If you don’t want to go see a physician or take medication for your back pain, there are plenty of all natural remedies you can try in the comfort of your own home. Keep in mind, however, that chronic and intolerable back pain may be a sign of some serious medical condition that requires immediate professional medical attention.
Eating healthy and nutritious foods is important for maintaining an ideal body weight, and will also give your body the vitamins and minerals needed. But certain foods can also prove effective for alleviating back pain. Among these foods are pineapple, berries, green tea, beef, turmeric, garlic, ginger, and cold-water fish (such as trout). Keeping well hydrated can also help relieve back pain in some people.
Milk, cheese, yogurt, dark leafy greens like spinach, sardines and other calcium-rich foods are a great way to treat back pain. Calcium is essential for strong bones, and strong bones help support and protect the spine. Women especially should consume lots of foods high in calcium, as they are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. When eating dairy products, however, pay attention to the fat content.
A number of herbal remedies can turn out to be great at eliminating your back pain. Herbs can usually be consumed as teas or in pill form, and most can be found at supermarkets, health food stores, or online. Among the herbs recommended for curing back pain are devil’s claw, chamomile, ginger, white willow bark, valerian root, eucommia, and cayenne.
Draw a bath and add 2 cups of salts to the water. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath for 30 minutes a day can reduce your back pain in no time.
Place l cup of uncooked rice into a clean, thick sock, and microwave for 30 to 60 seconds on medium heat. Apply the sock to your back, making sure it isn’t too hot first.
Immediately after sustaining a back strain or injury, apply a cold compress. A cold compress can prevent too much blood from rushing to the affected area, keeping swelling and inflammation down. Cold compresses can also help in controlling the pain, as they numb the affected area.
In order to make a cold compress, pack a few crushed cubes of ice into a plastic bag, and cover it with a cloth or towel. Apply to the back for 15 minutes at a time, resting 30 minutes between compressions. A bag of frozen veggies can also be used in place of the bag with ice cubes.
After a back injury, wait 48 hours before applying hot compresses. A warm compress will help relax tight muscles, increase your blood flow, and will feel extremely relaxing. You can make a hot compress by soaking a washcloth in hot water, or simply by using a heating pad or taking a hot bath.
Acupuncture and Massage
For back pain relief, you might want to try either acupuncture or massage therapy, or some combination of the two. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese art focusing on applying pressure to certain pressure points around the body. Massages can be of different types, with Swedish, Shiatsu, and deep-tissue massage being the most well known. All methods can be both relaxing and great at alleviating your back pain. Shiatsu massage is my favorite for relieving back pain, although it can be pretty expensive.
There are some very nice electrical stimulation machines that are available at your local therapist’s office, or that can be found online. Simply attach the electrical pads to the injured area, and use according to the instructions given for that particular machine. These machines can really help the healing process as well as loosen up the muscles and relieve pain.
Hypnosis is another all natural remedy you can try to cure yourself of back pain. A hypnotist will try to communicate with your subconscious mind to rid your body of the feelings of pain in your back. You can also try the various hypnosis tapes, cd’s, and downloads that are on the market for relieving pain. In most cases you can download them right into your ipod and listen to them at your leisure.
Not only is yoga great for relaxing your body and mind, but it can also help you cope with your back pain. Here are some yoga positions that you can try when your back pain is bothering you.
Bridge Pose (setu bandha sarvangasana)
Corpse Pose (savasana)
Lying on your back, place your feet flat on the floor with your palms facing up. Press down with your hands and feet, and lift your hips and torso up off the floor. Then, as you press your shoulders and upper arms into the floor, interlock your hands under your hips. Lift your hips as high up towards the ceiling as you can. Hold for 5 breaths, and then slowly roll yourself back down, starting from your spine down to your hips. Rest for 4 breaths, and then repeat.
Extended Side Angle Pose (utthita parsvakonasana)
Standing with your feet about 4 feet apart, raise your arms straight out to your sides until about shoulder height. Keep your palms facing down. Your left foot and leg should be turned at about an angle of 90 degrees to the left, and your right foot and leg should be turned in at about 15 to 30 degrees. Inhale, and then as you exhale, bend your left knee up to 90 degrees. Be sure to keep your knee stacked over your heel at all times. Then, place the top of your left forearm on your left thigh and open up your chest towards the ceiling. Finally, raise your right hand straight up and angle your head upwards to look at your right hand. Hold for 5 breaths, and then slowly come out of the pose and repeat on the opposite side.
Plank Pose (kumbhakasana)
Place your body in a high push-up position, with your hands a little bit wider than shoulder-width apart. Your back should be in a perfectly straight line, from your head all the way down to your feet. Tighten your abdominals and hold for 5 breaths.
Then, lower yourself down onto your forearms, with your hands under your face. Hold for 5 breaths. Raiseyourselfbackupto the push-up position, and repeat.
Lying on your back, separate your arms from your body at a 45-degree angle. Place your palms facing up. Your legs should be as wide apart as feels comfortable, and you should allow your feet to roll naturally to the sides or inwards. Release all tension from your body. If you feel back pain in this position, place a pillow under your thighs or knees. Stay in this pose for 5 minutes, breathing deeply and allowing all stress to leave your body.
Lastly, here are some stretches you can do to try and cope with your back pain.
Lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, use both hands to pull one knee up to your chest. Press the knee tight against your chest, and hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Return your knee to the floor, and repeat with the other knee. Then bring both knees to your chest at a time. Repeat each stretch 2 or 3 times.
Lying on your back, bend your knees up and keep your feet flat on the floor. Remembering to keep your shoulders firmly on the floor, roll your bent knees to one side. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, and then return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side, and perform each stretch 2 to 3 times.
Lower Back Arch
Lying on your back, bend your knees up and keep your feet flat on the floor. Arch the small of your back upwards in such a way that it feels like your pubic bone is pointing towards your feet. Hold your arched back up for 5 seconds, and then relax. Flatten your back as you pull your belly button down towards the floor. Repeat 5 times.
As you are positioned on your hands and knees, let your back and abdomen slowly sag towards the floor. Then, arch your back slowly, with your abdomen heading up towards the ceiling. Hold for 5 seconds, and then return to the starting position. Repeat 5 times.