5 Natural Remedies for Lower Back Pain
Pain of any kind can become a huge distraction throughout your day. When you are focused on your discomfort, it is hard to concentrate on your work and it keeps you from doing the activities you love. Many suffer from lower back pain, and it is often difficult to remedy without taking some form of medication. Fortunately there are natural remedies that are easy, affordable, and effective in easing and reducing lower back pain. If you are seeking lower back pain treatment consider these options.
1. Yoga and Stretching
Many people think of yoga as a series of impossible body contortions and difficult stretches. Conversely, yoga is accessible for anyone and can provide endless body benefits. One of these benefits is pain relief. For lower back pain, specifically, interchanging between “cat” and “cow” poses can dramatically relieve pain in the lower back and along the spine. To enter the pose, lower onto all fours. Your hands should be shoulder width apart, and your knees should be hip width apart. Begin at “table top” with a flat back. To enter into “cat” pose, inhale and slowly dip your stomach to the ground and raise your hips, gently curving your spine. This motion should be controlled, slow, and smooth so as to ensure proper alignment. To enter “cow” pose, exhale and come through flat back. Round your spine, tucking your chin to your chest, and lowering your tailbone towards the ground. You should push into your hands to receive a deeper stretch. Sync each motion with your breath, and continue for 2-3 minutes, or as long as you feel comfortable. “Cat” and “Cow” is a spine revitalizing sequence that actually massages your back and spine. This increases circulation to the discs between each vertebrae and will leave you feeling energized. Finally you can push back into “child’s pose” to rest. To enter child’s pose, touch your big toes, sit on your heels and widen your knees, allowing your stomach to expand while breathing. Lower your head to the floor and lay your torso down. Either extend your arms in front of you, palms down, or allow them to lie at your sides, palms up. Yoga poses such as these and other light stretching can provide your lower back with the relief you need.
2. Arnica Montana Gel or Tablets
Another remedy to alleviate lower back pain is the use of a homeopathic supplement called Arnica Montana. Arnica is used to help reduce various types of pain from athletes with sore muscles, to post-surgery procedure pain, to minor bumps and bruises. Arnica is all-natural, so it is free of side effects caused by conventional pain medications. It does not contain Aspirin, Ibuprofen, or other “go-to” pain relievers that lower back pain sufferers often run to. Arnica Montana tablets and gels can be found at your local pharmacy and come in an oral tablet form or a topical gel that can be rubbed onto the painful area. The use of Arnica can be a great alternative to using pain relievers like Motrine or Aleve.
3. Strength training
When you no longer have severe pain, exercise and staying active can improve your spinal strength and reduce the likelihood of pain returning in the future. Not only can strength exercises help pain, but they can also assist in speeding recovery along in the future. Simple exercises include straight leg sit ups, leg lifts while lying on your back, toe touches while standing or partial sit ups. All of these can increase strength around your core, helping to support your spine. It is important to remain active. Many lower back pain sufferers shy away from activity for fear of irritating the injured area more. While you should always be cautious and be sure to not overexert yourself, keeping your body moving and healthy is the best thing you can do for it.
4. Maintain Good Posture
It seems simple enough, but all too often we find ourselves hunched over our computer keyboard or leaning down to pick up something heavy. When trying to alleviate or avoid lower back pain, it is necessary to be aware of your spine and your posture. Thoughtless actions can apply unnecessary strain to our backs on a day-to-day basis. Keeping the right amount of curve in your back can take pressure of your nerves and help keep back pain to a minimum. When possible, try to keep your shoulders down and back and curve your tailbone under, allowing your spine to stack straight.
5. Warm or Cold Compress
Finally, when in need of some soothing relief, applying either a warm or cold compress can also reduce pain.
When using heat, apply the compress for approximately 15 minutes at a time. Usually wet heat (a hot pack, a bath or a shower) will be more effective than dry heat. However, any method will provide relief. You can purchase hot pads or heat wraps at your local pharmacy. These provide heat whether you are home, at work, or on the go. You can also use an electric heat pad to lie down on when at home. Just be cautious not to fall asleep with the pad turned on. Always set these on low or medium heat.
You can also use a cold compress to reduce inflammation or swelling while relieving pain. You can use a commercial cold pack or make your own compress. One option is to use a hand towel, wet it with cold water, and squeeze until damp. Put the towel into a plastic bag to freeze for 15 minutes in your freezer. Once frozen, apply to the effected area. If you don’t have time to plan ahead, a frozen bag of peas can always do the trick!
Whatever method you choose, you should heat or ice the painful area at least 3 times a day to see a reduction in swelling and feel pain relief.
Lower back pain can be extremely uncomfortable, but there are ways to manage and improve your back health. If you are seeking back pain treatment be sure to remain as active as possible, applying yoga and stretching techniques, strengthening exercises, and good posture. You can also ease lower back pain by applying cold or hot compresses or using homeopathic supplements such as Arnica Montana. Testing out different methods will be useful to find what works for your lower back pain needs. Always be sure to do what feels right for your body.