The only sure-fire way to get rid of back pain is to treat the underlying cause of the problem, but for lower back pain with no significant cause, treatments can be hit and miss. What works well for one person might not have any effect on another. Many doctors prescribe painkillers to patients with moderate back pain caused by musculoskeletal disorders, but painkillers can cause unpleasant side effects and are not always the best solution.
A Back Belt
There are many holistic ways to treat back pain, but many people find that a support belt (click here for more information) can work wonders. Our back is very susceptible to aches and strains. Lifting heavy boxes, carrying toddlers, or simply twisting in a funny way can easily lead to a painful strain. A back belt offers extra support to the spine while you are on the move, which is useful for people who can’t afford to be sitting or lying down all day.
Applying a heat or ice pack can be very effective in relieving back pain. Heat packs stimulate blood flow to the area, which promotes healing. This is useful if your back pain is caused by a strained muscle. Use a hot water bottle or lie in a hot bath for twenty minutes. Ice packs cool the inflammation caused by back problems. Cold also acts as a local anaesthetic, which should quell any painful back spasms. You can make your own ice pack with a bag of frozen peas and a tea towel.
Massage therapy is a very effective treatment for back problems. A deep tissue massage will promote blood flow to the affected area and aid the natural healing process. Massage also encourages the body to produce natural endorphins, which are nature’s natural pain killer. Endorphins block pain signals and alleviate stress, which prevents the pain from getting any worse.
For an extra pain relieving boost, add essential oils to your massage. Lavender, rosemary and peppermint oil are known to have an analgesic effect. They also smell lovely!
Stiff muscles and joints make pain worse. This is why back problems can feel a lot more painful first thing in the morning, after you have spent the night relatively immobile in bed. Gentle exercise will help to loosen up your discs and warm up the surrounding muscles. Go for a walk or try swimming. Swimming supports the body and backstroke is particularly effective for anyone with back pain.
Acupuncture is an Ancient Chinese medicine that can be very effective when used to treat back pain. Acupuncturists use extremely thin needles to stimulate specific points on the body, in the belief that this restores the flow of Qi, or ‘life energy’. Many people rate acupuncture highly, but do make sure you visit a trained acupuncturist.
Finally, don’t forget to get enough sleep. Good quality sleep is a very important part of back pain management, so although it can be hard to sleep when your back hurts, good sleep is critical.