Chronic back pain relief can come in many ways— and does not require a prescription. Sometimes, with a few simple steps, medications and conventional medical procedures can be replaced with natural pain relievers.
You can also feel more empowered by doing an activity just for yourself, helping to dial down your stress level.
Look at these natural methods for relieving pain to find out what works best for you:
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1. Ease morning pain wih heating pads
When you wake up, if your back pain is intense, consider placing a heating pad under the painful back before you get out of bed. The heating pad heats up your muscles, relieves tension in the morning, helps prevent muscle spasms from moving, and spurs blood flow to the area.
2. Use cooling pads
Cold treatment helps to reduce pain and inflammation. Types involve covering ice in a blanket, a freezer pack of frozen peas, or a cold gel kit. Please keep at least one layer between the ice/cold pack and your skin.
Either applying ice or a heat pack, to protect your skin, restrict applications to 15 or 20 minutes with a minimum of 2 hours of rest in between. Do not sleep with a frozen or heating pad as this can result in permanent damage to the skin.
Perhaps these treatments will help you try new ways of managing your lower back pain and seeking lasting relief.
3. Release your inner endorphins
Endorphins are naturally occurring chemicals in your body. What many people don’t know is that endorphins can help block pain signals from your brain’s registration. Endorphins can help relieve anxiety, stress, and depression, all of which are associated with chronic back pain and often aggravate the pain.
Some practices, such as aerobic exercise, massage therapy, or meditation, can improve your endorphin levels.
4. Keep moving
Our spines are like the rest of our bodies— they’re supposed to move. Proceed to do your daily activities. Prep the beds, walk the dog, go to work. When you feel better, daily physical workouts such as swimming, cycling and walking will make you more mobile— and your back. Don’t just overdo it. If the back is tired, there is no need to run a marathon.
5. Switch to a different shoe
Wearing shoes that don’t match or offer no support could cause back, legs, and even neck muscle strains.
For example, high heels may throw off the balance of the body, resulting in lower back pain. One research found a connection between wearing high heels and getting back pain for long periods of time.
Wearing very flat shoes can also put additional pressure on the feet and back.
If a person has chronic back pain, they should consider switching to properly fitting shoes and supporting the feet. If required, a podiatrist or foot specialist may help a person find suitable footwear.
6. Get regular massages.
Massage can stimulate circulation, relieve stress, relax muscles, and improve endorphins— the body’s naturally produced pain relievers. Some massage therapists can work from your home, so you don’t need to get up and drive to a place. If it feels too uncomfortable to lie on a padded bed, ask for a massage chair instead. Evidence has shown that massage does more than just feel good; it actually helps many people find relaxation to relieve back pain.
7. Have a good laugh with yoga
Laughter increases oxygen intake, reduces stress, and stimulates endorphin development, all of which inherently helps to reduce pain. Humor yoga services around the country are organized by promoting humor to help people reduce pain naturally. If you consider other exercises too difficult, this style of yoga may be an appealing option to incorporate deep breathing exercises characteristic of yoga with laughter exercises.
8. Get enough restorative sleep
Pain is a major cause of insomnia— difficulty falling asleep and/or remaining asleep. Insufficient sleep can also aggravate back pain. The vicious cycle makes restorative sleep more complicated for you.
It is good to get enough restorative sleep to recover and restore energy levels in the body’s tissues. It is important to address pain or other causes that cause it if you have trouble sleeping. Depending on what disrupts your sleep, your doctor can prescribe changes in lifestyle, medication, or other treatments.
9. Change your sleeping position
Consider experimenting with different sleep positions if you’re struggling to sleep. Sleeping in a reclining position will support your lower back and reduce stress. If this is convenient for you, you may have the option of an adjustable bed. You should borrow one from a medical supply company to see if it helps to make a purchase before you commit. Wedge-shaped cushions are another cheap and easy way to see if it allows you to sleep in a reclining position.
10. Take a long, hot bath
Do not underestimate a hot bath’s calming effects to relieve pain and aches. You may even relax your muscles enough to require some stretching. While a bath is soothing, some people find it difficult to fall asleep immediately afterward. It may be a safer option to take a bath two or three hours before going to bed. Try using a bath cushion to support your back while you are in the tub to enhance relaxation.
11. Do water therapy
The water’s buoyancy allows you to enjoy exercise benefits with less pain. Look at water exercise classes and hydrotherapy pools if you prefer warmer pools. Water therapy procedures are often conducted in water, which is about 83 to 88 degrees. Temperatures of the pool hydrotherapy often reach 90 degrees.
12. Exercise your core
In supporting your lower spine, the muscles in your abs and back play a critical role. During a normal day, these muscles do not get a good workout— they need to be targeted specifically through exercise.
There are a lot of simple exercises that can be done as part of your daily routine in 20 to 30 minutes. Even the simple act of sitting upright on an exercise ball for 30 minutes a day will involve your core muscles if you just start.
13. Stretch your hamstrings twice daily
Tight hamstrings are a frequently overlooked contributor to lower back pain. If your hamstring muscles are too tight hamstrings in the back of your thighs, your lower back and sacroiliac joints are strained, leading to more discomfort. Hamstring stretching should be done for 15-30 seconds each time carefully and at least twice daily.
