It’s a fact that low back pain is one of the most common disabilities in the country. At the current rate, 80% of all Americans will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. Many older people develop low back pain as part of the aging process. Low back pain can also be caused by a variety of , other factors, and herniated discs are one of the most prominent causes of low back pain.
There are treatments for low pain, but many of them involve surgical techniques and medications. Research shows that over 30% of patients who had low back pain were prescribed two or more medications. Drugs such as muscle relaxants and opioid-based pain killers are commonly prescribed by doctors. But many people do not want to take these medications in fear of the side effects and long-term damage that they may cause.
When you have low back pain, the worst thing you can do is be sedentary. Your muscles are already weak, and lying in bed will make the problem worse. So how can low back pain be treated safely? Here are some effective ways:
It is a known fact that more obese individuals suffer from chronic back pain. If you are carrying some extra weight, it can be an aggravator for low back pain. If you carry extra weight in your middle, your back is at extra risk for low back pain. Simply losing a few pounds could make all of the difference in the world. While it may sound easier that it seems, it is possible to lose weight by making some lifestyle and diet changes that you can live with:
- Eat a sensible breakfast. Have a mix of healthy fat, protein and fresh fruit.
- Drink plenty of water. When you’ve had enough, drink some more water.
- Try to follow the principles of good nutrition: Mostly veggies, healthy fats, fruits, nuts & seeds, and grass fed, wild caught or free range meats.
- Eat foods that do not spike your sugar/insulin levels. Look for low glycemic load foods.
- Bring nutritious snacks with you wherever you go.
Yes, exercise does a body good. But it really helps to alleviate back pain. You can do wonders for your low back by doing certain exercises that not only strengthen your back muscles but everything between your shoulders and hips. Your core supports your back, so it makes sense that a strong core equals a healthy low back. Walking and swimming are two of the best ways to loosen up your back muscles.
If you dread exercise, know that you can make it fun. The key is to find something that you love doing. Whether you love to walk, ride your bicycle, swim, or dance, you can do whatever activity you like as long as you do them regularly. Exercise does not have to be all about grunting with weights and running like a champ. As long as you are having a good time, that is all that matters. The pounds will drop off inevitably!
Stretching works on a lot of back problems all at once because it relieves stiffness, corrects your alignment, and improves flexibility. All of these improvements will greatly reduce low back pain. While stretching is important for everyone, it is especially helpful for back pain sufferers. Stretches such as seated side bend, hamstring stretches, and straight leg raise calf stretch are just a few examples. It is not recommended that you stretch unsupervised. A yoga class is a great way to get supervision and learn about helpful stretches for your lower back. Just remember to not overdo it. If you want to increase your flexibility, strive for at least ten minutes of stretching a day. Stretching is best done after you have exercised and warmed up the muscles.
Taking certain herbs may be a helpful supplement to dietary changes, exercise and stretching techniques. While they won’t cure your back for good, they can be a nice addition for pain relief. Many drugs that doctors prescribed began their lives as herbs, and plants are the base of many medications. Keep in mind that some herbs are not good for you, and too much is not necessarily a good thing. Some herbs that help relieve pain and reduce inflammation: Turmeric, stinging nettle, meadowsweet, and mustard.
Back pain treatment has many options from the simple to very complex. If people would work on some of the easier lifestyle changes they would be able to alleviate much of their back pain. When their back pain does flare up, as it will inevitably do, if they have made the lifestyle changes above the pain will not be nearly as severe and will not last nearly as long. It could mean the difference of being laid up in bed for a month or getting back to full activities in just a few days.