Millions of men and women across the globe suffer from chronic back pain. Beyond just being a painful experience, the condition can result in a gradual loss of mobility and quality of life. Knowing the cause of the pain is the first step towards working out a feasible treatment option. A majority of cases are age-related while others may be attributed to injury, spinal stenosis, arthritis of the spine and disc problems. Whatever may be the root of the problem, living with chronic back pain is a challenge and you will want a resolution sooner rather than later.
While pain killers do offer temporary relief, they are not viable as a long term option because of their side effects. Surgery is another option but it is a more aggressive form of treatment. Rather than these options, you should look for non-aggressive alternatives that are capable of providing effective relief without any side effects and complications. Of course, there are several non-invasive and natural options that you can rely on for getting lasting relief from chronic back pain. Here is a list of these alternatives.
Even before you start looking for treatment options, you need to understand the value of correct posture for keeping your back in a good shape. The way you stand, sit and lift things can make all the difference. Things can get more challenging if you have a desk job and work for long hours. Start by evaluating your posture and making conscious efforts to correct it. You can take breaks and do some exercises for posture correction. There are even some wearable devices that you can try for this purpose. Another good idea is to invest in ergonomic furniture that ensures correct posture at home and work.
Amazingly, making a few dietary changes can actually provide relief from chronic back pain. Research studies have shown that the condition is closely linked with higher levels of inflammation. This is the reason when anti-inflammatory drugs offer pain relief. But why not rely on anti-inflammatory diet rather than drugs because it can be equally effective for reducing inflammation, all without having any side effects! Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish and nuts are some of the foods that must be on the top of your daily diet chart. At the same time, you should steer clear of processed and sugar-laden foods as they can make the inflammation worse.
Another way to deal with chronic back pain effectively is by following a proper exercise routine. Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that work just like opioid pain medications. Also, working out enables you to manage and maintain your weight, which is another key factor for preventing back pain in the long run. However, you cannot just do any exercise if you suffer from this problem because the wrong ones can actually aggravate the pain. The best approach is to seek advice from a professional trainer for learning about back strengthening exercises.
While diet, exercise and posture correction are some of the measures that you can try yourself, physical therapy takes a more professional approach. A therapist is someone who actually understands human anatomy and knows how to correct the defects and deficits. Dr.Chad Woolner from Align Integrated Medical explains that the four pillars of back function are strength & coordination, alignment, balance & stability and flexibility. A dysfunction with one or more of these functions can lead to chronic back pain. Beyond just helping you manage the pain, a therapist can assist you in restoring these functions as well.
Surprisingly, the causes of back pain may extend beyond aging, physical exertion and injury. Stress can also aggravate back pain because it results in muscular tension. Moreover, stress changes the body’s perception of pain and you may experience more than what actually is. Therefore, stress management comes ahead as an effective alternative treatment for chronic back pain. You may try techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga to reduce stress and relax your muscles. These exercises can also keep your mind focused and reduce the perception of pain. However, you should do them only under expert guidance.
Undoubtedly, a healthy lifestyle is the mainstay of good health and can also relieve back pain naturally. You already know the significance of eating right, exercising and maintaining the right posture as a part of healthy lifestyle habits. Abstinence from smoking is another important lifestyle change that can help. Smoking inhibits the flow of oxygen and blood to body tissues and your spine and back muscles are perhaps most affected areas. As a result, the chances of suffering from chronic back pain increase manifold if you are a regular smoker. Ditching the habit has multiple benefits and relief from this problem is one of them.
Although you may be eating healthy, there may still be some dietary deficits that may cause weakness of bones, joints, and muscles. This is one reason why you may be having chronic back pain. Identifying the nutritional gaps and addressing them with the right supplements is another way to treat the problem effectively. You can check with an orthopedic specialist for a proper diagnosis and recommendation of the right supplements.
Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, reiki healing, massage and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation are some other options that you can try for effective pain relief. Each of them works on the principle of natural pain relief, which makes them absolutely safe and side-effect free. These techniques should, however, be performed only by experts if you want the best results without any risks.
When it comes to the treatment of chronic back pain, surgery should be considered as the last resort. Ideally, you should opt for it only when natural treatments do not work or there is a severe condition that can be addressed only with a surgical procedure. For the majority of patients, these alternative therapies and lifestyle modifications can be effective enough for keeping back pain at bay.