According to the National Institute of Health, lower back pain affects nearly everyone at some point in their life. Seeing as how back pain is such a ubiquitous problem, it is typical for people to search for fast treatments and effective remedies for back pain. But with so many tips and advice found online, how do you know which one is effective?
The guides found online are usually seeing a physical therapist or a chiropractor, acupuncture, herbal medication, yoga and exercise. Although these tips do work in their own merit, there are some overlooked remedies that you can immediately do right now to ease back pain.
1. Release Your Endorphins
What some people do not know is that their bodies can be as strong as any of the manufactured pain medications like Aspirin or Ibuprofen. Endorphins are hormones that are released in your body that helps block pain signals from registering in your brain.
This hormone is usually called as “the feel-good hormone” because it helps alleviate stress, anxiety and depression – which are all associated with patients suffering from chronic back pain.
There are three different ways to naturally release your endorphins. First, you can perform aerobic exercises for at least 30 to 45 minutes. Second, you can apply massage therapy. You can also use meditation or yoga to help ease back pain as this practice is also known to help release your feel-good hormones.
2. Heat And Cold Therapy
Many people underestimate the pain reduction of simply applying cold packs or heat compress. These two can actually reduce pain and spur up the healing process.
Cold therapy has two primary benefits: One, it reduces swelling and inflammation. Two, it slows down the nerve impulses and act as a local anesthetic which keep the nerves from spasming and causing pain.
Just like cold therapy, heat therapy has two primary benefits as well: First, it inhibits the pain messages from being sent to the brain. Second, it stimulates blood flow which brings healing nutrients to the affected area of the back.
As soon as the swelling and pain are felt, you can immediately apply cold compress on the affected area every 20 minutes until the pain starts to subside. The next day, you can start using heat therapy by soaking in a hot tub, taking a hot shower or using a heat pad.
3. Egoscue Method
Egoscue is a postural therapy designed to get rid of chronic pain without using surgery or medications. This method was founded on 1978 and it focuses on gentle stretches and exercises to correct postural problems and misalignments in the musculoskeletal system of the body. This therapy is an easy and effective method for relieving back pain and joint pain.
For people who suffer back pain due to poor posture, tight hip flexors, chronic sitting down and slouching, here are 3 easy Egoscue stretches you can do at home to help you release the pain.
Static Extension Stretch
- Kneel with both of the hands positioned flat on the floor. Make sure that your thighs and arms are parallel with one another.
- Drop your back and relax it towards the floor. While doing this, you will notice that your hips have elevated a little bit.
- Shift your hip about six to eight inches forward so that they are not aligned with you knees. This eases the stress on the knees caused by your body weight.
- Hold this position for at least one to two minutes.
Static Back Stretch
- Lie your back flat on the floor with your legs bent at a right angle.
- Keep this angle by supporting your calves using a chair or a block.
- Rest both of your hand on your stomach or you can lay them out at the sides with palms facing upward.
- Stay in this position for five to ten minutes and let your lower back relax.
Supine Groin Stretch
- From a static back position, remove one leg from the chair and extend it flat on the floor. You should have one leg bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Make sure that your hip and shoulders are aligned to both legs while propping up the extended leg to prevent it from rolling to one side.
- Hold this position for ten minutes and switch to the other leg.
If you are in pain and are undergoing an extensive medical treatment, many doctors will still recommend you to incorporate natural remedies to speed up your body's healing process. If you are interested in adding some alternative solutions to your case, you can always clear this up with your physician.