You most likely didn’t come to this site by accident, you came looking for answers because you have chronic back pain. When you suffer from chronic pain, especially back pain, it can feel as if life is passing you by. You can’t get excited about doing much of anything or going anywhere because you know your back pain is going to flare up.
Perhaps one of the most awful things about back pain is that once it starts, it just doesn’t go away, at least not easily. You might think that, unless you are a candidate for surgery, that back pain is just something you have to live with, but that’s not really true.
The fact is that nearly everyone can find relief from back pain. Without addicting or liver-damaging medications, without any special equipment to buy or any specific program to remember.
As a Juneau chiropractor, I want to share the 6 most effective remedies that I offer my patients to help relieve chronic back pain and get them back to feeling like themselves again.
Ways to Deal with Chronic Back Pain
Let’s face it, back pain has been around probably ever since mankind started walking upright. Let’s tackle one of life’s most annoying and painful frustrations (besides teenagers) back pain, especially low back pain.
6Old Fashioned Home Remedies
Before doctors, chiropractors, and electrical stimulation devices, there were home remedies that were passed down from generation to generation. Some weren’t such good ideas (Such as lying down outside until you hear the call of the whippoorwill, then rolling over three times) but other remedies are absolutely beneficial, including:
- Consuming and/or using aloe vera gel on the affected area
- Using Arnica. This comes in creams, lotions, or you can make a compress out of fresh flowers
- Soaking in warm baths with Epsom salts
- Drinking chamomile or valerian tea to relax painful muscle spasms
- Using menthol- based creams or lotions. Menthol desensitizes pain receptors in the body
Ice therapy works for some people, but for others, using ice or cold packs only makes the pain worse. If ice helps, then feel free to use it, but if it bothers you, stop!
5Yoga or Tai Chi
Stretching exercises are one of the best little-known secrets for stopping and preventing back pain. Yoga is a terrific way to stop back pain if you have it now and to prevent it from coming back if you aren’t having pain at this moment. Be sure to get an instructor who knows the best poses for those with back problems.
Tai chi is another super back pain buster. Especially for those who have low back pain from sitting for long periods of time, tai chi can offer serious relief. You can find videos online that enable you to practice this ancient exercise method right at home.
4Adjust Your Attitude
The most powerful part of our body is our mind. Don’t misunderstand me, I am in no way suggesting that your back pain is all in your head! What I am saying is that it has been proven time and time again that our bodies respond to what we tell it.
For example, this study found that people who had a positive attitude about their doctor, their overall healing process, and the treatments they were receiving healed much more quickly and had far less pain than those who had a negative attitude about the process.
Who doesn’t love the feelings that a nice massage brings? Massage is much more than just a nice luxury, however. Studies show that regular massage therapy reduces pain, improves range of movement and overall back function, relieves depression and anxiety, improves sleep patterns, and much more!
Nearly all chiropractic clinics offer chiropractic massage because massage and chiropractic go together like hand and glove. You can find out the difference between a spa massage and a chiropractic massage in this article.
There is no doubt that chiropractic treatment is both safe and effective when it comes to back pain relief. Chiropractors are highly trained specialists in the musculoskeletal aspect of the body, so it makes sense to see one when you have chronic back pain. Numerous studies, such as this one, show that chiropractic care is effective for back pain and offers superior benefits than those who simply take a “wait and see” attitude.
Don’t shake your head at this one! While it sounds like some made-up, New Age guru thing, the fact is that respected studies, such as this one from the University of Manchester, have shown that when people practice meditation, they can lower levels of pain than people who do not.
Even the Mayo Clinic has done studies on this subject and found that meditation is beneficial in several areas, including reducing hypertension, improved sleep patterns, even help with managing anxiety levels.
Of course, there are other lifestyle changes that everyone knows they should make but are easier said than done. These would include:
- Stop smoking
- Practicing good posture
- Managing stress
- Taking breaks from screens of all kinds (phones, tablets, television, etc.)
- Lose weight if you need to
- Eat a mainly plant-based diet that is high in anti-inflammatory foods
- Cut back or eliminate alcohol
- Wear low-heeled shoes
- Use the lumbar support in your vehicle
- Avoid carrying a purse, backpack, or briefcase that weighs more than 5 pounds
Back pain is a problem that affects nearly every person on earth at one point in their lives, so don’t feel alone. While you might think that back pain is inevitable as we get older, this isn’t true. Your body was meant to work and last for your entire lifetime. It just needs a little TLC and an occasional adjustment.