Back pain is one of the most prevalent forms of pain that most people experience at some point in their lives. Often occurring in the lower back, this form of pain can be so debilitating that you may have difficulty making it through your typical activities and tasks for the day without experiencing a painful sensation. There are many different causes for back pain, so it's important to visit your doctor for a diagnosis before you attempt to self-treat. Some of the most common reasons people experience back pain are due to bad posture, heavy lifting, arthritis, spinal conditions, sports injuries or constantly staying in a seated position. If your back pain is not severe and intense, you've visited your doctor for a diagnosis and you're looking for a way to find some relief from the pain, take a look at these suggestions.
Contrary to what you may be thinking, exercising can actually benefit
back pain. It depends on the specific type of exercise, though. Walking is a gentle, mild method of stretching out your back and helps spinal fluid to spread evenly throughout your discs, providing nourishment and discouraging pressure or discomfort. According to a medical article reviewed by Louise Chang, M.D.
, there is one exercise in particular that can promote a neutral, elongated spine. Try getting on your hands and knees and reaching one arm straight out in front of you while sticking out the leg on the opposite side of whatever arm is outstretched. Hold the position for about 20 seconds and repeat on the opposite side. This exercise also works to strengthen your core, something that is crucial in having great back support. If you're going to exercise with an aching back, be aware that any exercises involving heavy, overhead lifting may exacerbate the pain.
2. Muscle-soothing Bath
There's a reason hot baths are known as a traditional, time-tested method of helping to alleviate many types of pain and soreness. Soaking your muscles in hot water can promote healthy blood flow and deter pain signals from being sent to your brain and causing discomfort. Try taking a hot bath but adding in a few drops of a muscle-soothing bath or shower formula with plenty of beneficial ingredients. Aloe vera
, eucalyptus, calendula, arnica, chamomile and witch hazel are several extracts which, when used together, can often provide excellent support in reducing pain and even cutting back inflammation
3. Topical Pain Relief Formulas
While heat can definitely help to relieve back pain, so can the cold. Topical pain relief gels or roll-on products can provide soothing relief when applied to the sore areas on your back. The analgesic ingredient menthol can produce a pleasant tingling and slightly numbing effect that can help dull the pain sensation and help your back discomfort to ease up.
4. Back-supporting Foods
Food may not be one of the first lines of defense you reach for, in terms of erasing back pain, but it can definitely play a significant part in helping you to feel better or worse. Foods that have undergone a lot of processing and are high in saturated fats or sugar can often have negative effects on your inflammatory response, inciting inflammation in your intestines which can then spread and end up causing an inflamed and painful back, according to Judy Fulop, a naturopathic practitioner at Northwestern University in Illinois
. On the contrary, foods with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants
, anti-inflammatory properties and magnesium
can be beneficial in discouraging back pain. Salmon, nuts, green leafy vegetables, organic cherries and blueberries are some great choices that can support your back and overall health in general.
As a key player in fortifying and supporting the health of your bones, a lack of sufficient calcium
levels can also negatively impact your spine. When your body doesn't receive enough calcium, it can promote a curved or hunched spine and even cause your vertebrae to compress. If your bones are already weak from a disease like osteoporosis, your spine is even more susceptible to damaged discs and vertebrae, and any pain you experience can be amplified. Therefore, it's essential to ensure you are receiving enough calcium and avoid deficiencies.
6. Improve Posture
Maintaining good posture is something that is underrated and plays a significant role in lessening back pain. It's important to make a constant effort to walk and stand with your back straight, your shoulders squared back and your chin up. Hunching and rounding your shoulders for a long period of time can eventually cause structural problems with your spine and worsen pain.
Before you attempt to remedy your back pain on your own, it's critical to get checked out by your doctor first in order to determine if you have a more severe problem that is causing the pain. Maintaining your overall health is crucial in keeping up a healthy back, so make sure to address the bigger picture as well as other unexpected contributors to your back pain, like your diet, exercise and other aspects.
Check out our selection of vitamins, supplements and other healthy living products that can help ease your back pain at eVitamins. Have a great weekend!