Natural back pain remedies become valuable to most of us at some point. The National Institute For Health reports, "Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives." Many people go straight for the over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory pills which can help relieve back pain in the short term. They don't necessarily treat the cause of the pain.
There are a few basic things we can all do to help prevent a back injury in the first place. First, take your time getting out of bed. Stretch your arms, legs, and back a bit as you throw back the covers. Jumping out of bed can cause you to get all knotted up first thing in the morning. Second, take a walk. Sitting can be murder on your spine and reduces blood flow. A daily walk can keep back pain away and if you sit for long periods, take a break to stand up and stretch your legs with a stroll.
Another activity that has numerous health benefits, including preventing back pain and other injuries, is yoga. According to Science Daily, "Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Center found that yoga may be more effective than standard treatment for reducing chronic low back pain in minority populations." This study in published in the November issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.
Chrystle Fielder, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Natural Remedies, has the following additional tips for relieving, treating, and preventing back pain naturally.
1. EAT HEALTHY FOOD
Eating healthy, natural, whole foods gives your body what it needs to regenerate quicker and more efficiently. Living a healthy food lifestyle also decreases your chance of injury and back pain occurring at all.
2. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
Caffeine, found in coffee and soda, causes dehydration in large amounts and should be consumed in moderation. More than 300 milligrams of caffeine a day is too much. Fielder points out that drinking enough water helps to reduce the shrinkage in the spongy disks of the back that occurs naturally with age and can lead to pain. People who are more active should drink more than the minimum eight (8-ounce) glasses a day.
3. GLUCOSOMINE, CHONDROITIN, AND MSM SUPPLEMENTS
These supplements are involved with connective tissue repair. They are often recommended by natural remedy experts to treat back pain. Consult with a doctor about the proper dosage.
4. NATURAL PAINKILLERS
Some over-the-counter medications can cause an upset stomach. Natural painkillers can be an alternative to treat back pain. Fielder recommends devil's claw, which is comparable to Vioxx for pain relief. Turmeric is an antioxidant and provides anti-inflammatory benefits. Willow bark is very similar to the active ingredient in aspirin and can be more gentle on the stomach. Bromelain, from pineapples, and boswellia can also provide anti-inflammatory benefits and back pain relief.
5. GINGER TEA
A single slice of ginger added to any hot tea can help alleviate back pain.
6. B VITAMINS
Vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12 help muscles relax and can decrease back pain, as well as improve your mood.
The fatty acids in omega-3 help reduce inflammation and back pain. Eating cold water fish or taking fish or flaxseed oil supplements can increase your omega-3s. Adding crushed flaxseed to your protein shakes is a good way to go as well.
8. CONSULT A CHIROPRACTOR
Find a chiropractor who not only does manual realignment of the spine but also incorporates exercise, strength training, stress management, nutrition and stretching into treatment programs for back pain. A good chiropractor understands the many natural back pain remedies that exist today.