Lower back pain is a widespread global health problem. It is a significant cause of activity limitation, affecting performance at work and the well-being of its host.
Lower back pain can be acute, sub-acute, or chronic. There are several risk factors that have been identified (including occupational posture, depressive moods, obesity, body height, and age).
It is not a disease, but a cluster of symptoms. The origins remain unknown, but there are natural ways to heal lower back pain even if you don’t know where it’s coming from.
10 Best Natural Ways to Heal Lower Back Pain
Many doctors and health professionals alike suggest acupuncture as a cure for back pain.
In 2010, research was conducted regarding the effectiveness of acupuncture to back pain, and the determination was that modern acupuncture was indeed effective at treating lower back pain.
Acupuncture is an ancient, tried and tested, form of therapy for managing pain. It is the stimulation of various “acupoints” in the skin. Heat, pressure, laser, or penetration is used alongside needles to achieve the needed relief.
So many people, not only from Asian countries such as China and Japan, use acupuncture to cure back pain.
According to a recent study of 1,100 subjects that have lower back pain (chronic back pain, specifically), acupuncture helped almost 50% of the subjects significantly. This study was from the University of Regensberg who had access to subjects and their ten 30 minute sessions of acupuncture.
According to traditional Chinese who practice acupuncture, pain is due to blocked energy from the pathways of the body. When acupuncture is done, the needles are inserted in the invisible pathways that help unblock these paths.
This method allows the body to release morphine-like substance that is proven among natural ways to heal lower back pain. When done regularly, it can get rid of back pain permanently. Thus, it’s important to ensure that once you start acupuncture, you continue your scheduled sessions.
There are a lot of herbal remedies to treat pain. However, when it comes to back pain, there are three that have proven their worth: white willow bark, devil’s claw, and cayenne. These were discovered by researchers who took subjects who no longer wanted to use usual pain-relieving medications.
Note: If you plan to take herbal remedies or supplements for your back pain, please talk to your doctor first. None of these should be taken without a doctor’s recommendation and supervision. Also, remember that herbal supplements are not regulated like prescription medicines, so it’s best not to take them if you already take other medications.
If you want to take devil’s claw, 60 milligrams a day would be enough. This is as strong as 13 milligrams of Vioxx – a pain reliever that is banned because of its tendency to spark cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks.
Cayenne, on the other hand, is not taken orally. It can be applied as a gel or plaster to the back. Make sure that you don’t have any skin allergies to this kind of herbal remedy.
Lastly, white willow bark can be taken at 120 milligrams once a day. It has an ingredient called salicin that is an active reducer of back pain.
Learning to stretch properly is a useful life skill, not just to relieve lower back pain, but to improve your overall quality of life. Before starting your routine, make sure that you are wearing comfortable clothing. Make sure that surfaces are clean just in case you need to lie on them.
The stretches that you can do will vary depending on the location and nature of your back pain. For starters, lie on your back and raise your legs with your knees bent. Keep your lower back on the ground. Slowly pull your knees towards your chest until there is light resistance and no pain. Hold and release back to neutral. Repeat this 10 times.
For another good stretch, stay lying on your back, and raise your knees just a before. Instead of pulling them towards your chest, rotate both together to one side until they touch the ground. Try to keep your lower back on the ground as well, although it’s okay if it lifts off the ground a little bit. Then, raise your knees and lower back to the other side of your body. Repeat 10 times.
For more good stretches to target lower back pain, check out Mckenzie Exercises.
Don’t go into a full stretch right away. Gradually go to the final stretch position from your initial position and then hold that position for about 30 seconds and then slowly release. This will make your joints and muscle loose. Do 10 repetitions of each stretch. If at any time you feel discomfort or pain, stop right away. Do not force yourself to stretch when your back is intolerably painful.
This cure is quite ironic, because whenever people experience back pain, they usually are told to take it easy and rest. This makes sense because back pain can be caused by doing strenuous activities. The science behind getting exercise for back pain proves that it can rehabilitate the back and make it stronger.
If you’re having a tough time because of your back pain, you may need a trainer to assist you. You will need to do these exercises in a controlled and progressive way. These exercises will make the tissues, muscles, bones, and ligaments in your back healthy, aiding in eliminating the back pain permanently.
If you don’t like stretching and want to lose weight in the process (which is very helpful, by the way, because being overweight can cause back pain), you can go for aerobic exercises. Aerobic exercise is a good form of exercise for the cardiovascular system. Doctors encourage this because it is great for rehabilitation and maintenance as well.
A 30 minutes aerobic exercise session every day is enough to help you deal with the pain. By your 30 minute mark, your body will release endorphins, which are natural painkiller hormones. There are many ways to start aerobic exercise. Walk or jog outside, join a local gym, or you can stay at home and simply view videos on how to do them. They’re all over the internet!
Note: Talk to your therapist or doctor and ask permission to do these exercises before trying them out. You might need a fitness coach as well, because if exercises are not performed properly, they may do more harm than good.
When you think of having a massage, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably a back massage, not a shoulder massage, a head massage, a foot massage, or the like. It is just really comforting to get a back massage. This is because your back is strained in more ways than you can imagine. No matter what position you are in, your back still suffers. Even lying down for a long time can cause back strain.
There are a lot of types of massages that can aid in reducing back pain. The kind of massage that you should get would depend on the source of your back pain. For instance, if the cause of your back pain is muscle strain, then the best type of massage you could get is a deep tissue massage because the deep pressure given by the masseuse will alleviate the pain in the muscles.
