6 Ways to Alleviate Chronic Back Pain Naturally
Severe back pain affects millions of Americans every year.
Whether it’s pain in the shoulders and neck caused by a desk job or odd sleeping position or chronic pain in the lumbar area or elsewhere, this condition can be debilitating. After all, you use your back for everything. Your spine is literally the core of your body. When it’s not feeling supple and comfortable, all of your limbs and even your internal organs and your mental health will be affected.
If you have been struggling with chronic back pain, you’re probably looking for natural remedies before you consider a clinical solution such as steroid shots or surgery — and that’s a good thing. If you can avoid serious medical intervention as much as possible, you can often treat your chronic pain more holistically and, in turn, avoid further complications down the line.
Fortunately, you’ve got lots of options.
Below, we offer 6 natural remedies that have been proven effective at treating chronic back pain in its various manifestations.
1. Try a hot/cold treatment regimen.
Heat and cold can have a beneficial effect on your back if you’ve been experiencing discomfort. Start with a heating pad or heating patch. Use this for 15 minutes on the affected area. Wait a few hours, then transition to cold therapy by using a cold patch or an ice pack on the same area. Use the cold therapy for 15 minutes, and finally, wait a few more hours before repeating the cycle.
2. Get more sleep (and change your sleeping position, if necessary).
Getting a good night’s sleep can help tremendously with back pain. Most people need at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, try changing some things in your bedroom first.
For example, make your bedroom more inviting and comfortable overall. It helps just to make your bed every morning so that it’s welcoming when sleep time arrives. You might even try incorporating some soft and relaxing music, dim mood lighting, and essential oils into your nightly routine. Finally, make sure that you’re avoiding screens for at least one hour before bedtime as the blue light emitted from these devices is often associated with poor sleep.
Next, check your sleeping position. You may consider investing in a different pillow, a new mattress, or a mattress topper that can make your sleep more comfortable and alleviate some of the stress on your neck, spine, and hip and knee joints.
3. Take advantage of cannabis edibles.
Medical cannabis has been proven effective at helping those with back pain, especially because of its anti-inflammatory effects. In fact, many individuals prefer it as a back pain remedy over more commonly-used drugs such as ibuprofen. Unfortunately, ibuprofen and other such medications often have side effects, some of which can be serious, like gastric bleeding and stomach ulcers.
Cannabis doesn’t have these side effects, yet it can be just as effective at treating your pain. Depending on whether you’re used to using cannabis, you may choose to take your dosage as an edible. For example, you can eat cookies, gummies, or peanut butter cups and get your daily cannabis at the same time. You can even drink your cannabis in special sodas and teas. Just make sure to source your edibles from a well-known Nevada dispensary.
4. Buy some new shoes.
Believe it or not, the shoes that you wear can have a tremendous effect on the state of your spine — all the way up to your neck and head!
What you want to look for in quality, spine supporting shoes is good arch support and overall cushioning of the heel, ball, and toe. Also, look for a wide enough toe box so that your toes are not squished or uncomfortable.
Lastly, avoid wearing high heels, flip flops, and slip-on shoes as these do little to support your feet and may exacerbate back pain.
5. Warm up those muscles with exercise.
It can be difficult to keep moving when your back is in pain, but exercise is critical for keeping your muscles pliable and strong, and this, in turn, can help with your pain or at least keep it from getting worse.
If you’re not used to exercising or don’t know where to start in your current state, begin by just walking for 10 to 20 minutes a day. It may seem like a small and insignificant amount, but warming up those muscles on a regular basis can truly help. Over time, you can also increase your walking time and start incorporating other exercises such as strength training.
6. Relax — reduce your stress levels.
Lastly, try to reduce the overall anxiety and stress in your life. Whether you realize it or not, you are likely tensing up physically when you feel anxious, and this can translate into tight and knotted core muscles — a recipe for back pain.
So, try incorporating some stress-relieving rituals into your weekly routine. Take more baths, sleep more, meditate and practice mindfulness, get massages, and make time for quality moments with friends and family.
Back pain doesn’t have to take over your life. If you’ve been struggling with severe pain and discomfort along your spine or in your shoulders, neck, or head, try the remedies listed above to see what works for you!