Pain in the back is the second most widespread neurological illness in the United States and nearly everybody suffers from back pain at some point in their lives. Most people unknowingly do activities that add to the problem in spite of such common incidence of this problem.
Problems of lower back affect the elasticity and strength of the spine, which may result in the development of pain, tenderness and rigidity. Low back pain may be caused by various factors which include muscle strain, injury to the muscles and ligaments that support the spine, and more serious conditions such as a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, spondylosisthesis, osteoporosis, or a tumor.
Natural treatment methods include:
Massaging soft tissues eases the back pain by relaxing you physically and mentally. It also helps your body to release the natural painkillers known as endorphins. Studies have found that massage could be effective for sub-acute and chronic pain. It is ideal to massage the affected area with herbal oils using knuckles and increasing pressure slowly. It reduces discomfort in a few minutes.
Exercise and movement are the natural stimuli for the healing process for back problems. Steady and progressive work out, instead of sedentary lifestyle or a routine with limited mobility, often helps in reducing back pain and avoiding future episodes of pain. Exercise reduces the muscle and nerve tension, and at the same time makes them elastic and flexible.
Oil made with garlic
Two or three garlic cloves are ideal for consumption in the morning. A useful natural remedy for backache is the oil made from garlic. Garlic oil provides immense relief by applying it on the back. This oil can be prepared by frying ten cloves of garlic in 60 ml of oil on low flame. Continue applying this oil for at least a fortnight to experience magical effects.
Acupuncture is said to work by releasing natural pain-relieving opioids, sending signals that calm the sympathetic nervous system, and releasing neurochemicals and hormones. It is a safe and effective procedure for low-back pain, and is also known to show positive results for long periods with no negative side-effects that are often expected to occur with various other pain remedies.
Researchers at Sheffield University in the United Kingdom studied the long-term symptom reduction and economic benefits of acupuncture in people suffering from persistent low back pain. After a year of acupuncture treatment, patients reported reduced pain and significant reduction in worry about their pain compared to the usual care group. At the end of 2 years, patients were less likely to use medication for pain relief.
Capsaicin is an active ingredient in chilli peppers. When applied to the skin, it has been found to deplete substance P, a pain transmitting neurochemical, producing an analgesic effect. This cream is available in drug and health food stores, and is also available online. A typical dosage of 0.025% capsaicin cream is applied four times a day. The most common side effect is a stinging or burning sensation in the area.
Researchers studied two groups of people suffering from back pain who were treated with capsaicin and placebo respectively. After 3 weeks, pain was reduced to a greater extent in the capsaicin group compared to the placebo group. Investigators thus rated capsaicin considerably more effective than placebo.
Music therapy is a natural therapy that reduces the disability, anxiety, and depression associated with chronic pain. It produces calming and relieving effects on the back pain.
A study assessed the effect of music therapy in hospitalized patients suffering from chronic back pain. This therapy was found to significantly reduce disability, anxiety and depression. It also had an immediate effect on reducing pain, although the results were not statistically significant.
The bark of white willow tree is known to relieve pain as good as relief that comes with a dose of Aspirin because salicin, an ingredient in the bark of this tree, gets converted in the body to salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a chemical which is known to produce pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. The effects produced by salicin are slower in comparison to Aspirin but are known to last longer.
Researchers at a University of Sydney evaluated the effects produced by willow bark extract in comparison to Cox-2 inhibitor pain medication, a refecoxib. At the end of four weeks, both groups had a similar reduction in pain.
Yoga for back pain
Yoga relaxes and tones muscles by a variety of exercises, increases energy levels by various breathing techniques, helps to achieve a calmer and stronger mind by meditation, and helps you in ridding of stress and anxiety by a number of relaxation postures.
Researchers studied people suffering from chronic mild low back pain and compared yoga to back education. At the end of 16 weeks, there was a significant reduction in pain intensity, disability, and reliance on pain medication in the yoga group.
Breathing techniques integrate body awareness, breathing, movement, and meditation. Researchers compared 6-8 weeks of breathing therapy to physical therapy. The study showed considerable improvement in patients with breath therapy. This therapy was found to be safe; it improved coping skills and brought new insights into the effect of stress on the body.
Chiropractitioners use chiropractic spinal manipulation to restore joint mobility. It involves application of a controlled force to adjust spine and joints that show signs of restriction in movements. This could be caused by muscle injury, strain, inflammation, and pain. This adjustment is said to relieve pain and muscle tightness, and encourage healing and mobility.
A study published in the Spine Journal examined manipulations compared to simulated manipulations in people suffering from back pain and/or radiating pain. The results concluded that active manipulations were more effective at reducing acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion.
Bowen therapy is extensively used in Australia and Europe, and has been gaining popularity in North America as well.
During this therapy, a series of gentle precise movements are used with the fingers and thumbs. Please remember that no intense rubbing is done during this therapy. This therapy involves gentle pulling of the skin from the muscle by the therapist, followed by application of pressure, and thereafter quick release of this pressure.
These movements are carried out in the muscle areas with special receptors. These receptors send messages to the brain, resulting in muscle relaxation and reduced back pain. Bowen therapy is a holistic therapy, thus it treats the whole body. It establishes healthy responses in all areas in the body including the back, thus relieving the causes of back pain.