If there is one thing that can profoundly disrupt our daily routine, it is a pain in your back. And, not every time you have the time to visit a clinic. Having said that, it is not always a requirement to visit the doctor as it could just be due to physical stress.
Whatever be the cause, knowing a few handy home remedies can make your day easier and much simpler, do not you think? So, here I bring to you some tips and remedies that you can try at home before approaching a doctor.
Of course, do remember that if you do not know the cause for your pain, or if the pain is intense, unbearable or it is simply not lessening, it is time to make your visit to the doctor.
Do not forget to differentiate back pain from kidney pain – kidney pain is likely to be a medical emergency.
Let us discuss the natural remedies for chronic back pain.
It was probably because you lifted a heavy object, or you tried making a different dancing move where you ended up twisting your spine. Whatever be the cause, if you have back pain, it can be quite challenging to handle it. While certain scenarios like an injury require a doctor’s interference, the routine ache in your back can be dealt at your home.
Oils and balms
There are quite a few topical gels and topical creams in the market which can help ease the pain in your back. These can also be bought in the form of patches and when applied can bring a significant decrease in the pain level. Presence of ingredients like capsaicin can help greatly with the pain in your back.
There are also Arnica gels and Arnica creams, a homeopathy option available in stores that can help in relieving chronic back pain.
You can also opt for black currant, borage oils and primrose which have GLA (Gamma Linoleic acid) that helps in treating arthritic pain in your back.
However, you must keep a check on the possible side effects as some users find skin irritation with certain balms and oils. You can do a patch test with a small amount, wait for 24 hours and then decide on whether to use it or not.
Vitamin D and Omega 3
Vitamins and minerals in our daily diet can provide us relief from chronic back pain, in specific the Vitamin D and Omega 3.
- Vitamin D which is found to improve calcium absorption helps in strengthening our bones. Foods like fish, liver, mushrooms and eggs have an abundance of Vitamin D. Exposure to the UV rays of sunlight for about 15 minutes can also help our body to generate significant Vitamin D.
- Omega 3 fatty acids are found to reduce inflammation and pain. You can either take a supplement to improve this compound in your body or include foods like mackerel, tuna, salmon, trout, sardines and herring into your diet.
A Sound mind guarantees a sound body and that is why you need to keep stress at bay. Evidence from various researches indicates that stress and anxiety is a high influencer of back pain.
In cases where the cause of the back pain is underlying emotional problems, you would need a solution that involves both mind and body.
Say no to smoking
You are probably wondering why we have listed smoking as a reason here. Smoking is generally known for hurting your lungs, but the lesser known fact is that it can affect your back too.
The nicotine present in cigarettes causes the blood vessels to shrink, which further decreases the blood flowing through them. Quitting your smoking habit can considerably reduce the pain in your back. Of course, it will also extend your life span.
If you are unable to get enough sleep or you have disturbed sleep, it will increase your pain in the back. Also, when you sleep, you have to make sure that your spine is well rested, and the mattress is comfortable. Pillows should be of the right size, and the alignment of the mattress must be right as well.
Lack of sleep or improper sleeping patterns can also result in back pain. Get enough rest to ensure your overall wellness.
Use a hot and cold pack
The heating pad is a fantastic remedy if you have stiffness and pain in your back as you wake up in the morning. You can put the heating pad on the back which will loosen up the muscles, ensuring a better blood circulation and warms up your back for the day.
On the flip-side, the heat can add to the inflammation, and that is why you need an ice pack. This will help to reduce the inflammation and to relieve the pain.
Alternating between hot and cold packs is considered as the most effective way to treat back pain at home.
If you think that dozing off on the bed is your best option for back pain, you cannot be more wrong. Yes, taking rest on your back can help tremendously and yet doctors suggest that being on the move is the best way to keep your spine healthy.
To start with you can carry on with your daily routines, like taking a walk, making your bed, etc. Slowly you can bring in more activities, like cycling, swimming, etc. to your lifestyle Pilates can help in strengthening core muscles. You can also do a few stretches that will help to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles.
There are also exercises that will help strengthen your back and keep you safe from back pain. A systematic training program that will focus on strengthening your core muscles and reverse the back pain effects is what you need. There are many training programs like Egoscue exercises and high-intensity interval training which will be of more benefit to you.
Yoga is another form that will help to improve the strength, balance, and flexibility of your muscles. It will also give you a mental boost that will help greatly in back pain.
While you have to avoid taking too much time on the bed, you definitely should also give enough rest to your back. Take rest and yet have some physical routine to keep yourself active.
It is well known that massages can help provide relief from sore muscles. If you get the right massage, it will help in reducing the back pain, the inflammation and in improving the function of the muscles on your back.
There are both structural and relaxation massages that are found to help provide relief from back pain. The massage will help in improving the circulation, easing the stress and in increasing the release of endorphins which will provide immediate pain relief.
The right food
Food is not just looked upon as nourishment but as medicine, as we can see from the ancient writings. And, certain food items and herbs can help ease the pain in your back.
Since most of the times, the inflammation in your back muscles is the cause for the pain, taking herbs that help with inflammation can help lessen the back pain.
- Willow bark is found to have pain-relieving symptoms as it contains salicin, a compound that converts into salicylic acid upon consumption. This compound helps in relieving pain and inflammation similar to aspirin.
- There is also devil’s claw, a herb that has chemical compounds called harpagosides that help to deal with inflammation in your muscles.
- Thanks to its properties that help to reduce inflammation, turmeric is a good pain reliever, which you can use.
- Apart from spicing up the sauces and the meat, the cloves are natural pain killer used for treating different pains. The presence of Eugenol in cloves is a natural pain reliever and is used in many pain rubs you get over the counter.
- The phytochemicals present in ginger can help stop inflammation and provide relief from pain according to studies.
- Feverfew is a herb which has been used from time immemorial for treating headaches, toothaches and stomachaches. With no serious side effect, the herb is now used for relief from many other pains including back pain.
- The Indian frankincense or boswellia is a herb that is found to have amazing anti-inflammatory properties and has been in existence as pain relief medication for centuries now.
- Bromelain, which is found in abundance in pineapples can reduce inflammation, promote circulation and provide you relief from the pain.
- Furthermore, you can also use St.John’s wort, Ginseng, Kava Kava and Valerian root as pain medication.
Looking into a deficiency of certain compounds in your body will also help. For instance, deficiency in magnesium, Vitamin B12, vitamin D etc. can cause pain and inflammation. So having foods that are rich in these nutrients will help you fight the causes for back pain.
Of course, more than anything having a balanced diet that will keep you fit and health is the key for a healthy life, back problem or not.
Change your posture
Often poor posture is the most attributing factor for sciatica which results in back pain in the lumbar region. Correcting your posture, whether you are sitting, standing or walking can help greatly in dealing with the back pain. Additionally, if your work involves you to stand or sit for prolonged hours, breaking the monotony at regular intervals will help you make way for a better back.
There are also other therapies like music therapy which involves listening to relaxing music, practicing meditation, changes in our lifestyle, etc. that can contribute greatly to avoiding and reducing back pain. Even changing your shoes and avoiding high heels can help greatly in relaxing your back muscles.
All the above-mentioned remedies will help only if the cause of the pain is simple physical stress, muscle pull or something minor. If the pain continues to persist, then it is time to visit the doctor.
Additionally, if you have any allergies or other medical conditions and you are currently under medication, a doctor can provide you with a better treatment option for your back pain or clarify the appropriateness of above remedies for your individual circumstances.