A couple of gentle stretching exercises shouldn’t hurt.
14. Apply a pain-relief cream
There are a number of pain relief creams available in pharmacies and online that can provide some relief from back pain.
Creams that contain capsaicin can also help relieve pain, a compound found in hot peppers. One study found that capsaicin cream was useful in treating pain with osteoarthritis.
Pain-relief creams containing menthol have a cooling effect which can relieve back pain temporarily. One study suggests the application of menthol to the skin may desensitize the body’s pain receptors. Using too much menthol, however, can make a person more pain-sensitive.
15. Try Arnica
Arnica is a homeopathic remedy that can be used to treat muscle pain, swelling, bruising, and minor injuries directly to the skin.
Many pharmacies are selling creams and gels from Arnica. It’s available online as well.
While there is little scientific research to prove that Arnica is effective, there is a low risk of side effects and it may be helpful to some people.
One case report found that when combined with acupuncture and massage, arnica helped relieve chronic osteoarthritis pain.
16. Engage your brain
It has long been understood by pain therapists that pain is more complex than a feeling. The perception and processing of pain signals by your brain play an important role in how you experience your pain.
The good news is you can develop skills to reduce or ignore certain signs of pain for your brain. Including some approaches to try:
- Mindful pain management. Practicing awareness and meditation, typically involving slow, controlled breathing and focusing of the mind, can help to reduce the sensation of pain. Relaxation can also improve. Several free videos are available online to get acquainted with awareness and relaxation strategies.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. Another type of therapy will help you think differently about your pain or learn new management strategies.
Developing expertise in mind-body techniques may go a long way to help you have some degree of influence over your pain.
17. Help others as you help yourself
Share your knowledge with others who are in a similar situation if you have found ways to cope with your situation. Start a blog, tell it on Facebook, or join back pain forums online. In a sense of accomplishment and an improved outlook, helping others can also pay off.
18. Find activities that make you happy
Continuous back pain will destroy your life, impacting your precious relationships, health, and ability to do things at work and at home. Having things that make you happy can help to reduce tension and some discomfort can be relieved.
Many people find that even doing just three things that make them feel good every day— like having a nice cup of tea or coffee, calling an old friend, walking the dog, or getting a long 30-second embrace from a loved one — can make pain more tolerable.
Even something as basic as a friend’s laughter will trigger endorphins to feel good.
19. Make changes to the workstation
Due to slouching or straining at a desk, poor posture can cause back pain and other muscle aches. Use ergonomics chairs and computer desks.
An individual should ensure that they have an eye-level computer screen and that their chair is at the right height.
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, proper ergonomics at work will help reduce back pain and other injuries.
One study in Denmark found that, in combination with behavioral therapy and physical training, people working in nursing homes or home care had less back pain after changes in ergonomics.
If an individual lifts for their work, they should squat and use their legs for support, not their back. When moving very heavy objects, it is best to ask for help or use trolleys.
20. Manage or reduce stress
Stress, including in the back, can cause muscle tension and painful spasms. If long-term stress or a traumatic event appears to have caused back pain, an individual can seek techniques of stress relief such as:
- Mindfulness meditation. One study showed that stress reduction based on awareness improved back pain. Mindfulness involves knowing what the body is doing and using the techniques of meditation to help with the pain.
- Deep breathing. It can relax the stress response of the body by taking deep breaths in and out for several minutes.
- Progressive muscle relaxation. It includes muscle tension and relaxation in the body, concentrating on one group of muscles at a time. A person lying on their back may begin with their feet and gradually move up to their shoulders.
- Guided imagery. It includes concentrating on specific mental images in order to create a sense of calm. One study found guided imaging and music helps with chronic stress associated with work.
- Yoga. Yoga focuses on specific poses and breathing and, particularly when practiced regularly, can help with relaxation. One review found that yoga was an important tool for managing stress.
There are many smartphone apps to direct a person through relaxation and meditation techniques.
21. Stop smoking
Smoking reduces blood flow and prevents oxygen and nutrients from entering tissue throughout the body, which can weaken the muscles of the spine and back. The result: chronic pain in the back.
When you’re ready to quit smoking, talk to your doctor about quitting options like prescription medicines or gum or patches of nicotine. Consider also a nicotine cessation program that has been shown to help patients quit tobacco for good in combination with medication.
Surgery should only be reserved for patients with severe conditions when it comes to treating back pain or when more natural treatments do not perform. For most patients, improvements in lifestyle and alternative therapies may help maintain long-term back pain in the port.
When should you see a doctor?
People with home remedies and some experience can often manage back pain. An individual should, however, address chronic or serious back pain with a doctor.
Physical therapy, medicine or other therapies may be prescribed by a doctor. When trying any medicines or supplements, people who have existing health problems or who take regular medication should talk to a doctor.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not test supplements for purity or consistency, so first research into reputable businesses is necessary.
It is usually a process of trial and error to find effective pain relief, making it worth exploring various approaches to pain relief. Some people will find alternatives to medication that will help them reduce the amount of pain medication they need.