascial release, physical therapy, lymphatic drainage, and craniosacral therapy.
Chiropractors are a popular choice amongst those suffering from back pain. The doctors employ chiropractic spinal manipulation to repair joints and restore mobility. Chiropractic involves manually applying a controlled force to restricted or injured joints to reduce strain, pain, and inflammation. This manipulation relieves tightness and heals the body.
When to Seek Treatment?
If your back pain worsens after weeks of home care, then it may be time to explore professional treatment options. This is largely true in cases of back pain, where the patient could experience:
Pain that radiates down both the back and legs
Back pain accompanied by chills or fever
Back pain following a traumatic event, such as a car crash or fall
Back pain along with an unsteady gait
Back pain and the lack of control over bowel or bladder movements
While many times, back pain can resolve on its own, there are certain signs that it is time to seek medical help. If the pain is so severe that it keeps you from performing normal activities of daily living, or if it lasts more than two weeks, you should seek help.
Also, if the pain was caused by a traumatic event, or if the pain keeps you up at night, you should also seek medical attention. If the pain begins to spread down your leg, this could be a sign of a herniated disc and will also require evaluation. You can also have weakness, numbness, and tingling in the legs, which are associated with low back pain. You should seek emergency medical treatment if you experience loss of bowel or bladder control secondary to an acute injury.
Many times, with conservative treatment measures like physical therapy, medication management, and interventional pain procedures, your pain can be controlled or even eliminated. Most patients who experience back pain do not need surgery; however, it is important to seek treatment when you begin experiencing pain so that you can be fully evaluated and have necessary imaging taken.
Where to Get Treatment for Back Pain and Inflammation?
Chiropractic care is a good alternative to other methods of treatment for back pain since it may help the body recover without the need for drugs or invasive methods. Remember that most drugs have potential side effects, and invasive methods such as surgery come with their own set of risks. Chiropractic treatment is all-natural with no side effects as chiropractors concentrate on realigning your spine.
Chiropractors adjust the spine by moving the joints into a certain position, which relieves strain on the spinal cord and nerves. Imbalanced or "misplaced" vertebrae may restrict the passage of signals to other body parts from the brain, and that may result in back pain. If you're troubled with persistent back pain, schedule an appointment with Natural Care Chiropractic.