When the problems stems from poor circulation, then you can get a hot stone massage. Hot stone massages have become increasingly popular over the years because it can help relax tense muscles and increase circulation in the back. In this kind of massage session, expect the masseuse to use smooth and water-heated stones.
For a more broad-reaching treatment for lower back pain, consider a relaxation or Swedish massage.
If you are unsure of what type of massage therapy to get, ask a therapist for assistance.
Limit Bed Rest
This is particularly helpful to people who have illnesses that require bed rest. Yes, bed rest is important. But doctors don’t want you to lie down the entire time because this can caure more lower back pain. The maximum recommended time for bed rest is generally three days. If you feel better after three days, then try to get up on the fourth day and move a little bit. The more you stay in bed, the harder it is for your body to recover.
If back pain crops up while on bed rest, and it wasn’t there before, you’ll likely find it will dissipate if you get up and move around. Yes, simply standing up is one of the natural ways to heal lower back pain.
Boost Your Vitamin D Intake
Many studies, including that of Stewart B. Leavitt, MA, Ph.D., the editor of Pain Treatment Topics, prove the efficacy of Vitamin D in eliminating back pain. Getting your daily dose of Vitamin D will help.
Vitamin D is needed by the body so it can absorb calcium better, and calcium is essential for bone health. If your body lacks Vitamin D, the bones may become brittle, and you will become more susceptible to back pains. Or worse, breaks.
In fact, studies conducted regarding the efficacy of Vitamin D in curing back pain show success rates up to 95%. The recommended daily intake of Vitamin D is 1000IU per day. However, a person with chronic back pain should take 2000IU.
The great thing about Vitamin D is that it does not react with other medications. It’s a very safe supplement, and you can use it for an extended period of time even if you’re taking other medication.
Never underestimate the power of the good old hot and cold compress. The best thing about this is that this is one of the easiest natural ways to heal lower back pain to prepare. As long as you have an ice pack at home or a hot water bag, you can easily do this.
Start with cold therapy. The benefits of cold temperature therapy are that it reduces inflammation, and it is a local anesthetic. If your back is inflamed, then you use a cold pack to lessen that inflammation. If your back has a lot of spasm and pain, then the cold pack will numb it by slowing down nerve impulses.
Once your back pain has subsided, switch over to hot therapy. The heat will loosen up muscle and tissue which has tightened up both due to pain and the cold treatment. It’ll also stimulate blood flow and muscle activation to accelerate healing and lubricate your joints for movement.
This is an excellent product that handles both cold and hot therapy very well:
How to Make Cold and Hot Compresses for Lower Back Pain at Home
If you’re unable to get your hands on a retail product for back pain, you can also make your own at home. Here’s how.
Buy some plastic freezer bags. There are small and big sizes available.
You can purchase small ones if there is just a small area in your back that is painful. Use the big ones if needed.
Place water inside the freezer bag and then include a cup of alcohol (liquor or rubbing alcohol) for the big ones and just half a cup for the smaller ones. Make sure that you vacuum the bag and see to it that there are no leakages. Place the bags in the freezer and take them out when needed. Wrap the bag with a towel before applying in your skin so as to not create any burning in the skin.
For heat therapy, you could just soak in a hot tub or shower. This may not be as convenient or comfortable as using a heat pack. If you want to make a heat pack at home, one of the easiest ways to do so is to get a large handtowel and moisten it. Place it in the microwave until warm, but not hot, to the touch, and apply to your back. Reheat as desired.
You may not realize it, but your back pain could be brought about by stress. Many doctors say that stress-related back pain is usually psychosomatic, meaning it could be all in the head. Most of the time, this kind of back pain is brought about by a psychological or emotional breakdown. If you have been stressed lately, for whatever reason, it is advisable to slow down a bit.
Stress feels mental and emotional, and it is, but it also has a physical toll on you. It’s possible that alongside the back pain are migraines, eye strains, and other body aches.
Take a break from work if needed. Don’t work every single day. Rest days are needed for you to rest. Don’t take home work from the office. Once a week, make sure to do activities that will not stress you out. Do the things that make you happy.
Meditation is one of the most effective natural ways to heal lower back pain or any kind of chronic pain for that matter. Meditation is an activity where a person induces a state of consciousness by thinking. It’s a cognitive process. So how can this help back pain?
Well, meditation has the power to alter sensory phenomena, which includes the back pain that patients are feeling. Let’s offer an example of how this happens.
Whenever a soldier is at war, he may not recognize his wounds while the war is still going on. The reason behind this is because a soldier’s cognitive process is focused on the war and how to defend himself. It’s like saying there is no space for his brain to process the pain from his incurred wounds. However, once the battle is over, and the soldier does not need to think about defense anymore, his brain slowly sends him signals about the pain he is feeling.
It is safe to say that your mind can control the pain if you really focus. Because of this, many researchers in the field of pain and meditation spend significant time on the effects of meditaion for pain. And because back pain is one of the most common conditions in the world, back patients are a popular subject. Researchers conclude that meditation does help. In some patients, it gets rid of the back pain completely, while others say that it alleviates pain.
Meditation is a difficult skill for many, but it is worth pursuing. It can benefit you in more ways than one. Besides controlling your back pain (and other aches in your body), it can also help in mindfulness, reducing stress, and much more.