5 Easy Ways to Naturally Relieve Back Pain
In the United States alone, over 80% of Americans have experienced back pain at some point during their lives. If you’ve ever visited a conventional doctor for back pain, you were probably offered a temporary treatment, such as steroid injections or pain-relieving drugs. Your physician may have even suggested surgery.
Unfortunately, these solutions rarely lead to a full recovery, and most are riddled with harmful side effects. Because of this, many people are turning to natural remedies for back pain relief, including the following:
The ancient body-mind practice of yoga is widely known for relieving pain, due to its stress-reducing capabilities. When your body is stressed, this causes your blood pressure and heart rate to escalate and makes your muscles tighten in response. Since yoga encourages deep relaxation, it helps to ease muscle spasms and is a popular choice among people dealing with chronic back pain. Specific yoga poses designed for spinal health include the reclining spinal twist, sphinx pose, pelvic tilts, child’s pose, and cat-cow stretch.
Serotonin and endorphins are the body’s natural mood lifters and painkillers, and one way to increase these levels is through massage. By working at a molecular level, massage therapy regulates the genes commonly associated with inflammation inside the body and may lessen back pain. Some massage therapists are equipped to work in a patient’s home, and many offer massage chairs for those instances where lying on a padded table might be too uncomfortable or painful.
Intentional, conscious breathing is the cornerstone of meditation. By quieting the mind and relaxing the body through deep breathing exercises, many people have success with eliminating stress and improving pain. There are two basic types of meditation:
- Mindfulness Meditation: This is the most well-known type of meditation, and it involves focusing on the sensations and sounds around you. A popular misconception about meditating is the idea that it involves becoming blank and blocking out your surroundings. With mindfulness meditation, doing the complete opposite is the goal.
- Transcendental Meditation: This form consists of a person loudly chanting a mantra (a single phrase or word) and letting go of outside influences. Although it might seem strange to make a loud noise, the sound becomes the main object of concentration.
The age-old practice of acupuncture focuses on correcting energy (or “chi”) imbalances inside the body by the careful placement of tiny needles into certain points in the body. When the needles are inserted, they control the movement of adenosine, an amino acid in the skin that eases pain following an injury. Acupuncture aids in the proper functioning of the musculoskeletal system and nervous system, which many traditional and holistic doctors believe is a common cause of pain.
By inducing a state of consciousness through deep relaxation and a heightened state of awareness, hypnotherapy can help alleviate chronic and acute pain. When a person is under hypnosis, certain physiologic changes take place: breathing is regulated, heart rate slows, and alpha brain waves are increased. Once the mind and body have entered this trance-like state, a trained professional will guide the person with mental images or verbal repetition to concentrate on specific goals, including healing and relieving pain.